Nelly walked briskly down the street, wondering where to go for breakfast. It was a cold blustery November morning and a cup of strong hot coffee would be perfect about now. She turned down 19th Avenue heading toward work. She’d been down this street a million times.
Suddenly, the smell of coffee and freshly baked bread wafted along the wind. She stopped and inhaled the heavenly scent and looked around. There at the end of a small brownstone building was a new sign hanging under a red and gold striped awning. Nelly quickly walked to the door.
“Celestial Visions” was printed in fancy script upon the sign. She opened the door and was drawn into the sweetly scented bakery. It was a small room with the counter and one table. At the end of the room was a large stone fireplace with a cheerful fire crackling inside. There were books along one wall and the bakery case across the other. Inside the case were a half dozen plates containing bakery goods. There were doughnuts and apple fritters, several different fruit danishes, brownies, bagels and a large chocolate frosted cake adorned with chocolate chips and pecans. Behind the counter was a huge coffee urn and a doorway to the kitchen.
A large woman came from the kitchen area , wiping her hands on her apron as she walked through the door. She was about the same height as Nelly with her gray hair pulled back into a bun and hairnet. She had sparkling blue eyes and a cheerful smile. Her apron had Sadie embroidered on it.
“Hi! Welcome to Celestial Visions. What can I get for you?”
Nelly smiled. “To start I would like a cup of coffee. And then I would like something to eat, but I am not sure which one I want.” She stepped back and perused the pastries.
“Take your time, although I have to admit, the apple fritters are pretty delicious today.” She turned to the coffee urn and got a large blue mug from the counter. Once she had filled the mug with coffee, she got cream and sugar and set the coffee in front of Nelly.
“Alright, I will have an apple fritter to go with the coffee.” Nelly added cream and sugar to her coffee mug and took a tentative sip. Then she smiled and took another sip. “This is the best coffee I have had in a long time.”
“Go ahead and have a seat. I’ll bring the fritter to you.”
Nelly turned and sat at the table. She looked at the books on the shelf: Alice in Wonderland, Lord of the Rings, and many other fantasy classics sat on the shelf nearest to her. As she looked around she noticed tin cut stars hanging from the ceiling. They were painted different colors and then oversprayed with glitter. They swayed gently, sparkling in the sunlight that poured in through the windows.
Sadie came around the counter carrying a blue plate with an apple fritter on it. She brought silverware and a napkin with her. She set the plate on the table and smiled. “Let me know if you need anything else.”
“Thank you.” Nelly took a bite of the apple fritter and closed her eyes, savoring the moist sweetness. “Oh this is wonderful!”
This bakery was very similar to the coffee shop she had been imagining. For as long as she could remember, she had wanted to open a small coffee shop. She envisioned a place where one could come in, sit by a fireplace and read. Customers could get free refills and pastries. She stared into the fire and daydreamed about her coffee shop.
As she finished the last sip of coffee, Sadie came back and refilled her cup. She brought the sugar and cream to the table along with her own coffee cup. “Do you mind if I sit with you?”
“Oh no.” Nelly smiled and then added her cream and sugar to her coffee. “I was just sitting here admiring your bakery. This is very close to the perfect coffee shop I have been imagining. I have wanted to open a coffee shop for a long time just like this.”
Sadie laughed. “I just love this place and like you I had imagined it for a long time before I was finally able to open it.” She also looked into the fire and sipped at her coffee.
“How long have you been here? I walk down this street a lot and I have never noticed you here.”
“Oh I just opened a few days ago. I wanted everything to be perfect before I opened for business.”
“Well I will definitely be back. I absolutely love your coffee and the apple fritter was heavenly!” Nelly stood and opened her purse. “How much do I owe you?”
Sadie smiled and said, “$1.00 for the coffee and $2.50 for the apple fritter. So $3.50”
“Wow, and affordable too.” Nelly took out a ten dollar bill and handed it to Sadie. “Keep the change. The food and service were wonderful. And I will most likely see you tomorrow. I need to get to work. Thank you!” She smiled again and walked out into the street.
Serve apple fritter recipe with syrup or sprinkle with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.
- 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup finely chopped apple
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Sift together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add milk and egg; beat until batter is smooth. Fold in chopped apple. Drop by teaspoonfuls into deep hot oil — about 370° and at least 2 1/2 to 3 inches deep — and fry for about 2 to 3 minutes, until nicely browned.
Drain well on paper towels then roll in confectioners’ sugar while still warm. Serve as is or warm, with syrup, if desired.