Simple Provisions

Food and Memory: Your Homesick Toasts

Last week I asked what you put on toast when you’re feeling a bit homesick and in need of a taste of home. I was a bit nervous asking, feeling like I may be throwing a party that no one turns up to. But the idea of Homesick Toast resonated and I was very excited to receive toast stories from all over the world!

Seeing these submissions reminded me of how evocative food can be. A simple piece of toast can bring forth memories of childhood, friends and family. It can conjure up a sense of place and belonging, or transport you back to a particular time.

If you put a slice of fresh bread slathered in butter and honey in front of me, I can recall, in great detail, the familiar chaos of family gatherings at my Grandparents’ house when I was a kid. I remember leaning against the cool laminate of the bench, feeling wet bathers against my skin as I watched Grandma slice up a baguette, preparing a quick post-swim snack for my cousins and I. Curiously these details are fresher than the memory of a subway ride I took yesterday.

The Homesick Toasts below trigger similarly vivid memories for their creators. Read on and be transported vicariously.

1.
Vegemite on toast is the taste of my childhood: a quick and easy breakfast before getting bundled off to school. As an adult it now goes perfectly with a hot tea or coffee and transports me from the NY concrete jungle to the sun and surf of a Sydney morning. Warning: apply Vegemite sparingly and with the advice of an Australian. –Beth from Espresso and the City

2.
I grew up in Kansas where sand plums grow wild on the side of the road and every summer I helped pick them to make jelly.  Sand plum jelly on a warm slice of toast brings back memories of growing up on a Kansas farm. –Emily from An Eatery Review

3.
My Homesick Toast reminds me of breakfast with my brother. We were allowed to garnish our own toast, inevitably went overboard and ended up giggling and sticky.  If you want to make it right, the bread has to be regular, white bread and toasted just lightly so the slice is golden, but still very soft. And the peanut butter has to be Skippy brand. The honey needs to be the creamed variety, although liquid honey works in a pinch. –Alison from A Life Less Ordinary

4.
My mother calls this a “Toasted Tuna”- it’s basically a fattier version of a tuna melt, using cream cheese and tunafish mixed with mayo on toasted bread.  Apparently she ate this every day while pregnant with me, which may help prove theories about mothers and children sharing taste affinities! –Ruthy from Omeletta

5.
My homesick toast would be Nutella toast. My college roommates and I used to eat Nutella all the time, and seeing it makes me “homesick” for Chapel Hill, NC. –Sarah from In Sustainability and In Health (Photo credit)

6.
Toasted crusty bread topped with kalamata olive tapenade, diced tomato and red onion, a few slices of cooked chorizo and fresh basil. Eating it reminds me of my parent’s cooking (French/Spanish background) and the lovely shops down the road from them that sell all these locally-sourced ingredients. –Charlotte from Leave the Grind Behind

Thank you so much to everyone who shared their Homesick Toasts! It’s been a pleasure reading and sharing the memories your toast triggered.