April Is No Fool


I didn’t realize it until much later, but one of my first loves of becoming a cook and baker came from my Uncle Bill who had a diner in a little town in Missouri. He had opened it after a stint in the military where he learned his love of cooking.

My Crady family would visit him often during the summer months. After sleeping on a pallet on the floor in his living room, a treat for the entire troop of South Carolina Crady’s was Uncle Bill’s breakfast in his diner. The aroma of frying bacon was irresistible, the toast was buttery and very crisp, and, best of all, he prepared eggs for all of us just as each one wanted. Our vacation times were during the hot, muggy days of summer, far away in time and distance from the April that I know to be fickle.

A poet once said that April is the cruelest month. On the one hand, April can be beautifully crisp with a bright, unbelievable sunshine. In the same day will also come peppery rain and sullen clouds scuddering across the sky, blown by cyclonic winds.

On other days, this month can be so gentle that one wishes they would go on way past evening just to be able to sit on a front porch and swing a little longer. There’s a softness to these days that seems to belie the poet’s lament.

Easter, more often than not is in this month. It’s a joy to see little girls and boys on Easter Sunday in their frilly dresses and tiny suits. Some little girls still wear hats on that day, as do their mothers. Heather and Adam would also have new clothes on that Sunday, the perfect time to treat us all to new finery.

However, one of my favorite traditions has nothing to do with either Easter or weather, but April’s Fool Day, the first day of the month. It’s rather a mischievous tradition, but one full of joy and delighted laughter after lovingly being made to feel foolish. In their growing years, Heather and Adam enjoyed this little tomfoolery and now you can as well! Make a pound cake (recipe to follow) tinted just a little bit with yellow food coloring to look like brioche bread. Bake it in a loaf pan, again, to resemble a loaf of bread. When baked, completely cooled, and sliced into about ½ inch slices, spread each slice with cream cheese frosting, tinted to look like a yellow cheddar cheese. Use a torch to toast this icing slightly to resemble grilled cheese. Now present this slice of “grilled cheese bread” to your diner as such and then watch the amazement grow that this is a sweet offering!

We serve this at Crady’s Eclectic Cuisine on Main on April 1st as our sample of grilled cheese sandwich appetizer. I love the look on our diners’ faces as they enjoy this April’s Fool joke!