6

International Pretzel Day

Today was International Pretzel Day. I found out when I went to an event that had a reception. I had heard there would be snacks. Snacks, in my mind, refer to a variety of yummy appetizers. The snacks tonight were pretzels. They were larger than my hand, soft, with sprinkled salt. The salt looked like small pieces of hail. There were three bowls of mustard–honey mustard, yellow mustard, and spicy brown mustard. The first pretzel was warm. I love fresh baked pretzels. I put dabs of spicy brown mustard on it. The pretzels looked very pretty hanging from the pretzel rack. They looked like they were doing gymnastics. They specialized in the twist. I’m sure they would have won a gold medal or two. Speaking of two, I had a couple more. They were cool. And salty. Incidentally, my favorite kind of pretzel is the Pennsylvania Dutch Pretzel. Crunchy and delicious. Tonight I ate three soft pretzels in honor of International Pretzel Day (and also because I was hungry).

Happy International Pretzel Day!!

6

A Crumby Tale

Just one week ago, I was walking through my favorite city.  I walked for three hours, not knowing where I was going, but having fun visiting streets and neighborhoods I hadn’t been to in awhile.

I landed exactly where I needed to be: the doorstep of a famous Italian bakery.

The display case enticed me with traditional American cookies, traditional Italian cookies, cupcakes, Napoleans, cannoli, cheesecake, princess cake, and an Italian sponge cake with some kind of cream filling. After much serious contemplation, I chose a cannoli, which tasted as good as those I was raised on and much better than the one I got on sale from my local supermarket.
All too soon it was gone. I hated to leave without trying a pignolia amaretti. It was like eating pure marzipan. I delighted in every bite. Until .. a piece fell to the sidewalk.
I gasped. My precious sweet! I looked at it, tempted to pick it up, but the germ-phobe in me said no. How downright crummy to think of missing out on one more tasty morsel. I nearly lost my cool right then and there.
Then I shrugged.
That’s the way the cookie crumbles.
9

My Epiphany

I have always wanted to have an epiphany because it sounds so significant, but I wasn’t sure if I would have one, since it also sounds unattainable, like a mirage.

I am here to tell you I had my first epiphany.

I was in the vicinity of a very special caramel shop and since it was that kind of day, I went in. Before I go further into my story, I must let you know that I have never considered myself to be a caramel person. I grew up on ultra sweet caramels, which has made me eschew  chewing caramels in the years since. However, I had read about this particular caramel shop and wanted to try it.

I planned to have only one.

A plate of samples offered large chunks of caramel with cashews, almonds, and pecans with smoked sea salt and dark chocolate. I took one large chunk and put it on the silver-colored tray the caramel creator gave me with my chosen caramel (white chocolate exterior, dark chocolate, orange essence, coconut, cacao nibs) that seemed like the perfect blend of my some of my favorite flavors.

I sat at a large wooden table. I ate the sample slowly and carefully. It was the perfect balance of salty and sweet. Next I ate the white chocolate one. Tasty, but I couldn’t detect the orange, and the white chocolate overpowered the dark chocolate and cacao nibs. I wanted that great dark chocolate taste.

I had no choice but to get the caramel with dark chocolate exterior and little bit of smoked sea salt. Very caramelly, but not enough smoked sea salt.

So I had to get another. It reminded me of the nutty one. I liked the mix of salt with graham cracker base, marshmallows, dark chocolate, toasted pecans, and coconut.

I was glad to be able to sit and eat because can you imagine what would have happened if I had gotten just one and left, only to arrive home realizing I need more caramels in my life?

Yes, that was my great revelation: I am a caramel person and I need more caramels in my life.