Saturday, 27 February 2010

Golden Toast by Lynda Waterhouse

Food is important to me. When I am reading a book and there is no food or eating described then I am strangely dissatisfied. I love reading Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books for the sugar rush. When I’m dreaming up a story I often visualise my characters eating. More often than not food equals comfort to me. A symbol of warmth, friendship and celebration. Food triggers powerful memories .
I have my mother to thank for this. She created a magical warmth around food. There was very little money to spare so Mum used her imagination to make meals exciting. Every morning as a child before I went to school she would wake me up, give me ten minutes rousing time and then make me ‘golden toast.’ Golden toast was two slices of white bread toasted on one side only with butter. The two slices were put together toasted sides facing outward making the toast both soft and crunchy.
A ‘cowboy dinner’ was a mountain of mash with baked beans on top. An ‘Indian’s dinner’ (this was the 1970’s) was a mountain of mash with mince on top. A’ Fruit Tea’ was an apple, orange, banana and a small packet of iced gems. When I was ill I was given ‘an egg chopped up in a cup’ to make me feel better.
My favourite dish of all time is ‘Swear Pie’ – homemade whimberry pie. A flavour which I often crave and the rare sighting of a punnet of whimberries can drive me to distraction.


Sharon Kirk Clifton said...

Yes, food is visceral. It's a great opportunity to "show, don't tell," since one can draw upon multiple senses to describe it.

You also increased my vocabulary by two words: punnet and whimberry (though I've heard of bilberries). You must be from, or spent a portion of your life in, the UK.

Write on!

Linda Strachan said...

Egg in a cup was one of our childhood comforts, too.
Food was always of prime importance in our house, possibly the Italian connection, because food is so central to Italian culture.
Discussions about food were an important part of daily life.
As a small child delicious tempting aromas welcomed me home from school because my mother would have sugo (sauce for pasta) bubbling on the stove. Our delight was to dip in a piece of bread as a taster to keep us going until teatime.

Lucy Coats said...

Yep--that egg in a cup seems to be a universal comforter. It is so to me even now--and I have passed its delights on to my own children.

If you like literary food, Linda, there are a few (non-iced) gems in this previous ABBA post of mine.

Lucy @

Linda Strachan said...

Yes, Lucy, I remember it well.

Food is wonderfully evocative for a writer, isn't it?

Colour, texture, possible combinations, taste and smell - it touches all the senses (as Sharon mentioned above) and stirs our memories, too.

Stroppy Author said...

I knew it as 'Ei im Glas' and it was indeed a comfort food. There were other foods I knew only in German - most notably Spargel (asparagus). I wonder what there is about food that links it strongly with the language in which it is first encountered?

Ms. Yingling said...

Lloyd Alexander has a lovely article years ago on how much he connected books with certain foods. The Maud Hart Lovelace Betsy books always made me want to make chocolate fudge!

Linda Strachan said...

ooh yes, and the book Chocolat by Joanne Harris....mmmmh!

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