Burnt Toast

Burnt Toast with Smoke and Motion Blur Popping from Toaster

Burnt Toast with Smoke and Motion Blur Popping from Toaster

One random night at dinner my son said something about how I only eat burnt toast.  One comment opened up a floodgate and everyone piled on….”OMG, I have totally noticed that mom always burns her toast,” “So funny, her toast is like charcoal with melted butter,” and so on.  There is a reason I prefer my toast well done and it is so obvious to someone who has been on a gluten-free diet as long as I have.

Back in the stone-age era of gluten-free food, bread was made of, only joking of course, but I swear it seemed like bread was made with asbestos.  I could set the toaster to the “en fuego” setting and the bread would not even turn a shade of golden brown or even a slightly beige tinge.  I could toast it for three days, and while it might have the consistency of a brick, it would still be a pale white color.

It drove me crazy and I used to jack up the toaster setting and then repeat the cycle three or four times just to get a little color.  I like the toasted flavor, and if I were honest about it, I actually like the burnt flavor.  Maybe I liked the burnt edges because it was damn near impossible to achieve and maybe because yesteryear’s gluten-free bread was so horrible tasting.

Flash forward to today and gluten-free bread tastes really good and achieves some color if you set it to medium dark and run the bread through one toasting cycle…but I still sometimes run it through twice or set the color to “dark” and let it rip.   Now I have a reputation and something that my kids will laugh about long after I’m gone…”Remember how mom always ate burnt toast?  She was such a lovable weirdo…”

Kendall Egan

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Toast

The Englishman in New York likes his toast done on one side, says Sting.  I like mine burnt around the edges and dripping with butter.

Back in the day, no matter how hard you tried, it was impossible to get a little color on toasted gluten-free bread.  My mother called it “asbestos bread” because it just refused to toast.

Things have changed as breads just keep getting better and better, using alternative and more healthful grains.  I can achieve a perfect golden brown color with crispy edges with Rudi’s or Udi’s gluten-free bread varieties.  When I made bread, Bob’s Red Mill’s bread would also toast to a crusty texture and achieve a honeyed hue.

What will never change for me, gluten-free or otherwise, is that my toast must have pools of butter.  I love it.  I never switched to a margarine or olive oil spread because butter is my one true indulgence.  I want the real thing in whatever I am making.

Whether it is a sweet cream or salted or Irish version of butter, I prefer butter to any type of spread.  My mother served up toast dripping with butter when I was a kid and it is an acquired taste.  I would rather do without toast at all if I could not put butter on it!

toast and coffee

Yes, I choose peanut butter or cream cheese or even jam every now and then, but if I could start every day with a steaming cup of dark roasted coffee and two slices of heavily buttered gluten-free toast, I would never complain.

Kendall Egan

Breakfast Berry Cheesecake

I have a new refrigerator coming tomorrow so we have had some eclectic meals as we try to empty out the freezer and fridge of most of the contents.

I went a little crazy buying berries at the farmers market…again.  Last night I took the black raspberries and made a sauce.  With a little bit of water and one scant teaspoon of sugar, the berries just melted in a sauce pan into a deep purple preserve.  Most of it went on top of the remnants of ice cream we had in our freezer.

This morning, I had “berry cheesecake toast!”2013-07-15 09.13.01

Toasted Udi’s gluten-free Multigrain bread, all natural cream cheese and a healthy “schmere” of black raspberry preserve.  The sauce had thickened overnight in the refrigerator and was the perfect tart/sweet topping to the cream cheese.

I used to put this combination of toppings on Van’s gluten-free waffles when I was newly diagnosed and I still love the combination.  It really does taste like a berry cheesecake without the calories!

Kendall Egan