April 2, 2011 § 1 Comment
There has only been one April Fool’s Day in my life that I’ve “celebrated.” It was my freshman year in college. My friend, Emily, slathered the doorknob of my dorm room with Vaseline, then, as if that wasn’t enough, she took all my furniture and moved it into the hallway. In retaliation, I convinced her twin sister, Kate, to help me steal her mattress and throw it on a roof. Ahh, memories.
I have not had an April 1st like that before or since that year. Now my April Firsts are much more tame: filled with first-time visits to new bakeries. I met a friend at Sun Street Breads in the Kingsfield neighborhood to check out the goods. Though the day was cloudy and overcast, it was sunny and warm inside the bakery (insert live audience’s exaggerated “awww” here). The bakery is the newest project of Solveig Tofte, who was the head baker at Turtle Bread Company. On my quest to taste baked treats from ovens everywhere, I was eager to try what Sun Street had. As you can see in the above photo, I decided to indulge in a ginger cookie with an americano. Mm, giant chunks of candied ginger, crunchy and soft at the same time… The place was adorable and delicious. We sat at a small table and watched the line build with patrons eager to order biscuit sandwiches, loaves of bread, cookies, and pastries. I particularly like the little smiley face emblem they stamp on everything, including the tables.
Now, just because I didn’t celebrate April Fool’s Day doesn’t mean I wasn’t preparing to celebrate a different day. According to my sources, today—April 2nd—is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day.
So, naturally, I’m taking this very seriously. I’m crazy about PB&J’s. I was debating whether or not I ought to do a classic sandwich with Smucker’s strawberry (never raspberry!) and Jiffy (creamy) on standard grocery store bread—or, if I should do it up gourmet style. The gourmand’s PB&J. I guess that’s kind of a no-brainer, huh?
I bought a loaf of Sun Street’s chestnut-fig bread, and started to ponder what kind of peanut butter and what kind of jelly I was going to buy. I remembered last summer when I visited my friend, Ben in Portland, Maine—we had lunch at this great place called Peanut Butter Jelly Time: This place was not foolin’ around. When you ordered your sandwich, you chose your bread, your peanut butter flavor, and your jelly—all of which were offered in a wide variety. If memory serves me correct, Ben and I tried a natural-organic crunchy peanut butter with blackberry jam on whole wheat bread. That hit the spot. Yum.
As for me and my chestnut-fig bread, the bar was already set pretty high. I mean, come on—spreading Skippy on this bread just wouldn’t feel right. I ended up buying a ritzy natural crunchy PB—the kind you have to stir really well to mix in the oils that sit on the surface. I love the extra crunch of the peanuts, too. To accompany the PB, I bought an organic blackberry pomegranate jelly. I toasted a slice of the bread this morning and did an open-face sandwich with the PB and J. With a cup of Tanzanian Peaberry coffee, I was in heaven.
It’s the little things, right? Trying good bread at a new bakery, picking out yummy spreads at the grocery store, and enjoying a morning filled with meowing cats, toast, and gourmet kid-food.