Morgan Morrison at Rock City Cake Company looked at me and asked, “How is it you stay so buff when I see you in here so much?”
I shrugged and said I don’t always buy things. Sometimes, I just come to look.
This is barely true.
I eat salads and get to the gym — a lot.
The holidays, to me, always include baked goods. Growing up, we always had cookies, pies and my aunt’s cream cheese pound cake. She also made holiday fruit cakes, which I only ever ate for the alcohol and the ridiculous teenage idea that I might somehow get at least a little drunk off a slice.
Three. It probably would have taken three.
Every year, I do some holiday baking, but I also always check out the local bakeries.
Charleston has some of the best baked goods you’ll find in all of West Virginia, and I would know. Last summer, there was scarcely a bake shop in the state I didn’t duck my head into.
But with Christmas here in a matter of days, I thought it was a good idea to point out that our area bakeries (like almost everyone else) will be closing early for Christmas.
Starling’s Coffee and Provisions closes Thursday afternoon. Rock City Cake Company will close by noon Friday, followed by Charleston Bread at 3 and Sarah’s Bakery at 4 p.m.
Sarah Plumley, of Sarah’s Bakery, told me, “If we have anything left after 3 p.m., there are going to be some deep discounts starting at 3:30. We’re not sticking around past four.”
It’s been a long, busy holiday season and everyone is looking forward to a few days of rest.
All of Charleston’s bake shops have special holiday goods. Starling’s has had very seasonal items and a special orders menu (that has a noon Tuesday cutoff). Rock City and Sarah’s Bakery have grab-and-go boxes and platters of cookies, along with special themed cupcakes and cakes.
For the past couple of weeks, Rock City has had daily themed goodies based on Christmas movies and shows.
“We’re all Christmas, all the time, at this point,” Morgan said.
At Charleston Bread, Mary Franklin said they haven’t really slowed down. They’ve sold out orders of their popular eggnog layer cake, but fans of the cake can still get it Christmas eve.
“We’re going to sell it by the slice [on] Christmas eve,” she said. “First come, first served until it’s gone.”
I usually just get a scone at Charleston Bread, but that sounded pretty good to me.