Friday, May 26, 2017


A Facebook friend posted a recipe on Facebook for "Crack Sticks" with the tag line that they are "addictive". 

I screaked at Les, "OMG, look at these; Mother used to make these when we were kids; she called them roll-ups;  she would flatten pieces of bread with a rolling pin and add cinnamon and sugar and other stuff and bake them." Les said he didn't remember them. I said, "I guess we weren't as poor when you came along;  maybe she had quit making them by then." I looked up the recipe in my Family Cookbook and decided to make them.  Of course, they were not as good as I remembered.  See the recipe below.

Dishes made from stale bread were staples at our house: French toast, bread pudding, and dressing (how "stuffing" for turkey, etc., ever became known as "dressing" is beyond my comprehension) were common and Mother also made those "roll-ups". 

My father, two of my brothers, and my husband worked at Pennington Bread Company and before the prevalence of "bakery thrift stores", the employees were allowed to take home the day-old products;  thus we always had plenty of bread and other baked goods;  none was ever wasted.

Pennington Bread Company was purchased by Flowers Bakery and the plant closed; the Pennington label is now owned by Klosterman's. I bought a loaf of Pennington bread at Walgreen's today.

During the successful period of Pennington Bread, there was an award-winning set of television advertisements featuring the by-then elderly Morgan Pennington, the owner of Pennington Bread, giving grandfatherly advice to a grandchild. I would always make snide remarks about his being a hypocrite.

When those aired, I can recall a woman who had worked with my father and brothers at Pennington Bread, who told me, "If I tell you something about Morgan Pennington, will you promise not to ever say anything?" Expecting something downright salacious, I said, "WOW! What is it?" She then told me that when Morgan Pennington was young he worked as a busboy in Cincinnati and used to steal the tips of waitresses. I started laughing uproariously and I asked, incredulously, "That's it--that's the big secret--Hell, I thought you were going to tell me something scandalous!" 

I remember going to Christmas parties at Pennington Bread and I can recall that not all of the kids received presents. I never received a present there.  Even as a kid, I knew that was so WRONG but it taught me a very valuable life lesson: in my future work life, when I was in the position of making decisions about company Christmas parties, I always made certain that EACH child received a present of equal value. I guess I did learn something from the old skinflint which was NOT to be like him!


1 loaf of bread, crusts removed
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, melted

Flatten slices of crustless bread with rolling pin.

In a bowl combine powdered sugar and cream cheese.

Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

Spread 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese/powdered sugar mixture on each slice of flattened bread. Roll up, jelly-roll style.

Brush with melted butter and then roll in cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake 20" at 350 degrees until golden brown. (My mother used to turn them over after 10 minutes)

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