Posts Tagged ‘toast’

What is the sound of one slice toasting?

December 27, 2020

One loafer, no loaf.

The tenzo at the Juan Hand Clapping Memorial Zendo & Bicycle Warehouse wandered off the Path yesterday and forgot to bake a fresh loaf of bread.

Thus this morning’s Solomonic treatment of the one remaining slice from the old loaf. As Baba Ram Jimbo Harrison has taught us in “The Raw and the Cooked: Adventures of a Roving Gourmand,” the great cuisines of the world — and I would argue, the not-so-great as well — tend to arise from economies of scarcity.

“This calls for resourcefulness in the kitchen, or what the tenzo in a Zen monastery would call ‘skillful means,'” he wrote.

That, and a bread knife.

Toast, master

October 25, 2020

A one-pound mini-loaf from our new-used Toastmaster Bread Box.

We missed the Big Breadmaking Boom of the Apocalypse.

By the time we thought, “Hmm, might be nice to start making our own bread,” all the ingredients had become as rare as plague-free toadies among Adolf Twitler’s Brown Noses.

Anyway, I am not a baker. Too much math, too hands-on, too much finicky attention required by too many niggling little details, especially at altitude. It’s classical, and while I appreciate the art form, I’m more of a jazz kind of guy, prone to improbable improvisations. Faced with a binary choice — right way vs. wrong way — I’ll say, “No way,” and walk away.

Herself makes the occasional pan of cornbread, but it’s tough to stuff a wedge of cornbread in the toaster.

The device at work.

We had an automatic breadmaker once, a gift from my sister. It was a Toastmaster Bread Box and cranked out serviceable loaves of whole-wheat goodness when we lived up near Weirdcliffe and acquiring proper groceries involved a 110-mile road trip at minimum.

Once we moved back to what passed for civilization the breadmaker went away in some unremarkable fashion, there being a Whole Paycheck, a Wild Oats, and other fine establishments doing the baking so we didn’t have to, even with machinery. You could get a loaf from the hippies at Mountain Mama that made you feel like a beaver gnawing a tree.

But here in the Year of Living Antiseptically our favorite English muffins abruptly vanished without warning, not unlike democracy, science, and common sense. And as I noted earlier, by the time we started weighing our options there were none, and nothing to weigh them with, either.

Herself made a few pans of cornbread, which was fine, unless we wanted toast. Locally made tortillas we have aplenty. But goddamnit all anyway, sometimes a fella just wants a slice of something toasted with butter and jam while he enjoys his morning coffee and tsk-tsks at the news.

I priced modern breadmakers and after recovering from the coronary remembered that there was no yeast to be had anyway.

Something is coming to call, and I don’t think it’s bringing bread.

And then, a miracle occurred.

After an unauthorized stop at a neighborhood garage sale Herself came home bearing — wait for it — a Toastmaster Bread Box.

A lightly used Model 1172X, it looks exactly like our old one save for the kneading blade, which seems larger.

The cost: $20. Even a senior citizen on a fixed income can bear that fiscal burden.

With yeast suddenly available again, we were in the breadmaking bidness. The inaugural loaf was kind of meh due to a poor choice of recipes (molasses, barf). But the next two, plucked straight from the owner’s manual, were perfect.

Now it’s all toasty around here in the morning. And just in time, too. Winter is coming.