Another year had passed since Tom had a birthday. It didn’t seem long ago when Tom was celebrating his last birthday with over 100 friends and family members who came to Boquete from all over the world to attend his 3-day party in 2009.

But, it was September 10 again and the tale begins.

This year, my husband David wanted to make something personal for the occasion, something more than giving Tom the usual bottle of wine. When we thought we were invited to a “small” dinner party at the Bot Castle to celebrate the event, David knew exactly what he wanted to make for Tom.

After taking the Boquete Gourmet “Artisan Bread-making” class a couple weeks ago with Mort Rabkin, David decided to make Tom a loaf of bread for his birthday and to take it to the dinner party.

So, he gathered the ingredients together on our new granite pastry board and went to work blending and kneading just the right combinations to make two very fine, rustic loaves of artisan bread.

As the tale continues, Tom was actually having another big birthday party, not a “small gathering”, as we had expected.

When we appeared on the castle steps, much to our surprise we found at least 50 party-goers already making merriment inside! There we were with only one gorgeous, golden brown, small, round loaf of hand-made rustic bread. We could have brought both loaves, wouldn’t you think?

Well, the happy ending of this tale is simple. We sliced the loaf into thin slices, split each slice into two pieces and everyone at the party got treated to a warm, delicate slice of Tom’s artisan, “hand-made with love”, bread.

Since pictures say a thousand words, here is the result of one full days work, including the happy moment when David presented his artisan “masterpiece” to Tom.

At the end of the buffet service that Caroline had so beautifully prepared and arranged, you can see Irma buttering a slice of David’s gift. I wish you could have tasted this crusty, tender work of art, and maybe you did.
Mort would have been proud of his student!

And, they all lived happily ever after!