Scrambled eggs. Bananas in milk. Cinnamon sugar toast. The Holy Trinity of my father’s culinary capabilities, the only “dishes” he was really able to make with complete confidence. Their beauty was in their simplicity. When I think of the comforts of my childhood I often think of these foods.
The power of food to define a place, a person, a time, a memory – it’s incredible. Have you ever tasted something that seemed to transport you to somewhere in your past? Smelled something cooking and thought of the person who used to cook that for you? Seen a favorite food from childhood and remembered what things were like when you were a kid? I have. Food engages so many of the senses; it’s no wonder that cooking and eating can be highly emotional endeavors.
Tonight I made some cinnamon sugar toast in a small effort to remember my dad. He died two years ago today after a lengthy illness. I think of lots of things when I think of him. I think of his laugh, his catchphrases, his voice, his quirks, his handwriting, his talents, his love for me and my brother. And I think about the food he made us – so simple and yet so full of love.
My dad approached death with courage, humor and grace and I try to approach my life like that. I miss him all the time, but he left me with many lessons and memories. And so without further ado, I present to you the Three Secrets to Perfect Cinnamon Sugar Toast.
1: The Bread
2: The Butter
3: The Cinnamon and the Sugar and the Eating Part
Sprinkle lots of sugar. Sprinkle as little or as much cinnamon as you want. Spread it all out with a knife. Enjoy.