From the Heart


Tea and Toast – The Make-Everything-Better Combination

Bread and water can so easily be tea and toast.”

It seems like such a simple meal or snack, tea and toast, it’s meager almost. But just think about it… toast of any kind is a comforting mainstay and we already know that tea fits that bill.  In my house growing up it was tea and toast when you were sick, but that duo just doesn’t have to be when you are sick. That “couple” works wonders in times when you are feeling unsettled, overwhelmed or just  plain “off”.  Tea and toast to the rescue!!! Together that pair, can calm and soothe – the perfect thing to quiet a distressed mind or just the exact thing when you simply want to merely sit and relax. Both are warm and soothing – culinary comforters of the first order – they blanket you like a warm, comfy, fluffy quilt. Neither require you to make a special trip to a store, nor do you need any advanced cooking skills. In its simplest form, perhaps all you really need to know, is how to boil water and wield perhaps a bread knife.

Toast is what you want to eat when you don’t want to eat anything at all, or when you can’t make up your mind.

To me it seems that toast is the food equivalent to a cup of tea. However, at some point after you have made that perfect cup of tea, there are decisions that must be made regarding the toast.  Do you want it slathered with a lot of butter (my personal preference), or with just a hint butter, or do you prefer it dry?  Perhaps, a jam or jelly is your favorite topping, or maybe even some peanut butter. Or, how about this… in “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis, in it he describes an afternoon tea in the snug cave of Tumnus the Faun where Tumnus and Lucy ate toast with sardines – (I personally don’t know about that one – oily, strong- flavored sardines on my buttered toast, I think not).

Tea and toast are my nightly ritual, but in the end, this pair is suitable for all occasions. Kenneth Grahame, certainly had it right when he wrote how “buttered toast simply talked to toad.”! For it talks to me every night – try it sometime, it is magical.

“When the girl returned, some hours later, she carried a tray, with a cup of fragrant tea steaming on it; and a plate piled up with very hot buttered toast, cut thick, very brown on both sides, with the butter running through the holes in great golden drops, like honey from the honeycomb. The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cozy parlor firesides on winter evenings, when one’s ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender, of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries.”

  – Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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