Taking time to taste the Czech gingerbread

Fall flowers and autumn gourds for sale, Hradec Králové.

Fall flowers and autumn gourds for sale, Hradec Králové.

So, confession time: while my move to Poland went pretty smooth, my new job is not quite working out the way I envisioned.

My boss has been fumbling with my schedule, with work-permit related paperwork, and even with addresses of the businesses I’m supposed to teach English at. What’s a writer to do?

Well, go back to familiar ground and drink wine with a friend— and in this case, that means Hradec Králové in the Czech Republic and drinking wine at Knihomol.

Maybe my boss’s fumbling wore off on me: I managed to get my departure times mixed up (hey, 1300 looks a lot like 1330!) and got to the bus station in Wrocław late. When I did manage to leave Poland make it back it to the Czech Republic, I discovered that the hostel owner didn’t speak any English— but he did manage to sort out my broken Polish (though there may have been hand gestures involved.)

The next morning was a lovely fall day, giving me time to wander through the town I used to live in. But it surprised me how quickly the streets seemed unfamiliar. Trying to get back to Bazalka to pick up gluten-free pizza, I got seriously turned around. (I had also forgotten their hours, too.)

The Orlice river in Hradec Králové.

The Orlice river in Hradec Králové.

One thing I had forgotten that I was pleasantly reminded of: the lovely gingerbread cookies at Bazalka. Gingerbread is a specialty in this area of the Czech Republic, and I love their bakery: simple gingerbread, sweet and a touch spicy, creamy icing.

Gingerbread from Bazalka.

Gingerbread from Bazalka.

And an evening of wine and giggling was just what I needed to go back to Poland with renewed energy to deal with my boss, and figure out the words for spices and baking soda in Polish. (I want to try my hand at baking gingerbread!) Besides, it did teach me a small lesson: to look for the small, sweet moments, even when the day is threatening to be Weird with a capital W.

Does anyone have gluten-free gingerbread recipe suggestions?

Gingerbread with coffee.

Gingerbread with coffee.

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