Nostalgia is a feeling that can be likened to no other. If forced to describe it, one word would hardly be sufficient. It’s a feeling of comfort, longing, and happiness all rolled into one. Yet nostalgia has soft whispers of sadness. It peacefully slumbers in the deep recesses of our heart’s memory. Like Sleeping Beauty, nostalgia awaits her special kiss to bring her back to consciousness. The soft peck may come in the form of sight – a glimpse of a familiar face in an old photo causes you to pause. Perhaps sound – you hear a familiar tune playing in the background that gets your feet tapping. Maybe it is a soft touch on the cheek, or the lingering familiar fragrance of a stranger who passes by in a crowd. Warm chocolate melts on your tongue as you take the first bite of a chocolate chip cookie and you can’t help but smile from the inside. Nostalgia sleeps patiently with no regard for time, waiting to be revived by our senses.
Wistful yearnings of our youth are often indicators of enjoyments that we are missing in our present adult life. For most of us, our childhood likes and dislikes are but a faded memory. Like a footprint in the wet sand on the seashore, our childhood dreams are washed away by the rushing waters of life. Over time, like our footprints in the sand, the memories disappear. Nostalgia is a sweet reminder that although the mind may seem to have forgotten, the heart never forgets.
I’ve recently had a new obsession with vintage toasters. Without question I’ve been on the lookout for toasters of all types. The one shown above is from the 1920′s. It still works and had but one owner who had recently passed away. It was then donated to a shop I frequent. With its crumbs still intact, my kids gave it to me as a gift and I have been smitten with it ever since. Although my grandma Francis, who lived in the 1920′s, would have never been able to afford a toaster this grand, strangely enough, I found myself drawn to the idea of somebody’s grandmother making toast. Just this week, nostalgia awoke within me when it was kissed by the smell of cinnamon toast I was making for my son. I realized that making toast, as simple as it is, can be an act of love. I love toast and have been known to eat half a loaf in 1 sitting, but cinnamon toast holds a very special place in my heart.
As a child, my mother would always bring me cinnamon toast when I was home sick and resting in bed. The smell of bread browning in the toaster was a sign that a bedside treat was arriving soon. If I was lucky, my mom would also build me a tent made out of sheets, over my bed. There I would wait for her, my own personal nurse, to care for me throughout the day like a wounded soldier in the infirmary. I can remember the way the warm bread would melt the butter in the center and then the cinnamon and sugar would melt and become one with the butter. It would all turn into a dark brown cinnamon syrup that pooled in the center and made the toast soft. There would always be two slices and she would cut them in half down the center. She would then place them onto a small paper napkin and then onto a small plate. I would always take the first bite right from the center. The cinnamon was never blended with the sugar as it had just been sprinkled over the top, so each bite was spiked with its own amount of fragrant cinnamon. The outside edges were just as good, if not better than the soggy center. The crusts were crispy and the butter didn’t melt and stayed creamy. The sugar crystals sat on top of the butter, sparkling like freshly fallen snow. With each crispy bite I could feel the sweet gritty sand crunch in between my teeth. Toast crumbs would stick to my lips and spill down my pajamas onto the sheets. Mom never seemed to mind the mess, I was sick after all …
I will always enjoy cinnamon toast, it’s part of who I am, but toaster nostalgia helped me dig a little deeper. On the surface it seemed like I just liked collecting old toasters, but now my heart tells me that when I am eating too much toast, it might be because I need a little bit more self-care. For me, cinnamon toast says, ” I love you, I will take care of you, and I don’t care if you make a mess”…
- ¼ cup white granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 4 slices of sandwich bread
- 2 Tablespoon of butter
- In a small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon. Toast the bread in the toaster and then butter. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar mixture.