Thursday, December 8, 2011


My red binder, repository of years of research, has thankfully resurfaced. It's been missing since August, when I lent it to a friend. (Stupid thing to do.) And why would I do such a thing? Because she wanted to make a load of cookies, and my red binder has all the secrets: every last instruction of all my best formulas for personal happiness, perfected during my tenure as The Baker at Two Tartes Bakery.

I paged through it tonight, and relief and joy bubbled up. Old friend! Everything was as it should be.

Some of the pages are so stained and tattered, I'd surmise that entire microscopic plant/animal kingdoms exist on the paper. I could do tissue samples! (Eww.) (How utterly unappetizing!)

The day I made my final exit from TTB -- the day I discovered that there was something fishy going on, and confronted my business partner -- I had the presence of mind to grab the binder. I found out later that she wanted to sue me for what she considered to be her intellectual property (figure that one out), but her attorney told her not to bother. The recipes were mine, and she possessed no rights to them.

(She turned out to be a criminal; I had managed to expose only the tip of the iceberg, it turned out. And although I was summoned to testify on behalf of her husband at their divorce trial, she's managed to evade prosecution.)

I haven't written much here about Two Tartes, and stories are simmering on my back burner. Those few years there -- beginning with the building of the business until the demise of the partnership and long-friendship -- are best summed up by Dickens:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us....
Ah. Yes.


(But the red binder: all mine.)


  1. It is a far, far better binder that you have; it is a far, far better binder than you will ever have.

  2. Now, I didn't know we also have baking in common.

    I had a similar experience with my "intellectual property" and a boss once when I was the pastry chef. Oy.

  3. wow. what a story....if those butter stains and chocolate drips on the recipe pages could talk...

    apropos of nothing, really, but just to say it: you have really walked the walk, my friend. i am so glad for you that you are where you are today. have a cookie on me!

  4. I have a red binder as well, filled with handwritten and typed recipes. So does my mum.

  5. And it will never be loaned out again....

  6. Sometimes the red binder is enough :-)

  7. Tales of restoration, my favorites. I am so happy you are reunited with the red binder with all it contains and represents. Have a cookie on me as well. xo

  8. so much depends

    a red recipe

    glazed with butter

    after the winter
    of despair.

    (with apologies to WCW.)

  9. Betrayal...the bitterest of tarts.
    I'm glad the red-binder found sanctuary.