Flickr photo of coffeecake

I’d like to tell you about a recent discovery. Hyvee bakery on Minnesota Avenue makes a glorious Apricot Coffeecake! It is an apricot filled rectangle of buttery, crumbly, gooey, yumminess! I happened upon this delicious revelation one afternoon at a sampling stand in the bakery area. This past weekend I was rambling about in the bakery section not finding my preferred indulgence, when a delightful baker named Bill informed me, that he had several freshly baked but unwrapped delicacies hiding in the back. I requested two; one for me and one-- for-- me. (Oh all right, maybe I’ll take it to work. Maybe!)

I have been a fan of apricot- - -anything since I was a child. My Grandmother in Missoula, Montana had an apricot tree and a sour cherry tree in her back yard, which we, as children, thought was amazing. We knew apples, oranges, and pears grew on trees, but what were these delightful apricots all about? They were like tiny peaches; kind of furry with a pit and sweet and sour all in one bite. And they grew in Grammie’s backyard! Her neighbor, Mrs. Hertz would turn them into the best apricot-pineapple jam in the world! Her secret was adding maraschino cherries. Oh how I miss that sticky, sweet nirvana!

There is something inherently “homey” about the word coffeecake. Just hearing it, for me, conjures up visions of cozy kitchens and steaming cups of java. Sunny living rooms with cushy couches, shoeless conversations, the laughter of friends; and warmth, not only of the coffee and the cake, but also of favorite people swim into focus.

I also envision church basements, knitting circles, card clubs, “Bunco babes” and family reunions chock-full of treats and - - -coffeecake. People and coffeecake go together like: Christmas and carols, quantum physics and Stephen Hawking, squirrels and trees, flowers and bees, locks and keys. . .Where was I?

Oh yes- - coffeecake. Cinnamony sometimes, fruity at others; loaded with nuts or without, crunchy, crispy, crumbly, heavy as lead or light as a feather; warm from the oven or right out of the grocery store package with a cup of your favorite steaming brew. For breakfast, lunch, dinner and in-between; coffeecake harkens back to simpler times.

And boy could we use simpler times about now. Go ahead have some apricot coffeecake and tell Jim; “Patty sent me!”