The Man Who Bakes Smiles

About a month ago I was going through some tough times in my head and it was reflecting in my mood, my lack of interest in doing anything and just a general gloominess in my thoughts. So on a Saturday morning, I woke up, got ready and as I do every Saturday morning I went to the Farmer’s Market in my neighborhood to buy breakfast rolls from a German bakery stand. A very sweet baker, named Earl, has been coming there ever since I can remember and despite being quite busy running his one-man-show he always takes out time to have a conversation with me. Whenever I go to Germany I bring him some chocolates which he graciously accepts.

Standing in line, I mechanically unzipped my purse and took out the exact change I would owe since Earl always keeps my order ready. As I picked up the bag of bread rolls, Earl said he had something for me. He turned around and handed me another bag, which felt much heavier. “Thank you for bringing me the chocolate from Germany. I can’t eat sugar so I made you something out of it that you may like.” I was so lost in my own head that all I could say was “Thank you” and swiftly walked away.

When I got home and opened the bag I saw this:


Sicilian Chocolate Cream Cheese Pie

A stream of warm thoughts, a smile and gratitude swept over me all at once. Isn’t it strange how just about when you are beginning to get a bit jaded with everything around and inside you life sends you a sweet little reminder that goodness is still watching out for you? More than the pie I was touched by the gesture and the time Earl must’ve spent to make this for someone who just happens to be a customer that shows up at his booth once a week. This was the much needed jolt that made me come out of the dark corners of my head and seek happiness in all the small things around me again. I always used to believe I have mastered that art to perfection over the last handful of years but evidently everyone needs reminders once in a while.

Thank you Earl for being that ever so small light at the end of the tunnel and thinking of making this pie when coincidentally I needed it most as a metaphor to snap out of whatever I was in. I’ll always think of THE PIE as something to look out for whenever I get stuck in a dark corner again.

When I posted a picture of Earl’s gift on Facebook a few weeks ago a bunch of friends wanted to know more about Earl, so today I took a picture of him with his ever present warm smile:


Earl, the man who bakes smiles!


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