Simple Provisions

Food does not need to be fancy to be celebrated

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.

Homesick Toast Submissions

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

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

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

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

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)

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.

18 thoughts on “Food and Memory: Your Homesick Toasts

  1. These pictures made me totally starving, even though I just finished a very decadent lunch. My homesick toast would be toast with butter, sugar, and cinnamon, which is quite a departure from my current favorite toast, which has avocado with salt and lots of pepper!

    1. Amelia says:

      I know what you mean. I had to go and eat toast after finishing this post! Butter, sugar and cinnamon sounds delicious.

  2. 365doss says:

    It’s taken me days to decide, but I think I miss Tip Top raisin toast the most. You can’t get anything like it in the UK!

    1. Amelia says:

      Yes! I haven’t thought about raisin toast in ages!

  3. My best friend growing up was a Kiwi, and sleepovers at her place were not complete without marmite toast for brekkie. She sends me jars of proper NZ marmite (not that nasty UK stuff) all the way from Auckland to this day! (:

  4. Leesah Em says:

    My favourite “australia-sick” toast is something my best friend’s mom made me on my first trip out–avocado tomato and melted provolone cheese toast. OMG. Whenever I have it it takes me back to that trip, that morning…so amazing.

  5. ajantzi says:

    Reblogged this on A Life Less Ordinary and commented:
    The rest of the story regarding my submission:
    I grew up, and still live, in Ontario, Canada. I find comfort in my PB & H. My younger brother and I shortened ‘peanut butter and honey’ for speed when ordering. For me, the toast is less about missing home, and more about missing my brother: he has been living in Japan for over 10 years, so visits are few and far between.

  6. Ann Mah says:

    I love these toast memories! I ate toast almost every single night when my husband was in Baghdad. I had stopped cooking during his tour there because it didn’t feel right without him. My favorite discovery was toast rubbed with garlic and the cut side of a cherry tomato, drizzled with olive oil. It made me homesick for him, and the vacation we took to Barcelona right before he left for Iraq.

    1. Amelia says:

      That sounds delicious Ann

  7. I love your blogpost- what a great idea to share your toast stories and engage others in sharing their toast stories! Growing up, I use to love putting butter and strawberry jam together. I would make them and bring them with me when my family went to the park for picnics. A great snack. Nowadays, Nutella is my toast game! I love waking up in the morning and having toast with Nutella and a nice bowl of cereal.

  8. Kimberly says:

    Ack! I missed the deadline! FINALLY this morning I made my homesick toast and photographed it just for this! But refer to Number 3 and it’s almost perfect. Though in my grown up years I prefer a “meatier” piece of bread with nuts, grains, etc, the honey (creamed, I definitely agree on) has to go on first though since it needs the hot bread to melt it otherwise it just smears the pb all wrong. My peanut butter choices vary on how childish I am feeling – Kraft Crunchy on my childlike days, natural peanut butter on my grown up days. And, like #3 is has to be loaded. Not a corner of toast should be showing. The bread is simply a vehicle for the taste and texture of too much PB!! Great idea on calling for submissions. Depsite the wonderful photos and ideas, you’re avocado one takes the “toast” for beauty that’s for sure!

    1. Amelia says:

      Sounds delicious Kimberly! Thanks for coming back :)

  9. Tunie says:

    This post is long passed, but my favorite toast was thin sliced rye toast with either cream cheese or sweet butter and always, raspberry jam. It was my favorite snack growing up and I’d make a plate of two or three slices and disappear into a good book.

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