The toast phenomenon is alive and well in Seattle, and I’m not mad about it. Toast, as a food, is both disarmingly simple and eternally comforting. All it requires is a slice of crisped up bread and an ever-changing array of toppings. It’s a simple meal, so it demands a certain attention be payed to the ingredients. As Ina says, you’ll want to use only the best.
Mayonnaise is my enemy. It has been since I was old enough to eat solid foods. Something about the tangy smell and wiggle-prone texture of the white substance that lived in the ever-present jar in our fridge just grosses me out. And for that reason, I’ve spent the last 30ish years skipping politely over each and every potato salad that appeared on buffet tables and picnic spreads. And then, on a trip to Munich, I discovered the vinegar-laced joys of the German potato salad and it was off to the races.
When I was a kid, I was a really picky eater, and there was virtually nothing I hated more than a bowl of tomato soup. The sound of a hand-cranked can opener inching around the rim of a Campbell’s can was my version of nails on a chalkboard. And although I shed most of my weird food proclivities as I aged, I never got fully on board with tomato soup—until about a year ago.
As of Monday, I finished my Christmas shopping, but I always like to have a few extra pretty or delicious things on hand to bring with me when I’m running out the door to the holiday parties that pepper the next week of my calendar. If these small hostess gifts end up being both pretty and delicious—well, that’s even better.