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You don’t find many restaurants these days that offer cinnamon toast. I suppose it isn’t a high-volume item, anyway, nor one that allows a huge markup in the price. Although, come to think of it, plain old toast and jelly isn’t cheap when you partake of it at your local eatery. We won’t mention the heights to which the 10-cent cup of coffee has risen on the menu.

Cinnamon toast, though, is a special thing. It is and always has been one of the comfort foods from the early childhood years. Not only was it sweet and smelly-good, it was a particular treat because, in our house, it wasn’t just a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar on top of your toast. That’s usually all you get at the diner, if you can find it on the menu at all.

Real cinnamon toast is a labor of love from mother to child.. White bread. Yes, I know, but this is one of those few instances where nice, flavorful, healthy, filling multi-grain just doesn’t cut it. Butter. Real butter, cold from the fridge and sliced ever so thinly to fit like puzzle pieces to cover the top of each bread slice. Sugar. Plain old white sugar, a generous sprinkle atop the nice yellow greasy butter. Cinnamon. We never had the fancy gourmet stuff, just McCormick right off the grocery shelves, with little holes in the top of the can that let us kids darken our treats to suit ourselves. I have to say my sister’s usually turned out a beautiful overall tan color, while my contributions were less aesthetic and more enthusiastic.

Eight slices fit perfectly on a cookie sheet. Into the oven at 350 degrees until the aroma made it impossible to leave them there any longer. Mine never quite made it to what some people consider “toast”, being more along the lines of “hot cinnamon bread”–I always begged Mom to let me take mine out early. It had to be at the exact point where the oven heat caused the butter to melt and the sugar to puff up and the cinnamon to release its fantastic fragrance, but the bread still lacked crunch. Perfect. Sister’s went back into the oven for another minute to crisp toasty brown on the bottom. She always did have strange tastes.

All in all, cinnamon toast probably didn’t take more tha a couple of minutes longer than getting out the toaster, popping slices in it two at a time, and spreading mundane butter and jelly. But cinnamon toast days made us feel special and loved, especially if this wonder occurred on school days, and most especially if it was instead of oatmeal.

I hope your mom made you cinnamon toast. I hope you make it, with love, for the people you love.

I’ll see you again, after the commercial.

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