On French fries, and Welsh cookies

I really shouldn’t write this today because if it hits its mark, which pretty much means your mouth should be watering, you can’t do a thing about it. The opportunity to indulge in perhaps the best French fries this side of the Jersey shore has passed. Sorry. Same for the Welsh cookies, but that’s temporary.
Frequent fliers at the West Pittston Cherry Blossom Festival know what I am talking about.
At several other such gatherings (Sacred Heart church in Dupont and St. Joseph Marello, formerly Our Lady of Mount Carmel, church in Pittston spring to mind) you’ll stand in long lines at the potato pancake stand … and be damned happy to do it. At the Cherry blossom Festival, it’s the hand-cut French fries line.
We’ve become so accustomed to what passes as fries at fast food joints, the fries in West Pittston almost deserve a different name. One bite and you remember what a French fry is supposed to be.
The fries in West Pittston remind me of a story some 25 years old. My son, now 30, used to spend his days with my mom and dad. One day he said he wanted French fries for lunch. My mom would do anything for that little guy, so she heated oil, peeled potatoes, and made him French fries. He was astonished. For days he kept telling me, “Gram made French fries out of potatoes!”
Then there are the Welch cookies. My downfall.
Technically, they are “Welsh tea cakes” because they are fried on a griddle like a pancake not baked in the oven like cookies, and this gives them their unique quality.
I adore these things. They sell them in “sleeves” of 10 or 12 cookies. I can go through a sleeve myself without a second thought.
The West Pittston Cherry Blossom Festival, where I ate my fill of hand-cut fries and purchased Welsh cookies for the next morning’s breakfast, is over. But ladies selling Welsh cookies will pop up at various festivals throughout the summer, so you’re in luck. Some local churches have regular Welsh cookie sales as well. Keep you eye out for announcements in the Citizens Voice.

Ed Ackerman