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Blooming All Over
By Judith Arnold
Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneBloom's Bulletin
Written and edited by
A fellow addicted to knishes Found at Bloom's all his favorite dishes. He bought bagels, a blintz And some stuffed cabbage, since Bloom's cuisine fulfills all his wishes!
Welcome to the May 14 edition of the Bloom's Bulletin, which is jam-packed with tasty tidbits, recipes and - of course! - news about sales and specials throughout the store. Bloom's has become the most famous kosher-style food emporium not just on Manhattan's Upper West Side but all over the world by fulfilling our customers' wishes.
All over the world? Believe it. Jay Bloom is the director of Bloom's Internet and Mail-Order Services, which distributes Bloom's Seder-in-a-Box, a package containing matzo, gefilte fish, horseradish, charoset, chicken soup with matzo balls, salt and Haggadahs - just add eggs, wine and an entree for a complete seder. According to Jay, by mid-April, the store had filled Seder-in-a-Box orders from thirty-seven states and fifteen foreign countries, among them Finland, Japan, South Africa, New Zealand, Bolivia and ... are you ready? ... the research station at the South Pole! Yes, Bloom's has extended its reach into Antarctica. When an order arrived from the McMurdo Stationon Ross Island, Bloom's was able to get four Seder-in-a-Boxes prepared and ready for delivery by the New York Air National Guard, which serves the U.S. Antarctic Program. The seders arrived in time for the holiday, along with two complimentary bottles of Passover wine, Bloom's gift to the intrepid researchers who live and work at the South Pole. Good yontif!
French cheeses are specially priced all this week at Bloom's. Camembert, Port Salut, Brie, Roquefort - come on in, buy some cheese and keep the change!
Did you know ...
The word schmaltz, which is used to describe music or a story that's overly sentimental, is derived from the Yiddish word schmaltz, which means congealed fat. In Ida Bloom's day, chicken schmaltz spread on a slice of dark pumpernickel was considered a gourmet treat. These days, the mere thought of it is enough to give most people heartburn. If you're in the mood for schmaltz, listening to Rachmaninoff is a whole lot healthier.
Who's that tall-blond-and-handsome fellow standing behind the bagel counter? None other than Casey Gordon, co-manager of the bagel department. Casey studied at the Culinary Institute of America before transferring to St. John's University, where he earned a degree in English. Ask nicely, and he might just recite a little Shakespeare while he counts a dozen sesame-seed bagels into a bag for you.
Since joining the Bloom's staff three years ago, Casey has put his culinary-school experience to work by designing an assortment of new flavors of bagels. Thanks to him, Bloom's sells pesto bagels, cranberry bagels, apple-cinnamon bagels and sour-yogurt bagels, along with the standard plain, egg, garlic and poppy-seed varieties. "Some flavors rotate in and out," Casey says. "Some are interesting experiments that just don't click. Others become very popular, so we make them a permanent addition to our inventory." Among those that didn't "click" he mentioned curry bagels and banana-cream bagels. His most recent surprise hit? Dill pickle bagels, which customers seem to love.
When he's not dreaming up sensational new bagel flavors, Casey says he likes to play basketball, analyze movies and spend time with his girlfriend. What's her favorite kind of bagel? "Egg," Casey reports. "But she's adventurous. She'll try anything."
Wise Words from Bloom's founder, Ida Bloom: "There's a reason for everything, but some reasons are stupid."
On sale this week: pita crisps, all varieties of blintzes, smoked sable and more. Turn the page for details!
Susie could have been using this time to contemplate the course of her life. Instead, she was driving a truck - which was a lot more fun.
It wasn't so much a truck as a van on steroids. The rear seats had been removed, leaving a vast cargo space in the back. The front seat was elevated, the windshield broad and the steering wheel as big as a bicycle tire. She and her sister had rented the van from a downtown outfit called Truck-a-Buck, which specialized in cheap rates and vehicles that looked as if they kissed bumpers with slutty abandon. Among the van's special features were an ashtray crammed with chewing-gum wrappers, a crack in the passenger's-side mirror, mysterious streaks of dark red paint - or maybe it was blood - staining the driver's-side door and an aroma of gasoline with notes of Lysol and barbecue sauce permeating the interior.
Susie loved the idea that she, a member of the Bloom family, a poet, a Bennington College alumna, the Bloom's newsletter writer/editor - a position that came with the fancy title "creative director" - and a sometime pizzeria waitress, was driving a truck. It felt right.
It felt more right than mentally rehashing the conversation she'd had last night with Casey, when he'd asked her to move in with him.
Casey was wonderful, she adored him, he was without a doubt the sweetest, hottest, smartest guy she'd ever hooked up with. But merely thinking about living with him gave her the willies. So she decided not to think about it. She thought, instead, about inching her way through the ooze of traffic on the Cross-Bronx Expressway, wishing she were actually driving across the North American continent behind the wheel of an eighteen-wheeler packed with freight of incalculable value - gold ingots or high-tech machines or cartons of Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate.
It would be a lot easier to imagine if Grandma Ida weren't riding shotgun beside her.
Excerpted from Blooming All Over by Judith Arnold Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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