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Eight Years Ago This Very Minute…

…the man I would someday marry sat next to me at Tavern on Jane. I was expecting him—we’d met online, and I’d learned from years of trying that it was wise to get the first in-person meeting out of the way quickly, the better to find out sooner that we really weren’t suited to each other. Yank off that heartbreak Band-Aid right away, you know?

True confession: It wasn’t love at first sight. This man sitting next to me at the bar, Stephen (not Steve), seemed like a perfectly nice fellow. We talked for a few hours, eventually ordering dinner, and by the end of the night he’d asked me out on a second date—or a first real date—a screening of an old movie he particularly admired. I already had plans for that day so I declined, and only realized in the cab on the way home that it may have sounded like I brushed him off. But he’d given me the most amazing mixed CD, from a series he’d made called “Sweet Soul Music,” and when I listened to it I had to write and thank him. Things rolled along beautifully from there, with the help of a blizzard the following weekend that trapped us in my apartment for two straight days. We emerged into a blindingly white world, dizzy with the first hints of love.

And now here we are, eight years later, married for almost seven, with a four-year-old who we alternately love so much it hurts or dislike so much we want to hurt him. So this morning I baked them quickie homemade Pop-Tarts.
Heart-shaped ones, since these two men have my heart for the rest of my life.

True confession: I’m pretty sure I began to fall in love with Stephen before we ever met face-to-face, when he described his vacuum cleaner as having “the build and muscle of Audrey Hepburn.” He is the most effortless, graceful metaphor-crafter I’ve ever met.

Quickie Pop-Tarts
Makes 8
Weight Watchers: These are 4 PointsPlus each

1 prepared piecrust (I use Pillsbury’s refrigerated kind, or Trader Joe’s frozen)
3 tablespoons jam of your choice (I used strawberry and raspberry) or Nutella
2 teaspoons milk
decorating sugar, if you like

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Roll out the piecrust just a bit—you don’t want it to be so thin it’ll break, but you do want to enlarge it a little. Use a pizza cutter, sharp knife, or cookie cutter to cut the dough into 16 pieces, and transfer 8 of them to the baking sheet.
  3. Put about a teaspoon of your choice of filling into the center of each, lightly brush milk around the edges of the dough,* and top them with the remaining pieces of dough. Crimp with a fork and brush the tops with milk. Sprinkle with decorating sugar, if you’re using it.
  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 5 minutes before eating—the insides get molten.

* I’ve added this bit because Toni, a Facebook fan of WTEB, noticed in the original post that I neglected to seal my own, which is why this happened:

MAKE BABY FOOD: These are safe for babies who are on finger foods. Use an all-fruit preserve to avoid the excess sugar in regular jams.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. trina

    A sweet story and a sweet recipe. Thanks for sharing both!

  2. Casey@Good. Food. Stories.

    Ah, Tavern on Jane – what a wonderfully old-time New York setting for your (unofficial) first date. Congrats on the anniversary and everything that came after that night…

  3. Paula/adhocmom

    That's so nice! I met my husband online too. We recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of our first date (we went to Tartine). Love the idea of homemade poptarts too.

  4. sarah henry

    Sweet. A man who can use metaphors. Handy for a scribe like you.

  5. Ilana

    Hi Debbie! My Tucson friends hooked me up with your blog more than a year ago and I am a fan. Love the fried rice. But, I really wanted to tell you that these pop tarts were a hit! I made sesame butter and jelly with purple sugar on top. They leaked a bit, but it was worth it for the undying love of my 4.5 year old son who has asked for them every day since V-day. The even reheated well in the toaster.

  6. debbie koenig

    Thanks for the good thoughts, everyone! And Ilana, I'm glad they were a hit with your son!

  7. Coreopsis

    Very sweet story–and the tarts look fabulous. (I didn't meet my man online, though I met him through someone I did meet online, so without the internet we probably would never have met).

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