Dana Slatkin

Spelt Peach Almond Muffins

Spelt Peach Almond Muffins

Spelt Peach Almond Muffins

In the leafy neighborhood of Los Angeles where I spent my childhood, tucked neatly behind white picket fences and 2-car garages, life seemed pretty idyllic.

I’ll never forget the day I came home from school to a dilapidated Helms Bakery truck parked in the driveway. My father, a divorce attorney, had become increasingly disillusioned with his career, which ironically was flourishing as many marriages turned miserable. So he decided to rescue a rusty heap from a junk yard and embark on a new project. He wanted to restore the delivery truck to its former mid-century glory, when its daily “toot, toot!” meant warm bread was waiting at your door.

Every weekend, my father would disappear under the wheels of the truck, emerging hours later with a big smile, like a child who just discovered the hidden cookie jar. I liked to sit in the garage and watch him scrub the white-wall tires, shine the upholstery, and polish the wooden bakery drawers. One day, my dad dug out a vial of the just-baked bread aroma that used to be piped into the air to lure customers. I had never seen him so happy.

Helms Bakery Trucks

Finally, the Helms truck gleamed like new and was ready to hit the streets again. Early one Sunday morning, my dad and I drove it to a nearby deli and stocked up on warm muffins and bagels. Then we cruised around our neighborhood, honking and giggling, until we had given away every last leavened treat.

Years later, after my father passed away, I learned that the Helms Bakery truck was on display at the Museum of Natural History. I brought my children to see their grandfather’s name on the plaque. And I told them about the relic he had lovingly restored, and how we had brought fresh-baked joy to the doorsteps of our neighbors that Sunday morning.

Photo credits: blogs.babble.com

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  1. Audrey Lynn says:

    you create such vivid and personal pictures through your writing. I await new posts every week, wondering what adventure you will take me through next.

  2. harkin says:

    Dana – I’ve been trying for YEARS to find the recipe of the Helms Bakery’s applespice donuts.

    They were grayish-white and had a firm shell like their chocolate (dipped) donuts.

    Any help is appreciated.

    LOVE the site – H

  3. Dana Slatkin says:

    Hi, Thanks for checking in. Sure wish I could help you with the recipe. I remember those donuts well. My father restored a Helms Bakery Truck which is at the Natural History Museum now. We used to drive around in it and give out donuts and bagels! Good luck and best wishes, D

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