Thursday, February 14, 2013

Toast

Yesterday, Miriam's (Scottish) teacher brought a toaster into class and the kids all made toast as an experiment in before/after description and observation. Miriam came home just raving about toast - plain, unbuttered, toasted bread. The way she described it to me, it was as if she had never imagined you could even make toast without butter and cinnamon sugar.

I have to wonder if this is her Scottish teacher's influence, because if my reading British literature/watching British miniseries has taught me anything, it's that they enjoy their plain toasted bread over there.

On the other hand, for my entire life, "toast" has always meant "toasted bread + butter and cinnamon sugar," and apparently I've passed that idea on to my children. Hence Miriam's surprise at plain toasted bread being called "toast." If I wanted (for some unfathomable reason) toast without the butter and cinnamon sugar, I would have to say, "dry toast" or "plain toast" or, you know, "toast without butter and cinnamon sugar."

How about you? Is the idea of toast = toasted bread + butter and cinnamon sugar an American construct or just a Bridget (Walker family) construct? If someone offered you toast, would you feel compelled to ask if they wanted butter and cinnamon sugar, or is that included in the concept of "toast"?

25 comments:

Merkley Jiating said...

Just bread and butter. I've never heard of the cinnamon sugar thing. If someone asked me to make them toast, I would only add butter. I wouldn't be too thrown off if they wanted to add jam. Not adding anything seems weird to me though.

Steve said...

Just bread and butter. The cinnamon and sugar thing was only for very rare occasions. If I were to make toast, it wouldn't even occur to me to put cinnamon and sugar on it.

Crys said...

I'm with everyone else. If someone said toast I'd expect bread and butter, although we as well love cinnamon sugar toast so much we have had a cinnamon-sugar container our whole marriage, and our parents do as well :-). If an English person offered me toast all my English mystery years would make me expect beans and bread ;)

Liz Johnson said...

I'd expect butter, and cinnamon sugar as a treat. But just plain toast? Gross, man. You gotta top that thing.

Jen said...

So, I continue to amass data points that tell me that I was raised in a community/family/region that was more British-influenced than I thought! I would never SERVE toast without something on it, but the word "toast" means "toasted bread" to me. I always ask, "What do you want on your toast?"

Toast=Naked, toasted bread...but I await your order for what goes on top. =)

(FYI, we top our toast with butter, butter/jam, butter/cinnamon/sugar, butter/peanut butter, nutella, etc.)

Melody said...

I'm with Jen. But we don't even necessarily put butter on toast. We might put only jam. Or we might toast bread to put a sandwich on, etc. sometimes we even make it garlic toast using butter and garlic salt. I think my kids have only had butter/cinnamon/sugar 2 or 3 times.

Bridget said...

Wow! I guess this is a Walker thing. I am so surprised that cinnamon sugar is not de rigueur for everyone. I just assumed!

Jen mentioned butter + jam. In my family, if you were having jam on a bread product, you had ONLY jam, not jam and butter. Until I married Jeremy and ate at his house and maaaannn, butter + jam is soooo much tastier.

Bridget said...

Aaaahhhh! Melody, can you imagine, my kids have only EVER had cinnamon sugar on toast (because to me, that's what toast meant). Now I see why it was such a big deal to Miriam to have British-style plain toast.

Jen said...

try butter and peanut butter on hot toast.....it'll kill ya, but it'll be delicious on your way out.

Bridget said...

I've had just peanut butter on toast and it is delicious. I should have thought to add butter given my experience with jam (above).

Glenda The Good said...

What is wrong with you people...JAM WITHOUT BUTTER! That may just be a cardinal sin. Men are that they might have joy! No butter, no joy! Of course jam with butter taste better, everything with butter taste better!!! Bridget it is really funny to me though that your kids have never had toast without cinnamon-sugar. We eat eggs at least once a week and always have toast WITH butter :)

Ariana said...

Adding cinnamon sugar was always an extravagant extra at our house growing up. We just had toasted bread with butter. My favorite is to mix the cinnamon with brown sugar and butter and make a paste, then spread it on bread and toast it in a toaster oven until the sugar is all caramelized and fabulous. oh man...

Bridget said...

Have you been reading The Great Brain books? Because the kids in those books totally did the brown sugar/butter toast thing and it always sounded soooo good. Glad to know it is.

Tia said...

Toast and jam. Or toast and peanut butter.

Britney said...

Funny. Just bought a new toaster yesterday.

I'm with the others. Toast is only toast if it's at least spread with some kind of butter. Sugar and cinnamon toast is divine. It's my go-to if I'm craving sweets and our cookie/chocolate supply is low. :)

Ariana said...

Nope...haha. I thought I invented it. Oh well. :)

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Actually, the cinnamon sugar thing was my Mom's practice, so you could call it an Ashe thing. I never heard of toast w/out cinnamon sugar until I was old enough to start staying at friends' homes, and then it was a grave disappointment to be served toast with only butter, or disgustingly, jam on top.

BTW, the cinnamon sugar shaker we use is the same one my Mom used, so you can have it when I'm gone.

Anonymous said...

Butter and marmite, to make it properly British!

AmandaStretch said...

Toast usually means toasted bread with butter, or butter and honey, sometimes butter and jam. If want toast with cinnamon and sugar on it, I call it cinnamon toast. We have a cinnamon and sugar grinder from Trader Joe's that I lurve. My mom kept our cinnamon sugar in a container far too similar to the salt shaker, and they were solid, so I mistakenly had salt toast once. No bueno. I do recommend, if you ever get the chance, Trader Joe's Cookie Butter on your warm toast. Tastes like magic.

Sarah said...

Toast to me means toast + raspberry jam. My parents always added butter too. Occassionally I'll do butter only, or cinnamon sugar and butter. Very interesting!

Jessie said...

Piling on to say that "toast" is toasted bread with butter. "Dry toast," no butter. I had cinnamon sugar toast almost every day of my childhood, but I always asked for just that: cinnamon sugar toast. And no sugar/cinnamon salt shakers in our house. I like them to go on separately.

Jennifer said...

To me, toast is the toasted bread. Like Jen, I would never serve it plain, but that's what toast is. However, I have been known to eat plain toast. :)

karina said...

To me toast means plain toasted bread. You have to specify what topping you want (though plain toast is an option). I usually eat it dry or with just butter. If I have homemade jam, that goes on for sure. Or butter and honey. I can't remember the last time I sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar, but I love that combo.

Amy said...

I agree with Jen and Jenn. Toast is toasted bread, nothing on it. Of course, it is assumed that you'll add something, but that's up to you (be it butter and jam, pb and jam, butter and honey, pb and honey, butter and cinnamon and sugar), etc.

Though, my grandmother, whenever she makes toast, would serve toasted bread with butter. There was no question that your toast would be buttered. SO maybe my Mom's side of the family didn't assume you'd have butter on toast while Dad's side did.

Who knew it could be so complicated?!

Anonymous said...

I'm scottish and over here toast is just toasted bread - butter would be a standard topping, or you could melt cheese on top (roasted cheese), also good with dairylea/ laughing cow, pate or jam.

Don't think we have cinammon sugar over here, I'm intrigued....

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