I planned ahead for this one and actually picked up a loaf a cinnamon raisin bread at the grocery store on Friday. It was a loaf of Pepperidge Farm Swirl bread which is their signature line of sweet breads (not sweetbreads – that’s something completely different). It’s a good product as are most Pepperidge Farm products are. When I woke up, after I had my cup of coffee, I threw four pieces in our toaster oven, toasted them up and then spread each piece with a slab of butter, then I cut each piece in half on the diagonal. I served it to Lola and then had some myself. I ate mine in my office in front of my computer. Lola had hers in the family room while reading on her iPad. A pretty chill Saturday morning and the smell of toasted cinnamon in the air added to the ambiance. The toast was good. Hardy, a touch of sweetness, good cinnamon flavor and the added joy of warm, plump raisins. It was a nice way to start the day.
Lola told me that cinnamon raisin bread is one of her favorites. I didn’t know that. I knew it was a treat her mom would make for herself, probably as a late breakfast with her coffee while sitting at the kitchen table. But Lola likes it too and very likely for the same reasons. It’s a simple little treat. All you have to do is pop it in the toaster. It brings you warmth in both aroma and in taste. It’s a nice sweet start to your day or even a special treat to have alongside your afternoon coffee or tea. It’s homey. Like a fire in the fireplace, a Christmas song on the radio or even the sounds of rain on the windows. Lola’s mom was one who appreciated those kind of little things, and so is Lola. Sometimes I feel bad that when I buy a loaf of something or a whole bag just to be able to fulfill my quest that the rest of it will go to waste. I don’t have to worry about this one. This is one that Lola will work her way through with her afternoon tea or coffee. She’ll need a little break in her day and, as it was for her mom, cinnamon raisin bread will be there for her.
I thought I might be able to buy some fresh made cinnamon raisin bread for toady. I looked around Clements in their bakery section to see if they had a loaf there but I didn’t see one. They had cinnamon raisin bagels, but I wasn’t sure if that would count – those of you keeping the rules on this quest of mine can discuss. My other hope was that they might have some at the Farmer’s Market. The local market is in the field next to the Vineyard every Saturday and there is a bakery there from whom I usually buy my lunch. They are called Olgas Cup and Saucer and they have a great line of products including beautiful looking breads, tarts, scones and muffins as well as a very good breakfast calzone (my usual lunch choice). I thought they might have a nice fresh loaf of cinnamon bread for sale and I could buy it on my lunch break and then stow it away for after work. But, I ended up bringing my lunch today and never had the chance to make it out into the market. I’ll check next week because I’m sure Lola would enjoy having a nice fresh loaf in the house.
Cinnamon was introduced to Europe in the 15th century and that’s likely the time that bakers started sprinkling it into bread. The raisins were probably just thrown in for giggles. Can you imagine how good those loaves must have smelled to your run of the mill 15th century person whose nose was probably used to smells of plagues, rotten mutton and dysentery? It would probably create a commotion, perhaps even fights, as people would be driven into a frenzy at the alluring aroma exiting from the ovens. Today we are no stranger to the smell of baking cinnamon and we may even be unfazed by that kind of goodness in the air. But amongst are those folks who know how to appreciate the little things in life. The stop and smell the roses people. Those souls who enjoy the little victories of every day. That’s what I learned about the joy of cinnamon raisin bread – a simple treat for any day. That’s what I celebrated today – just the way Lola and her mom taught me to appreciate it.
Next up: National Monte Cristo Day