Friday, November 13, 2015

The Small Street B&B Cafe

My friend Rebekkah and I went to a favorite lunch spot a few Fridays ago! Small Street B&B Cafe. In Pittsboro, "The Small" is at the corner of East Street and (conveniently) Small Street - it's a block from the Chatham County Courthouse (with its new copper roof!).

 The Small B&B Cafe has a varying farm-to-fork menu. Lemon Ricotta Pancakes are a "regular" on the blackboard. There is a kaleidoscope of homemade syrups to go with: strawberry, raspberry, peach, blueberry ... This finery is usually consumed with pure butter and, if you wish a side of local farm sausage or bacon. Subtle and luscious and rich - but practical too! If I eat just carbs for breakfast I'm famished in 2 hours. The ricotta adds enough protein to get me to lunch gracefully... especially with a few slices of  Fiddlehead Farm Sausage!

There is always a soup and a great salad on the menu. On our Friday it was a spinach salad with almonds, cranberries and feta cheese - and a wonderful warm citrus dressing I just loved! There is always a few entrees and a stew. The daily menu is posted on their Facebook page every morning. A recent entry: 
Small B&B Cafe October 17 
Good morning! Us again. Big ole farm scramble today now that we've made it through the hotcakes sale of yesterday. I would request that Brendan and Leslie make a point of joining us today with their love of huge plates of veggies. Got ya totally covered. Tons of stuff from the market scrambled with Goat Lady Dairy farm cheese and served with smashed potatoes and meat (if you choose). For lunch we're finishing off the chicken tacos (damn, those are good) and backing it up with fried baloney sandwiches. Local baloney, homemade pickles and mayo served on wood fired baked rolls. Seriously, folks......seriously. Got curried pork soup for lunch along with a Hungariany (is that a word?) tomato/pepper/paprika stew served with sour cream. Salad is mixed greens with a roasted beet/buttermilk dressing and toasted walnuts and still working on the pastry case. Some Mexican chocolate cake left, but not much, so I'll ponder that one.
A local, farm-made, fried baloney sandwich? I wonder what good baloney tastes like?

Almost always the blackboard menu lists egg or chicken and/or tuna salad sandwiches There is a sliced chicken breast sandwich too - my choice on Friday! This chicken breast was NOT a previously frozen, rubbery, salty, preformed mess! This chicken was wandering around the garden last week - clucking happily. I could tell. I chose sourdough bread with fresh greens and a honey, bumpy mustard - the mustard alone was good enough to eat on a spoon!
The Chicken Sandwich on Sourdough, with 
Almond Cranberry Feta Spinach Salad and Warm Citrus Dressing
Yes! Eggs are on the menu too! Omelets. Quiche. Sunny side up. Scrambled. The eggs are from farm-happy chickens too! There is oatmeal and granola. Bagels. Muffins. English muffins... toast and homemade jams. Breakfast with all the trimmings. There IS a 6 foot wide banner outside proclaiming "Brunch!" <--- it="" p="" s="" true="">
But what Small B&B is really famous for - beyond the lemon ricotta pancakes - is dessert. CAKE. Tortes. Pies. Cheesecake. Bread puddings. Puddings. Remember the first time you ate Tiramisu? Or tasted trifle? Or picked up your spoon and cracked the caramel shell of a creme brulee? Small B&B desserts that are that kind of good. Every day there is something new - unique - stellar.

There are a few things I think are missing. Mostly because my weird-foodness! I can't eat eggs, peppers, shellfish.... At Small I end up eating the chicken sandwich a lot. It is very good. But I crave a big creamy bowl of chicken and dumplings. Navy beans and ham. Black beans and sour cream with a hunk of corn bread. Maybe I am just not visiting on the right days!

The other thing I 'm lukewarm about is "Smashed potatoes" - in place of home fries or hash browns. Red new potatoes, boiled, smashed once with a potato masher and then fried. I don't know why I can't bring myself to love them!

So... if all this isn't enough to drive you crazy until you can drive to Pittsboro, there is the setting itself: A former Methodist parsonage and a lovely garden full of whimsical folk art leads the way to the door. (Yes - "whimsical folk art" is redundant!) There is a book house on the deck rail - bring a book/take a book. There is a small dining room seating about 30 people inside - with sofas, easy chairs and odd dining chairs from the thrift shop - with more whimsical folk art dotting the walls. If it's warm enough to sit on the patio two cats may wander by. You can eat breakfast and read the paper until 2:00pm and drink coffee and eat homemade jam on toast.... Isn't this the way life is suppose to be?

