Keepin’ My Flavor Fresh

Much as I loathe to admit it, I am a man of simple rituals.

Seven o’clock most mornings find me stirring to the sound of my Blackberry’s daily alarm. Though its report is a low, soothing, Zen-like chime, it never fails to annoy me that it’s clear across the apartment and thus impossible to snooze or ignore.

So I get out of bed, step over the ball of jeans and t-shirts inevitable balled at my feet, walk across the apartment, and turn it off. Then, invariably, I sort through my overnight emails while trying to blink moisture into my dehydrated contact lenses.

Then I climb back into bed.

Following the inevitable 6-19 minutes of spooning with my wife while rolling over a fresh day’s worth of (usually work related) worry in my head, my hankering for coffee motivates me to climb out of bed for good and stumble into the kitchen.

My coffee ritual is simple: dump yesterday’s grinds, rinse the pot, rinse the basket, open the bag of Starbucks ground Frech roast, plunge my nose into it and — aaaaaaaaaah! — inhale.

It’s like crack.

But I’m not here to write about coffee.

I wanna’ talk toast.


I love toast.

I start with two slices of Pepperidge Farm Golden Harvest Grains. I drop them into our Cuisinart Classic Style Electronic Chrome Toaster for approximately two minutes (six on the little 1-10 dial).

Once the bread is sufficiently toasted (dark — not golden, and not black — so that the texture can support the forthcoming ingredients), I place the slices on a plate (to pre-empt the “You need to wipe up the counter” lecture), and liberally apply butter.

Mmmmmm, butter.


Next I apply a liberal dose (probably a teaspoon) of Smucker’s Reduced Fat Natural Style Creamy Peanut Butter. (It’s the kind that comes with the oils and peanuts seperated, the blending of which is a whole nother story for a whole nother time.)

I apply a liberal dose (probably a teaspoon) of Hero Strawberry Preserves.

Next I prepare Abbi’s coffee (cream, one and a half sugars) and deliver it to her bedside.

Then I repair to the livingroom with my toast and coffee (cream, half sugar), turn on NY1 News, and begin crunching (careful with my crumbs in an effort to pre-empt the “You need to sweep up the floor” lecture), thereby beginning another great day.

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