I took a trip down to Cheskie's, Montreal’s finest Kosher bakery yesterday afternoon. Pulled over to call them on my way, but no answer. Weird. Closed for the holidays?
I needed sweets for a New Years event.
Oh-oh, I suddenly realized. It's Shabbat and I've headed there too late on this early-sundown winter’s aft.
Decided to hope and pray and drove there anyway.
Up the mountain, past the cemetery, zipped by Beaver Lake and descended in low gear past the Lookout. No time to even look out over the city-
Babkas on my mind.
Not bobkes, as in ‘nothing at all’ in Yiddish, but babkas, the gooey 'Russian chocolate babkas' with which Mr. Cheskie invades many a daydream.
Parked in a snowbank and looked up… miracle of miracles, the place was not only open, but it was packed. Seems they had just been too busy to answer the phone.
Inside, there was a boisterous and fidgety lineup all the way to the door. Gorgeous smells wafted every which way as hipsters and Hassids alike checked wristwatches and iPhones in anticipation of Shabbat and god-knows-what else.
Now squeezed into the queue, I immediately locked my glance on the mighty babka tray.
Not the bags of dry babka loaf they keep on the exposed rack but the smaller and stickier ones they keep well out of reach on a counter behind the cash register (perhaps in a burglary the register would be the first thing the staff would surrender, distracting the thieves from that holy roly-poly).
As the line inched forward, the tray began dwindling as others placed orders before me. 20 pieces, 15, 12…
Oy vey, please, pretty please.
Alas, it was finally my turn… I loaded up on all sorts of sweet treats including.... the 10 very last half-pound morsels of Cheskie’s famous babka.
|Mr. Cheskie and my babkalicious bounty|
A transcendent Chanukah miracle. Up there with the whole 8 days of oil thing.
Ness gadol haya Yum.
I am blessed. (And soon to be fully fressed.)
Regards to all from Montreal.
To a sweet new year!
|All gone! More to be baked in 2017...|