Luna the cat
There is also the local scene. Great people watching: local authors and musicians and vintage shop owners, the founder of Piedmont Bio-fuels, the inventor of Slow Money... and just the plain everyday Pittsboro folks. Dedicated. Earnest. Practical. Known to change the world. Quiet. Intelligent. Gracious. 

So. As soon as you can. Go eat a late breakfast and savor every bite... of food and of life. The Small Street B&B Cafe is open Wednesday - Saturday 7.30am - 2pm. Sunday 9am - 2pm

I'll see you there!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Thursdays Story - A Rascally Tale!

Thursday's Story 

vol. 3 no. 6

A Rascally Tale
** Written on September 14, 2001 **

Rascal is my new dog, a Jack Russell Terrier. She is a bit over a year old -- rambunctious... and as cute as puppies come. She has been my salvation this week also. She knows nothing about "tragedy" - just that life is good and the weather has been fine.

Last night she started barking under/at the kitchen table. Like there was a squirrel or opossum under there. Sometimes there is an opossum under there.... but not last night. 

Just the cat food bucket, the dog food bucket and the bird seed bucket. Five gallons each. Tightly closing lids. It would be a prime spot for an invading opossum! But not last night.

Then. Hiding in the back... behind the buckets... I found a Christmas decoration/ toy Moma gave me last year. It is a reindeer about 10 inches tall. He is in "Santa Town Jail": plastic bars, plastic padlock, handcuffs -- all.

When you press his hoof that has a hol't of the bars, he shivers and shakes and sings "Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer." 

It is a favorite with visiting children! To the point -- it is usually hidden by me or a mom to preserve our sanity. In fact, I think Carol Payne stuck it behind the bird seed bucket during a party in June.

So last night, when Rascal saw this guilty reindeer in my hand, she laid down almost flat. And she increased her volume of ruckus considerably. 

I sat it down on the floor so she would know it was just a toy.... and as I did she jumped backwards 10 feet into the living room.... still raising all kinds of commotion, sticking her head out around the door. RoooooW RooooW ROooooW RoooooW RoooooW! And if I could imagine it, it was even louder than before.

 An important point. The barking was not "afraid" but: "ALARM! ALARM! ALARM!"

I reached down to get, as I call it, the Indicted Reindeer... and noticed as I picked it up.... the hoof -- the "Press Me" hoof -- it had a tiny tiny--very very small tear in its upholstery. 

Perchance? A small dog... hadst she chewed upon it? 

I pressed the hoof. 

Rascal backflipped and dove, back'ards-first under the couch. 

Hmmmm hmmmm hmmm.... Grandma got run over by a reindeer..... and, a chorus of "RoooooW RooooW ROooooW RoooooW RoooooW!" emanating from somewhere near the dust ruffle..... 

Thank you Rascal. Thank you. 

My love to you all, Cindy

Cynthia Raxter
P.O. Box 182

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Thursdays Story - Using Every Scrap

Thursday's Story

vol. 3 no. 4

Using Every Scrap 

When I was little, I spent many hours sitting on my mom's lap at quilting bees - listening to the women talk. I couldn't understand what the women were saying - like adults on Charlie Brown I heard, "Wah nah wa na wheeen ah..." but I know I felt safe and loved. 

They lowered a quilt frame from the dining room ceiling with ropes and a pulley, and worked on the quilt all morning. At noon they lifted it back to the ceiling and set the dining room table with lunch. Beautiful dishes brimming with butter beans, potato salad, fresh chicken, corn muffins.... a table as beautiful as any painting. They ate, cleaned up, and then it was time to gather the younger children and head home. The older children would be coming home soon on the school bus. 

They worked at one aunt's house until her quilt was done. By then, another aunt or neighbor would have a top done and the quilting bee would move to her house. 

This was every Wednesdays until I too got big enough to catch a school bus. 

I think of all the meetings we have today. Could you imagine if we spent that time talking also quilting? Knitting? Making baby hats for preemies? Even walking and getting some exercise? I think we'd have better meetings -- and be happier and healthier humans.

Happy Thursday!

- an original story by Cynthia Raxter. 
Copyright 2012. Permission is required for reuse.