Everyone has a weakness.

A while ago, when I was being interviewed by a church, they asked me, “What can’t you live without? What’s your weakness?”

While that’s an interesting question to the right person, I am positive I gave some really generic answer. Something like, my dog, or Jesus, or coffee. All things I can’t live without for the most part. But, today, after coming home from a day in the office, typing, making phone calls, and so on, I put on my sweats, and made myself a snack to get back to work as trick-or-treaters roam the streets outside. I made some of my wife’s favorite tea (and mine), and warmed up a slice of the thing I think is my true weakness. Coffee cake.

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Let me be clear. What I am eating today is not technically a coffee cake, it’s actually a very large pecan danish that is the size of a coffee cake. So, it’s really just a danish. To be a coffee cake, you’ve got to have a crumble on top. You know the one I’m talking about. A danish doesn’t have those. Sometimes they cross over, which is fine. But either way, they are both delicious and always satisfying.

Coffee cake and danish. Those are my weaknesses.

They are my weaknesses because when I warm up a piece (or just eat it cold), I remember the coffee cakes my dad used to bring to our Sunday morning breakfasts at church. I love them because when I eat them, I remember bring a kid, down in the whitewashed fellowship hall of our small presbyterian church in the south, with bright dresses and frilly socks, and hats (oh the hats I wore!), getting plates of coffee cake and bowls of grits and sitting next to my dad as he talked to the other men helping with breakfast. He would drink coffee and I would get a watered-down juice that came from a frozen can that I am still nostalgic for. Or, when my grandmother had her Presbyterian Women meetings, she always brought coffee cake. I loved sitting with those old church ladies as they doted over me and ate coffee cake. I got all the coffee cake I wanted with those ladies.

Now, my grandfather, that man loved a danish. Like my dad, he didn’t eat them often, but on special occasions. Cheese or fruit or nut and cinnamon filling, they were delicious. They were always eaten with coffee. I loved my grandparents, and I loved going to visit them in Arkansas. I loved the smell of my grandfather’s coffee and the smell of tobacco and root beer barrels after he came in from sitting outside with my dad and uncles. When I went to visit them, we had danish. And sometimes coffee cake.

Both of those foods meant that I was around people and spaces I loved. Whether it was in church or at my grandparents house, those foods meant that good things were happening.

My weakness is coffeecake. And danish. And church. And people. And my grandparent’s home. And the smell of coffee and tobacco and root beer barrels.

Now, excuse me while I got eat more danish coffeecake.

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