Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Childhood Memory

I had a great memory triggered today by smelling some cinnamon raisin bread from one of the local grocery stores (Basha's)...call it a childhood memory, if you will, of a very special pastry that I ate all through the 80's and into the 90's...

Anyone remember J.J. Nissen Cinnamon Buns? They used to come in this aluminum tray inside a white box. Back in the early to mid 90's, the Wonder Bread company bought the company. Shortly thereafter, they discontinued the whole product line.

I absolutely LOVED J.J. Nissen Cinnamon Buns!!! I used to eat them a tray at a time, and we would get two trays every week (one for me and one for the rest of the family)...lol...

After church on Sundays, we would go from Saint Rita's Parish on Temple Street in Haverhill, Massachusetts, to the local family bakery around the corner, Fantini's bakery. We would pick up freshly baked French bread sticks and freshly baked Portuguese Sweet Breads (once again, one of each for me and one of each for the rest of the family).

Afterwards, we would sometimes drive across the street to the little mom and pop sandwich shop, called Benedetti's Deli, on Washington Street, Haverhill, Massachusetts, to pick up lunch. We would eat our sandwiches in the car on the way home or sometimes on the way to one of the grocery stores we shopped at in Plaistow, New Hampshire (we did our grocery shopping there because there were no taxes in New Hampshire on food, clothing, etc., but there were taxes on most things in Massachusetts).

Anyways, we would do the weekly grocery shopping in Plaistow, then we would take the 15 mile drive home with our groceries, and everyone would help put them away. Afterwards, we would relax for an hour or so, then my dad would always make dinner for us -- I usually wound up helping him, or just sitting in the kitchen and watching him.

Memories like these are what helped me to remember how to make home made sauce, meat balls, stuffed peppers, lasagna, and so much more. I learned how to make cinnamon buns from my mom, and I don't remember where she learned it (think it was my Grammy's recipe), but I wrote down the recipe and have made them ever since I was in 6th grade.

Speaking of my Grammy, I had been chatting online with a fellow genealogist; she had posted a link to a recipe for Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Feta and Almonds...I love sweet potatoes, but not with feta cheese...she triggered a few more memories about my Grammy yesterday: My Grammy used to make THE BEST candied yams and THE BEST peanut butter fudge...she used to use Marshmallow Fluff instead of regular marshmallows...YUMMMM!!!!! The fudge was so soft and smooth...man, I wish I had THAT recipe! Well, that and the recipe for her candied yams...never had any candied yams like hers again...I remember she used dark Karol syrup and she used like a stick of butter, as well as plenty of brown sugar and something else, but I just cannot remember what it was for the life of me... 

I still love the taste of cinnamon buns, but I have had some really bad store made and local bakery ones... I need to make some again, but it takes a few hours to make them and a full night to let the dough rise...oh well, guess I am gonna have to just break down and make some...

I miss the  J.J. Nissen Cinnamon Buns...I wish the Wonder Bread Company would bring them back, especially to Arizona!!! Think I need to write them a letter...anyone wanna join the letter writing to try to get them back? lol

~ Vince ~ 

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