Biking, Beignets & Robin Hood

Saturday, Saint Louis continued to suffer under its heat advisory. As of three o’clock, the temperature was 98 °F, but the good news was that it still only felt like 98 °F, the humidity just couldn’t match pace with the mercury. Anne and I tried to avoid the heat, the best that we could, by getting up and out of the house early. We were on the road by 7 AM. We biked to the Park, but it was already a real madhouse, between weekend warriors and the usual charity walk, it was too much to bear. So we bailed from the Park and continued east to Café Ventana, which is located across Vandeventer Ave. from the west entrance to Saint Louis University. I must have bicycled past this café a hundred times before, but have never been in it. This was my loss, a loss that I plan to redress in the future.

While passing Café Ventana, I have always admired its unique and decorative bicycling pace line themed bicycle racks. This day I hitched our horses to it. The place was almost empty. The only other patron was a guy in a U of M t-shirt. I told him that I bet that he wished that he was still in Michigan. He could only grimace his concurrence. Café Ventana offers a free beignet to any cyclist that rides up on their bike. We ordered coffee and of course our beignets. Beignet is French for fried dough. In the US, it is a pastry made from deep-fried dough, much like a doughnut, and sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. This is the way that Café Ventana served them, with the sole clarification that they were smothered in powdered sugar. Anne suggested that I take the picture of the hot sauce bottles. She even posed the bottles. So, I guess that we know who the evil sister is, don’t we Jane? Afterwards, we rode home, for our usual 15 miles. One final cautionary note for my fellow cyclists, do not pretend to snort the leftover sugar with your companion’s iced coffee straw, the muse was not amused.

We got home and I was just getting out of the shower, when Sherwood Forest, the nursery that we had contracted with last month, arrived with our new tree. They came with a big truck and a three-man crew, and our new Red Maple. While their big truck was parked in front of our house, the recycling truck came by, but it could not squeeze past, so a comedy soon ensued. The recycling man couldn’t back his truck very far up the street and was forced to hoof those big rolling bins down and back up the street. This went on long enough that some of the neighbors started to join in, just to help out. Being the root cause of this dilemma, I pitched in too. This went on until the tree was finally planted. We spent the rest of the day hunkered down, Anne quilting and me blogging.

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