Thursday, February 25, 2016

Tea and Toast

A few years ago I decided I wanted a toast rack and went on a search. I finally found one, but it wasn’t as easy to use as I thought. A rack of buttered toast got cold quickly and butter dripped all over the tray. Then I learned the toast rack was used for dry toast in England where they eat their toast differently than we do. Ah, dry toast didn’t fly here because DH and I both love toast drenched in butter, thick pats of yellow that melted in to pools looking like the green Witch of the East when water hit her.

To me there is nothing richer than thick sourdough bread toasted. Some jam might be nice but butter is enough. Lately I have found Smuckers Cherry Preserves which are more than wonderful. I have promised myself this is the last jar I will buy since I can’t leave them alone. As a child I did a spell of cinnamon sugar. In high school my Lenten sacrifice one Easter season was eating dry toast for breakfast. I survived but the habit didn’t catch on.

Toast was originally called burnt toast; it kept longer being cooked than plain bread and it allowed people to be less nomadic when they could find grain, grind, bake and then store bread longer. People propped chunks of bread in front of a fire to toast, eventually sticking then in the fire. Of course, you can skillet or oven toast bread. I tried it the other night when my toaster suddenly quit! It was good but took more butter, and I don’t need encouragement to consume more of something that develops hip pads.

So the next morning a trip to Walmart replaced my toaster very cheaply. In the world of kitchen tools a toaster is an inexpensive appliance. The electric toaster was invented over 100 years ago and is still very similar to the original…only now you can toast four slices of bread at once.

Speaking of sliced bread, did you know that the Continental Baking Company invented sliced bread in 1930? Imagine there being no sliced bread before that, only chunks or home knifed pieces. They called their new sliced bread Wonder Bread. Remember those colorful balloons on the packaging? In the 1950’s the local white, sliced bread was famous as A. J. Cripe’s Town Talk bread.

I can give up cake, pie, and candy easier than sacrificing my tea and toast. Ah, the joys of toasted sourdough bread with dark Irish Breakfast tea can’t be beat—unless there is a scoop of cherry preserves hiding in the back of the refrigerator!!!

Are you a toast and tea person?


Elephant's Child said...

I adore toast. And sourdough bread. An artisan baker here makes an olive and garlic sourdough. Mmmmm.

Linda O'Connell said...

Tomorrow I will be searching for cherry preserves. Yes. I have tea and buttered toast every morning.

Linda O'Connell said...

Tomorrow I will be searching for cherry preserves. Yes. I have tea and buttered toast every morning.

BECKY said...

Oh, Claudia....I hardly ever eat toast, but after reading this, I think it will be a new love of mine! And your preserves...I'm with Linda, I might have to look for them. BUT, I do have strawberry preserves here which I do love and sometimes spread on waffles (cheapie toasted kind) instead of syrup! Love your photo, too!

Sioux said...

Claudia--I love bread. It doesn't have to be toasted, but buttered--that is a necessity.

And for me, if it's good bread, it doesn't need jelly or jam. (I'd prefer honey.) Sometimes, the bread is so delicious, it needs nothing.

Tea is good, too.

Susan said...

Hi Claudia. I'm more of a coffee drinker but I do drink a lot of hibiscus tea as a means of lowering blood pressure. It's delicious. I drink it both hot and cold. Oooooooo, that Smucker's cherry preserves sounds yummy. I'll have to look for that on your recommendation. ha! Hope you have a good week ahead. Susan

Marylin Warner said...

As an English major, I studied in England for awhile, so I knew how the English use toast racks.
Believe it or not, when I came home and told my mom about it, she laughed and got a chair to stand on so she could reach the back of a high cabinet. She withdrew a toast rack. A friend had brought it back from her travels as a gift for Mom, who thought it was a napkin holder. The next time the friend came over for tea, paper napkins were flopped over in the rack. They talked and laughed about it for years.

rebecca said...

I can do w/o tea, but I DO agree about toast! Raisin bread toast is a particular favorite of mine.