About 12 years ago I made the decision to move from South Jersey (yes that’s different from North Jersey) to Boston, MA. A city, hundreds of miles away, where I knew no one, didn’t have a job, and sublet a small room that was really just winterized porch! It was the scariest and most spontaneous thing I had ever done in my life up to that point. And despite a few year hiatus in NY, I never regretted my decision to leave.
There are times however when I question whether it was the right choice. Those times usually come around 1-2am when I’m coming home after a night out and I’m hungry and NOTHING is open!! No 24 hour diners, no Wawa, no late night slices…NOTHING!! You would think a city with so many colleges would have more late night options.
I’ve had several conversations over the past few days (mostly with people from the tri-state area) about how much we all miss Wawa. This lead into reminiscing about actual foods we missed…Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews, Tastykakes, Herr’s Potato Chips. All things we didn’t realize were regional until we left and no longer had access to them.
My most recent revelation happened a few months ago when my Dad wanted some ginger snaps. Not your generic, run of the mill, store brand ginger snaps but Sweetzels! We had friends and family scouring all the grocery stores in Northern Vermont searching for these cookies until we realized you can only get them in Philly!! All I have to say is Thank God for Amazon, because when a dying man’s only request is Sweetzels Spiced Wafers, you get the man a box of Sweetzels Spiced Wafers (or in our case 5).
If you’re not from the Philadelphia area you wouldn’t know that Sweetzels are delicious. They are the perfect combo of real ginger and molasses. My only issue with them is that they are hard and I really don’t like hard cookies. In my opinion, cookies are supposed to be soft and chewy. A few years ago I found a Chewy Gingerbread Cookie recipe from Martha Stewart that used real ginger and molasses, so I decided to try it. I’m pretty sure I could have given Sweetzels a run for their money in the taste department. And even though they were soft, my Dad loved them, which is really all that mattered!
Two months ago today I lost my Dad and not a day has gone by the I haven’t thought about him. And nothing reminds me more of him than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (with Skippy of course), Pepsi and a stack of Sweetzels.