Friday, December 22, 2006

A toast to toast!

This was my attempt at a quick “I must have a snack but I don’t have much food in the house as I’ve been running everything down in time for going away”. I fortunately had a couple of slices of bread in the freezer that I could pop in the ever reliable Dualit and then stick under the grill with a generous spreading of cream cheese with garlic and chives topped with a few ends of Cheddar and a couple of gratings of nutmeg. Okay a slightly unusual combination but it definitely filled the gap.
I’ve been warned against trying to photograph melted cheese as it has a tendency to just look greasy and therefore not particularly appealing. There was little I could do to prevent that so at least I arranged the portions nicely. I hoped it may detract from the inherent unappetizing look of my actually rather tasty snack.
Toast is such a wonderful invention; it’s amazing how bread (which is rather nice in itself) metamorphoses into something completely different and more savoury. And then the addition of cheese or maybe a poached egg (no such luck today!) or perhaps some ham can add a whole new level to the snack. I recall my first forays into sandwich toasting; I favoured the ham, cheese and pineapple and thought it was such an exotic meal to rustle up on returning home from school. And many a grumbling tummy in Paris has been sated by a Croque Monsieur or even a Croque Madame if I fancy an egg on top. Welsh rarebit is another toast-based snack standby that always goes down well. Another favourite from my childhood was toast spread with Rose’s lime marmalade. I never really got into ordinary orange marmalade but lime marmalade seemed a very sophisticated breakfast choice. I’ve enjoyed many a fine smooth chicken liver parfait on some slices of Melba toast and poached egg on toast can be a very enjoyable dish also.
The colour of my toast is important to me, I like mine pale and interesting not black and rather carbonised - M! It all goes wrong so quickly if the toast is overdone and scraping the slices over the sink makes a huge mess and never entirely destroys the evidence of excessive toasting. I also insist upon white bread being toasted. Brown bread is good in crab sandwiches and granary is nice with just a bit of butter but they both go too hard if you toast them - and clearly wouldn't be the requisite pale and interesting!
There’s plenty that I wouldn’t put on toast – peanut butter never seemed right to me, Marmite is excruciatingly awful and just the smell of it makes me feel quite ill (you may guess that I am of the “I hate Marmite” camp!), Nutella too (chocolate is just so lovely in other guises but not on toast) and sardines on toast has never appealed to me. Also rather curiously as much as I like scrambled egg, I don't like it with toast. I believe the egg makes the toast soggy and the toast spoils the smooth creaminess of the scrambled egg with sharp little crumbs.
I know D resisted owning a toaster for a long time because of toast crumbs, and she is right, they do get everywhere. But it seems a small price to pay for such loveliness and as long as I don't get them in bed, I can forgive the odd crumb.
Toast is a very good thing and I am very pleased that my lovely Dualit is more than happy to deal with frozen bread slices and as long as I’ve remembered to replenish the bread supply that toast is never very far away.
So a toast to toast it is!

1 comment:

RooKnits said...

I agree. Toast is great. I like my cheese on toast just like you have photographed it, cut into little squares. It stems from a story in a book I had when I was young where they had their toast like that. It was always a real treat to get little squares of toast! Have a lovely Christmas J and a very happy 2007!