Hank: Mom, what is cloth made out of?
Me: Cloth is made out of a lot of things. Most commonly cotton.
Hank: And cotton is algodão?
Hank: Is cotton a tree?
Me: No, it is a bush.
Hank: Oh good, so it is fast growing. Like more faster than a tree?
Me: Yes, why do you ask?
Hank: Because I was just thinking if cafés switched to cloth napkins like we did in our house then our world would kill less trees to make paper napkins and the paper they use under the cakes. Cor de Tangerina (the best restaurant in Guimarães) uses cloth napkins and towels in the bathrooms.
Me: That is a very good suggestion. Cor de Tangerina uses a linen service. A linen service company that comes and picks up all the used linens and launders them, irons them and returns them.
Hank: So cafés could just start using the linen service! We wouldn’t have to start a whole new business just for washing napkins! Cool.
Me: There is one flaw in your idea. I spent a lot of time working in cafes and from my experience people tend to not respect cafés as much as restaurants. I can guarantee that very soon after cafés switch over to cloth napkins people will start stealing them and that can get very expensive for the café to have to replace which would cause cafés to raise the price of their cakes to off set the loss from theft.
Hank: (thinking, pastry plastered on his left cheek) Then we will have to sew a warning on to each napkin like they have warnings on cigarettes.
Me: (smiling at his solution) What would it say?
Hank: Please don’t steal this napkin. Be a good human. We are reducing waste. Save the trees.
Me: A possible solution.
Hank: When we open our quiche quiosque (kiosk) when I am old enough to help you a lot and not a little because of school we will have those napkins.
Me: We are opening a quiche quiosque (kiosk)? You and I?
Hank: Well, maybe just me, if you are not well, but only if I can use your recipes until I think up some of my own. We will open it in a park so Molly can play while we work and papa can come for lunch every day. We will have soup and quiche and a special item every day like barbecue chicken sliders with pink slaw.
Me: That is one of my best meals.
Hank: And we will have a few tables, but those will always be full so people can sit on the park benches.
Hank: I know. I remember. You told me and I have kept that idea in my brain.
Me: You have been thinking a lot about this, Chef Hank.
Hank: It is a dream now. I may have another dream someday but for now this is my dream and I like it.