We got an email this morning from the chap in the townhouse next door to where we stayed on Key Largo last winter. He advised the new owner of the townhouse we occupied is gutting the place and that the tricycle I left behind was set outside. I bought the tricyle within hours of our arrival on Key Largo last year. It cost about US$800. I felt I would be safer on a tricycle than a bicycle because I had fallen off my bicycle earlier in the summer while stopped at a pedestrian walk. I just lost my balance. As a result I was feeling generally precarious. When we returned home in May I bought another tricycle here; and I’ve been using it almost every day since. Nevertheless when we go to Hiton Head Island this winter I plan to rent a bicycle instead. Everyone who cycles on Hilton Head Island knows that, if you intend (as I do) to cycle on the beach, the sand will ruin the gears eventually. So I rent. And I’m not so worried about my balance on the beach because I haven’t the need to watch where I’m going or worry about stopping at traffic lights and things like that. At Coligny Park, getting from the beach to the Park is accomplished best by walking the bike to avoid intersecting the crowds. Otherwise the bike paths are flat and broad so again there are few if any obstructions.
Anyway, the guy on Key Largo wanted to know if I were interested to sell him my tricycle left behind. I’ve told him I’ll take whatever he wishes to offer with gratitude. I mean, really, he could just as well have appropriated the thing for himself without even telling me about it being set outside the townhouse. The chance of me returning to Key Largo this winter to collect the thing is remote. Not certain whether he knows we plan going to Hilton Head Island instead. So we’ll see what develops. The chap and his wife are from Boston but they winter on Key Largo. He’s Commissioner of some athletic organization which of course means nothing to me. My interest in Boton is confined to the Parker House Hotel famous for its Parker House rolls. What is unique too about the place is the entrance. The unpretentious wooden door is directly on a side street. It is small but very deceptive. Once you enter the hotel, the space instantly expands to enormous proportions.
A Parker House roll is a bread roll made by flattening the center of a ball of dough with a rolling pin so that it becomes an oval shape, and then folding the oval in half. They are made with milk and are generally quite buttery, soft, and slightly sweet with a crispy shell. They were invented at the Parker House Hotel in Boston, during the 1870s. The story of their creation has several variations, but they all involve an angry pastry cook throwing unfinished rolls into the oven, which results in their dented appearance. The recipe for Parker House rolls first started appearing in cookbooks in the 1880s. Fannie Farmer gives a recipe for them in her 1896 The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book.
Meanwhile I satisfy myself to sit at my desk overlooking the meadow and the river. I ponder with pleasure the now whitened columns between the erstwhile corn stalks; the blanched roof of the dilapidated shed in the field; and the meticulous tree branches now appearing like crystals against the bluish-grey sky, their shapes perfectly rounded like ornaments.