January is the slowest month of the year in the bakery business. I took advantage of some extra time and unpacked a few more boxes that were left "untouched" in the move. Of course as I unpacked a box of books, I leafed through some to determine it’s placement on my book shelf.One book was a compilation of bakery recipes that had appeared in previous issues of a weekly baking magazine published in New York and Chicago. The book was published in 1945. In reading some of the accompanying articles, I was amazed with some of the arcane language but even more amazed at the similarity to our business today.In the forward it spoke to the following recipes. "These varieties of cake, pastry and cookies are primarily merchandising items to instill among your customers both “bakery consciousness" and "buying consciousness". Numerous other food processors in many lines are clamoring to sell the housewife foods for her table, and the varieties of selection are plenteous that the retail baker has a bigger sales problem today than ever before”. Fast forward to 2017, 72 years later. Boy if they ever knew how right they were back then.There were 52 recipes in the book arranged weekly by season. I got a kick out of February’s selections. In that time, "National Cherry Week" had become an annual institution for the week ending with Washington’s birthday. REALLY? National Cherry Week in February?? Strawberries are celebrated in June, Blueberries in July, Peaches in August. Last I looked, cherries are harvested in late summer and early fall. Why then February? Probably anyone my age knows the answer. When we were in grade school we celebrated both Lincoln's birthday and Washington's birthday. There was no president’s day or president’s week. In fact, Lincoln's birthday was only celebrated in some states, of which New York was one. We all learned the mythical story of George Washington chopping down the family cherry tree. Upon his father’s questioning, his reply "I cannot tell a lie, I chopped down the cherry tree" became legend.The recipe book says "little did our first president realize what the outcome of his boyhood act would be on future generations." How cute. As a boy I remember the National Cherry Association would distribute little hatchets that we would place on all cherry items in February. I thought it would be fun to bring back some of those “hits” from long ago national cherry month and add a Reinwald twist.
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