This morning I relived a childhood memory. With a piece of buttered toast dunked in hot chocolate, I remembered Saturday mornings as a child. My brother and I, still in our pajamas, sat on the floor in front of the television watching Mighty Mouse (“Here I come to save the day!”), Fury, Sky King, and My Friend Flicka. For breakfast, Mother made us hot cocoa and buttered toast. If the butter was a little hard and unmelted, dunking it in the steamy hot chocolate would make it melt. Oh, it was good to eat!
When I was two I asked for ‘hot cocoa toast’ for breakfast and the name stuck.
On special mornings, we would even have a donut. Dunking even days-old donuts in hot chocolate make them soft and warm, as if they just came out of the fryer.
I remembered shopping with my Mother on the Square. We almost always did our grocery shopping at Lindy’s Market. They were family – not one of those big chain stores like A&P or Kroger. And they were close. We could walk there because my mom didn’t drive.
I remember taking eggs into Lindy’s with my grampa. Just a few dozen a week. Talk about fresh eggs! I imagine that helped Grampa pay for some of his own groceries. (Which always included little round pink wintergreen candies. mmmmmm)
At the checkout, my brother always got to buy baseball card gum. He didn’t really care for the gum, but those baseball cards were gold. I’d get to pick out some candy, too. Wax bottles, Baby Ruth, Slo Poke, Chuckles, Milk Duds, Hershey’s – I’d try something different each week hoping I’d like it.
There was one check out counter and we had to open the door ourselves – unless it was summer. Then the screen door pushed open easily. After paying, we’d walk next door to Leonard’s Bakery. I remember the outside of the building being pink. I wondered why. Inside, it was one big room with ceiling fans hanging down from a very tall ceiling. And it smelled magical.
Three sides of you were surrounded by glass cases of baked items: bread, donuts, Bismarks (jelly donuts), Long Johns, Bear Claws, Apple Fritters, Twists (sugar and glazed), cakes, pies, cookies. We’d get to choose one item for Saturday morning breakfast. We never bought cookies, cakes, or pies because Mother and Grandma were great bakers and it was much cheaper to make your own.
Grandma made the best Dutch Apple Pie. It’s not at all like what passes today for Dutch Apple. Grandma would take the transparent apples (hard to find these days) and slice them thin. On her perfect pie crust, she’d layer the apples and pour a mixture of 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons of flour. If there was a little extra, she’d pour a thin layer in small pans on pie crust. She called those cracker pies and I loved them.
I don’t have any pictures of the old Lindy’s store, or Leonard’s Bakery, or Don’s Pharmacy. We didn’t have the convenience of a smart phone camera. So I must be content with the snapshots in my mind of these places long gone.
Taking the time to remember – memories trigger more memories. Lost in thought, I almost feel Mother and Daddy, Grandpa and Grandma here beside me. How thankful I am for the family God gave me. Cozy memories of growing up in a small town, with gardens, and chickens, and trees to climb. Life goes on and new memories will be made.
Never forget God’s blessings – past, present, and future.
“The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23