I was sad about the pizza place, but I do like these boulangeries that dot the city. There's one in my neighborhood, Cole Valley, as well as one on Hayes and one on Fillmore, and I think a few others as well.
I happened to need some bread so stopped to pick up a quarter loaf of their multigrain levain, which makes excellent toast. The bakery had the happy hum of people at ease on Saturday morning: couples enjoying the newspaper with big bowls of cafe latte, mothers buttering rolls for children, and people like me, spontaneously picking up something delicious to bring back home.
The line was long, and while I waited I admired the lovely pastries and breads. When I got up to the register with my levain, I noticed little jars of brightly-hued homemade preserves. There was mission fig, raspberry, and apricot. On an impulse, I decided to buy the apricot. It looked cheery and rustic in its little jar.
I ate it on toast a few times, enjoying the tangy sweetness. Then, yesterday morning, a rainy Sunday, I decided to use it in this simple crumb cake I'd made once before with raspberry preserves.
The husband and I inhaled two rather large pieces, warm from the oven, without uttering a word.