There are two things that can provide calming on even the most hectic of mornings, tea and toast. Whether you are drinking herbal, chai, green or black, whether you brew from loose leaf or steep a tea bag; there is something almost sacred about this simplest of breakfasts. After the kids are fed and dressed, we come back downstairs; and for the three to five minutes that my tea is steeping and my bread is toasting, I'm somewhere else, or perhaps I've just turned my mind off for that time. I pull the butter and strawberry jam out of the refrigerator; spread carefully to the edges of the slice. I add my milk and sugar to my tea (if that's the way I'm taking it that day), and then sit and sip. I might flip through a magazine, or read a book. When my boys come shouting, "Look at me!" or "Mommy, Sam/Max is being bad," it's "Not right now, mommy's drinking her tea." They seem to respect that, and it gives me those few moment of quiet time I need to regain my optimism from the night before.
If you want to really treat yourself, make this cinnamon toast. I know, a recipe for cinnamon toast sounds ridiculous, but this is delicious. I grew up baking my cinnamon toast in the oven. My mom would spread (I use this term loosely. My mother is a notorious globber, and she's comfortable with that) butter on a piece of white bread, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. What normally happened was that the outer edges became dry and stale, but in the middle the bread would be soft and gooey with buttery clumps of cinnamon sugar. I loved it. This recipe just takes my mom's way a step further.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Melt one stick (1/2 cup) of butter in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish or plate, mix together 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 or 3 tsp of cinnamon.
Cut six slices of hearty white bread into triangles (for a pretty presentation, you can remove the crusts and cut into quarters). Dip each side of the bread into the melted butter, and then coat each side with the cinnamon sugar. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes, or until crispy.
The result is toast with a cinnamon-sugar crust. It's very sweet, and may be hard to make a breakfast out of it, but it's a great snack and pairs very nicely with a cup of tea.