My love for toast started at an early age. My mom often made us toast as a snack: toasted sandwich bread with a little butter or jam, toasted rye bread (so good!), toasted cinnamon raisin bread (swoon!) and the very special cinnamon sugar toast - where she would butter the toast and then sprinkle on a mix of cinnamon and sugar. Even so, no toast stands out as clearly from my toasty memories as the toast that my grandpa would make for me.
My grandparents lived quite nearby, and we were lucky enough to see them often. Still, it always felt special to be at their house with them. I loved them so much. Just thinking about them makes my heart feel big and happy.
my grandparents had a cutting board in the shape of a pig,
my brother made it for them in woodshop class
At our house, we always made toast with sliced bread from the store. But, when my grandpa made me toast, he would go to the refrigerator and take out a huge, round loaf of sourdough bread. I think they bought it in San Francisco or something like that. Anyway, it all seemed very amazing and special to me. (this was before the days of artisan bakeries!) Then, he would take down a big bread knife and cut off a really thick piece.
This was possible because they had a toaster oven! At home we had a regular toaster, but my grandparents had a toaster oven in the corner and I was totally mesmerized by it. I vividly remember standing in front of it, staring at the glowing orange heating coils, watching the miracle of bread becoming toast.
Once the toast was ready, my grandpa would put our pieces of toast on small plates and butter them generously. Then, there was no casual standing around eating of toast. Instead, we would move to their dining room, sit down, and eat our toast together. Sometimes I would ask for another piece!
I loved the quiet, steady ritual of watching my grandpa go through each step of making toast. I loved how safe and warm and loved I felt in his presence, and how special it felt to eat something that he had prepared for me with such care and kindness. I have to say, I am a bit surprised and quite moved to discover how clearly I remember all of this.
This morning, I made a perfect piece of toast, with a big thick slice of fresh sourdough from our local bakery, and some (vegan) butter ~ just like my Grandpa would have made for me. Toasted in my very own toaster oven, of course. I took my perfect toast, put it on a small plate, and sat down at the table to eat it.