The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Toast

Photo: A slice of toast waiting in the wings

Photo: A slice of toast waiting in the wings

It would be hard to give up garlic, thyme and red wine. I’d find it impossible to give up toast, that great old standby.

Fresh bread toast is best, crisp yet melting in the middle. But a stale curling crust can be reborn into palatable munchiness with the aid of a toaster or grill.

We are a ‘toast in the morning’ household. Toast topped with thinly shaved cheese, Black Knight  marmalade, Marmite, Honey or often just buttered and eaten quickly. Nibbled voraciously in between morning duties. Have a shower, then a chomp. Feed the chickens, chomp. Feed the dogs, chomp chomp. The dogs love it too. A small portion of crust is doled out to each and carried back to their baskets to savour.

Sometimes I take an extra slice to work for the perfect mid morning snack. Cold buttered toast seems to transmogrify into a totally different sort of munch two hours later. Crunchy and chewy, it goes down well with a cup of sweet Thermos tea and an interesting view from Jalopy’s front seat

There’s variety in our toast. It could be white, brown, granary, French or even soda bread. Homemade or shop bought the first question is always.
“How will it toast?”

Real comfort food. High in carbohydrates, toast can sooth frazzled nerves and is always willing to understudy for the complex supper that you are just too tired to cook. When I’m laid up in bed toast is the first thing that I long for when I start to feel better.

Along with bacon and freshly ground coffee, toast has my taste buds relaxing in anticipation of the first warm buttery bite.

Our old friend David used to live in a house that was haunted by the scent of toast. He’d wake in the night and smell warm toast wafting under his duvet. Drawn down to the kitchen, imagining the children were guzzling a midnight toast feast, he’d find the room in darkness and the toaster stone cold.

That ghostly toast smell would have slowly driven me mad.


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16 Comments

  1. As for me, I read Fiona’s post this morning and promptly made toast spread with Nutella for breakfast — haven’t had that for years! The toast craving is spreading …

  2. magic cochin

    Blimey! its ‘toast porn’ on the Cottage Smallholder comments page today!

    I’ve just consumed the end bit of a fine multi-seed wholemeal loaf from Saffron Walden market – toasted and spread with mashed avocado seasoned with Japanese ‘shichimi’ spice mix.

    And I’m still thinking about a Toast-ghost or was it Ghost-toast – enticingly spooky!

  3. Toasted chocolate panettone at Christmas. My sister asked if I would be able to carry one back on the train (from Kent to Carlisle via Newcastle). I said I would only be able to manage a chocolate one, even though I know the rest of the family will spend Christmas saying that it is good but the fruit one is better. But, hey, there was the Tube too! (I think I am obsessed with toast, I’m toasting Rye bread today).

  4. I know most of you will find this very odd – I have coeliac, and for over two years not a morsel of bread has passed my lips, and I really don’t miss it! I’ve realised that I have never actually liked bread that much (and my gran was an epic bread maker,ancient bread oven in the huge chimney in the corner of the farmhouse kitchen, fire lit under it, huge paddles for getting the bread out, wooden press for keeping the bread, flat loaves sliced so thinly you could almost see through them) but the smell of properly made bread is something else. That I do miss.
    My dear hubby, who is normally only here at weekends, keeps a supply of bread rolls in the freezer, so there is no waste, and I do not come in contact with it! Bless.

  5. kate (uk)

    Sultana bread made with a swirl of cinnamon, toast to die for…especially when buttered with left over rum butter on Boxing Day.

  6. I’m a toast fanatic too. Has to be with butter (not yukky old marg) and I like jam on it – my current favourites are homemade lemon curd or a quality shop bought “3 berry jam” – a mix of blueberry, strawberry and raspberry. Divine.

  7. Toast can be torture, I was a postman one cold winter long ago and it seemed that from every letter box I opened to push letters in, the heavenly aroma of toast would waft seductively at me, my tum would grumble and gurgle a jelouse plea as I pressed on with my round.

  8. When I was pregnant with number 2, I lived on toast, too tired to bother with anything else.

    Consequently as a newborn baby he could not sleep through the smell of toast cooking.

    It became such an issue we would shut his bedroom door & jam a rolled up towel into the gap under it or I could never get a bite of breakfast without the little man being clamped to my breast.

    A toast ghost would be maddening, I have an accute sense of smell anyway & often am wakened by my night owl partner making his “midnigh snacks” at 3am.

  9. There is nothing like the smell of toast to get your mouth watering, even if you were happily not at all hungry before the scent wafted into your nostrils. And just a stolen bite of someone else’s toast in not enough, you definitely need 2 whole slices for yourself. Cold toast is ok if it was buttered when hot and allowed to go cold. Tragically, the no knead spelt flour bread will not toast, not even a bit, it just gets hot. Toasted sandwiches are good too, especially if cooked on the simmering plate of the Aga with the lid down as they toast slowly enough to allow the contents of the sandwich to get hot before the toast burns. What a torment to have a toast ghost!

  10. Yes I’m a toast fan too. I especially like toast made with my homemade multigrain bread. It is a great comfort food. I also like it cold, with Vegemite (I live in Australia!)I have memories of going away up the coast for holidays and setting out really early. We would sit up in the back seat of the car with cold toast and vegemite! Great stuff!

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