I’ve always found it rather interesting how we sometimes associate a taste, smell, texture, etc., with an emotion or positive/negative memory. While it all makes sense and our memories a are vast cornucopia of events with a multitude of minute details (like food) attached to them, I still find it amusing that toast makes me happy.
I’d have to backup a bit (okay…a lot) into my past to explain the significance of toasted bread; perhaps you can come long with me in this journey and remember your own associations with food.
Before we skip along memory lane, there is something you should know. My childhood sucked. Well, most of it, anyway. It sucked A LOT – and it was so sucky that I had (and sometimes, but rarely still do have) terrible nightmares related to my father.
I won’t get into details, but the point is not ‘everything’ was terrible/horrible/awful. There were good memories, too. This is a good segue into the whole toast thing and why I love it. More specifically: cinnamon toast has a special place in my heart.
Long before my father changed, (and not for the better) he and I had a pretty good father/daughter relationship. I was about 4 and he was my hero. He was my hero for a number of reasons but particularly because he LOVED cartoons.
And I mean…
He didn’t have them, growing up as a child seeing as the cathode ray tube had yet to be invented, and like many men, he was really just a big kid at heart. He loved cartoons so much that when we were older and playing games outside with our friends, he’d open the front door and call us in to watch the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour.
I’m NOT kidding.
There we were, being kids, playing outdoors, getting exercise in the sunshine and pretty much having a good time doing ‘kid stuff’…when he’d want us to come indoors and watch cartoons with him. Clearly my father didn’t like watching them, alone. My mother, although never understanding this, found it humorous.
“Let them play outside!” she’d yell at him.
“They want to watch it with me; they asked me to tell them when it’s on!” he’d yell back.
Part of that was true. When I was really little, I DID want dad to tell me when the cartoons were on. This was partially because I didn’t have a watch but mainly because even if I DID have a watch, I didn’t know how to tell time, yet. Plus…when I was that little, nothing mattered more than cartoons , except for maybe candy and toys. Those two joys were right up there on my small list of must haves.
So, back to the toast.
When I was ‘pre-school’, I used to wake up early, anyway, and as dad was getting my older brother off to Galbraith Elementary School and mom was looking after my little sister (she was still a baby)…he’d make me two things that I still LOVE, today.
Cinnamon toast and a teensy little bit of coffee.
Yup, coffee. I doubt my mother knew that he was feeding caffeine to a four-year old but I adored it, he only gave me a tiny little bit in my little girl cup, and he put tons of cream and sugar in it. I think he felt a little bit guilty about allowing this small luxury to his oldest daughter, but every morning I BEGGED him for it and loved him dearly for obliging me.
That, and the cinnamon toast were delectable, delicious and as I sat watching Rocket Robin Hood (after Batman and Robin) and then, Spiderman…life just didn’t get any better! My mornings with my dad were pure bliss.
He’d sit in his chair with feet propped up on footstool in front of him, before he got his deliveries ready for the day (at that time he was the Watkins Products Distributor for Southern Alberta) and I’d either be lying on the couch or sprawled out on the floor in front of the black and white TV.
If I choose to remember things about my father and I, it’s the smell of creamy coffee, the aroma of cinnamon toast and the two of us completely enraptured by an episode of Batman and Robin.
So, whether it’s cinnamon toast, banana bread or cookies that bring on the positive/happy memories, I say relish in them. Too often we focus on the bad stuff that happened in our past and forget the really cool fun stuff…
Like watching cartoons and Batman, on a little black and white TV at 6:30 am, when you’re four…with your dad.