Pondering Sweet Treats & Diabetic Delights…

Easter and an upcoming birthday inspire a sweet ponderable as TC recalls bakery delights of his youth and preps for challenges ahead… Read on! – the editor

Where did you satisfy your sweet tooth?

While I have siblings, and a father who adored ice cream, I had an affection for the glories of a local bakery. It was almost to a point, that when I traveled to a high school class reunion in Madison, NJ an obligatory stop had to be at Woodland Bakery in Chatham Township.

Back when we were growing up, my mother had a routine when she did her grocery shopping. About a mile from the house was two shopping centers. My mother’s adoration to Shop-Rite started there. Compared to today’s standards, it was a peculiarly laid-out store (in an era before in-store bakeries). She would hit Shop-Rite for the main shopping, stop at Cumberland Farms around the corner just for milk [editor’s note: often each sibling would carry a gallon of milk—and there were six of us. Yes, we had a dedicated milk fridge in the garage.], before going to the “Chatham Mall” shopping center, with its tiny A&P (she referred to as the “stampede store” as in —stampede to get sale items and —stampede to get out), the Hassler’s Pharmacy (to procure the TV Guide as it was 6 cents cheaper than A&P), and if still open, a side stop at Woodland Bakery, a few doors down.

The bakery was a Jewish style bakery in an area lacking a synagogue. Choices had some of the classics often featured on Seinfeld. Our big three were as follows:

  • Crumb Buns which probably should be listed as CRUMB! bun because they were pretty much all crumb with little if any bun. Sugar bliss!!
  • Black and White cookies —Their version holds fond memories. That being said, I haven’t matched them in taste with others, even from The Cheesecake Factory/Grand Luxe Café.
  • “Chinese” Cookies —not a fortune cookie, but a vanilla/chocolate sugar shortbread cookie that’s very hard to find.

There were other treats there, but nothing topped the big three. In fact, my blood sugar is elevated just thinking of them…

I also had an affection to when the bakeries would open for season at our seaside home, Stone Harbor, New Jersey. Mind you, I don’t think anything was actually baked there, with goods imported from nearby Wildwood.

When Seacrest Bakery opened weekends at Easter, we were treated to excellent glazed and jelly donuts, and actual Easter Egg shaped cakes. Also, a shore specialty was sticky buns — messy to eat and the lines were never worth it. Not. A. Fan.

Easter Reminiscing…

So as I write this on Easter Sunday, I note how wherever I traveled or lived (like my new adopted hometowns of Atlantic City, NJ and Las Vegas, NV), I found myself searching for the joys of my youth, even though now as a middle-aged adult with Type 2 diabetes, I absolutely must exercise self-control and stay away from these delectables (the aforementioned elevated my blood sugar).

In Pursuit of Sweet Things…

When I go back to Jersey, I can never find fault with cakes at one of many diners throughout the state. You may have seen enclosed in glass, cakes that seem 3x the size if made at home.

[editor’s note: Any Wayne Thiebaud fans out there?]

Now comes Vegas. While the quality of the water here tends to make NOT the best bread products, my joy comes from these two locations: The Blueberry Hill Family Restaurants (that the Flamingo/Decatur location has the most insane Orange Layer Cake), and The Bagel Café on Buffalo and Summerlin Pkwy (not only has great breakfast, New York-style bagels, but the best Black/White cookies, and THE Chinese cookies that are so hard to find).

That’s a Wrap!

So as I leave Easter Sunday behind, and I approach my birthday in May, I look forward to my cheat day. I will search for a sweet treat for my birthday with the bonus challenge of making sure that my selection can be stretched out for a few meals (so I wont skyrocket my glucose readings), yet still satisfy my sweet tooth.

Tough year and all, making it to my special day in May deserves a celebration.

Ponder this (if your dare)… What is your go-to sweet? Also, where can you get it?
Please to share.

Hungry now. Pencils down. Happy Spring!

Thanks for reading (and pondering with me)! -TC

Bonus Video…
Sugar? Yes, Please!

…Need a little sweetness in my life!


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