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Posts Tagged 'toast'

$4 Toast, My Thoughts

iMfTrhtWhen I first heard someone talk about $4 toast in San Francisco I knew we weren’t talking about Wonder Bread. No one would have the cojones that big to try and sell Wonder Bread for $4, but of course San Francisco has plenty of bloggers with the cojones to make you think that. These rich techies are paying $4-$6 for a slice of toast!!!! Well, yes bread is involved and yes it’s toasted, but that’s pretty much where in ends for the most part.

Where it started is up for discussion, but people usually point to Trouble Coffee out in my hood or The Mill as the originators. They start with inch thick slices of wheat bread and slather it with butter and depending can top it with brown sugar and cinnamon, peanut butter and honey or whatever the hell they’re going to think up next. For a big eater it’s a light breakfast or a decent snack, but for the average person it’s pretty much a meal. It’s got a lot more calories and nutrition than a slice of Wonder Bread for sure.

The owner of Trouble Coffee said it was a comfort food for her because she grew up poor. For me, I was a kid in a middle class household that wasn’t hurting for money too bad and guess what my Grandmother used to make for me as a treat? Toast with lots of butter and brown sugar. Grandma would toss it under the broiler for a few seconds to get that serious caramelized effect that chefs like to go for now. It wasn’t a poor man’s pastry, it was actually more expensive than a donut back then probably because of the huge amounts of butter and stuff my Grandmother would toss on top of it. While most of the ingredients came out of boxes or bags this was home made for my Grandmother. I still like it today, I just never thought of slicing the bread an inch thick first.

My Grandmother would toss lots of stuff on bread that she’d toast. She used to broil cheese on bread and that was her version of a grilled cheese sandwich. I took a cue from her and toast bread then rub garlic on it and toss some chopped up tomatoes or other vegetables and call it lazy man’s bruschetta. Unfortunately for most people in San Francisco today lazy tends to be the norm. Finding a friend who is a foodie that can cook is kind of rare nowadays. Most of what people are spending their money on food wise has been prepared by someone else. Yes I cook so of course I’m going to not understand why other people don’t, but we’re talking about toast here. You can go to a bakery like Boudin and buy a loaf and ask them to cut it thick for you. You take it home, toast it, toss a bunch of stuff on top [if you’re slick you’ll put it under the broiler…] and you’re done.

The only reason there is $4 thick toast is that people don’t bother to do it for themselves. For the people who started selling it I think it’s a good idea. If you’ve never made it or bought it, it is something special. I had a poor period and a friend of mine gave me a 10lb bag of flour and a jar of yeast. That reminded me I knew how to make bread and I never felt hungry and I was able to do some pretty incredible things with it because when you’re hungry your mind sees everything as something you can turn into food [at least if you’re a guy like me.]

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Incidentally, the $4 toast, after doing a little search didn’t start in San Francisco. It started in Japan as a breakfast item too. It has scrambled egg on top and is sprinkled with chives and is sold as tamago toast for the equivalent cost of…$4

Looks pretty good and I’ll have to give that a try one of these days now.

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This Week Will Be About Food

I haven’t written too much about food recently, but I came across a book my wife and I were putting together that was a collection of my Mom’s recipes and I fell in love with food again. For those of you who knew her she was best remembered for her cooking.

I think because she was a stay at home mom that after I started going to school she had time on her hands and spent the time cooking. She would make gallons of bolognese sauce and freeze in old milk cartons, make cookies and cakes every week and all my friends that would come to the house always wanted to come by to taste what she made that day.

When we had parties she’d get up in the morning and start cooking. There would be appetizers like her bourbon barbecue hot dogs, mushroom toast rounds, spinach dip, crab molds. She wouldn’t just put out chips and dip she always went all the way.

Her food was old school compared to what you’d get today. It was pretty homey feeling when you’d eat it though and it made you feel good to take a bite of it. So this week I’ll be sharing some of her recipes that made me feel good as a kid growing up in San Francisco.

The first is one I grew with. It was the only way my Mom could get me to eat mushrooms and you’ll see why when you read the ingredients. I made this for a party once and after the first couple of batches I didn’t have a chance to get them into the oven because people were just spreading it on the bread and eating it up. I think you’ll like this one.

Mushroom Toast Rounds

Slice sour French rolls or onion bagels into thin slices. [I prefer baguettes]  Spread each round with the following mixture:

1/2 cup Best Foods Mayonaise

1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese

6 finely chopped mushrooms

1 teaspoon minced onions (instant) only if using French rolls. [I add a couple of cloves of garlic instead]
Place on baking sheet and broil until bubbly.

Variation: use chopped mushroom stems in above mixture and stuff mushroom caps.  Broil until tender.