We were astonished. It was confoundedly mysterious and a bit unnerving. From where had they materialized on our doorstep? Who had blessed us? Eric popped one in his mouth. “Yes, they’re the real thing!” Happily, I bit into a cruller and sipped my coffee. They were a match made in heaven. The crisp exterior unveiled a delicate, vaguely spiced center. Not cake, not doughnut, they were unique. Sweet enough to want another, but not too sweet to cause a binge, we justified a few more. We ate slowly, and safeguarded a few for later.
We hadn’t a clue who to thank. No notes were on the door or the bag or the area around us. I called the only friend who would possibly leave this kind of goody, but it was not she. It was truly mystifying.
A month or so had passed. I stood at the counter at Tate’s ordering my usual. “Did you ever find a paper bag on your door step?” inquired the young woman waiting on me. After a minute trying to connect the dots in my foggy brain, I realized she meant our bag of cruller hearts! It was Kathleen, the owner of Tate’s, who left our mystery treats. She had been testing them out in her home kitchen, and wanted our feedback. The day she dropped them off, she asked a painter at our house to give us the message, but he had already finished and left by the time we got home.
There had been rumors that Kathleen was solely trusted by the Crutchleys with the authentic, original, secret recipe. Who ever knew we would be so lucky to get the first bite!
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