DeathbedFood at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
Yesterday, I discovered a new DeathbedFood: Churro Toast at Coffee Bean. It was a happy accident. When standing in line, I normally stare at the beverage menu to avoid an early morning pastry problem. But this time something caught my peripheral vision – the word “Churro”. It’s sad how easily I lose all judgement simply from seeing one word but now I’m thankful I took a chance because it was a holiday blessing.
When I ask people about their beloved DeathbedFoods, most tell me stories about the family memories those foods invoke. The same holds true for me. One bite of that Churro Toast took me back decades to a visit I made to my parents house.
I live in LA but visit my parents in the Bay Area several times a year. Each visit, my mom whips up a feast. Often, on the night I arrive, she’ll serve one of my DeathbedFood meals: Beef Stroganoff made with hamburger and Campbell’s Golden Mushroom Soup. During one trip in the early 90s, within seconds of walking into their house I asked if she had made Swedish Tea Ring. I think she gasped, shocked because she hadn’t made that for many years and hadn’t told me she’d be doing one. My memory is terrible but it’s as sharp as a Top Chef knife when it comes to food.
Swedish Tea Ring is a Scandinavian sweet bread shared during the holidays. My mother’s been making it for 50 years! It typically includes candied fruits but my mom makes hers with simply cinnamon and sugar. We cut thick slices, toasted them and loaded them with butter. Cinnamon wafted through the house all day.
Coffee Bean’s Churro Toast is a seasonal item. I don’t know how long they’ll have it so I’m going to order it every morning until they don’t, gluten be damned. I suggest you do the same.
And if you’ve read this far, here’s your reward: Make sure you put butter on it. And don’t use their pats of butter which are too cold and won’t melt properly. Bring your own room temperature butter. Full disclosure: I’m not giving this advice as an act of kindness during this holiday. It’s self interest because I know that if the butter does it for you, you’ll be back to my blog for more. So go on now. Try it. Hope I see you here again soon.