My brothers, sisters and I were pigs and would eat our way through every morsel of food in the house if Mom didn't ration them out. I remember really wanting a second glass of milk, and she'd say, "Go have a glass of water." I wanted more than one cookie, and she'd say, "Go have some celery." Potato chips? Forget it. Mike was raised in a thrifty household too, and tried to ration the milk. No one was going to ration food at my house!
When Mike and I got married, we couldn't afford to go out much. Our grocery budget was a whopping $25 per week and so we got into the routine of having Saturday date nights at home which always included a special treat. Once the kids came along, Saturday treats became Sunday treats, and I was religious about having those goodies on Sunday evening.
I had no idea that other people were treat freaks until one scorching hot Sunday when I forgot to go to the grocery store the night before. We observe the Sabbath and don't shop on Sunday, so the kids and I were fresh out of luck when I realized during church that the cupboards were bare of anything treat-worthy. I mentioned this to my friend Sara Kirk, who was appauled. "What are your kids going to eat today? How can you not have treats in the house?"
Shortly after I got home and scraped my sweaty clothes off of my eight-month pregnant body, there was a knock on the front door. Sara stood on the front porch, grocery bag in hand. "You can't make your kids go through Sunday with no treats," she said as she shoved the bag into my arms. A cold six pack of rootbeer, a bag of red licorice, and a huge bag of Doritos would never taste as good as they did that day.
When the kids started driving and dating, Sunday treats became Saturday treats again to bribe them to come home on time. Nothing gets a teenager in by curfew like a pan of hot Rhodes cinnamon rolls.
Saturdays nights often arrive now with no one to share them with. But a pan of warm Rhodes rolls wafting the heady scent of cinnamon through the house warms my heart with memories.