WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16TH: WHAT I’VE BEEN READING

Fresh BreadThere are two items of particular interest today.  

The first is from Yahoo’s Shine section—“What’s Your Recipe for Perfect Toast?”, a piece by Sarah Fuss about a subject that doesn’t (but should!) get much coverage. Toast, glorious toast.  

In our household, we never get sick of toast. We have it for breakfast; I often have it for lunch, with peanut butter; and one of my favorite light suppers is poached egg (ideally Monika’s) with, you guessed it, toast. 

I make most of the bread that we eat, and we have gotten so spoiled with the homemade bread that on the rare occasions when we do buy bread, toast just isn’t the same. It almost takes the zip out of our day because let’s face it—good toast provides a solid foundation. With good toast, anything seems possible. Good toast gives us the energy to sally forth and meet our challenges: Clif, at Maine Housing in Augusta, and me in front of the computer as I wrestle with words. 

Occasionally, I meet someone who doesn’t own a toaster. Inconceivable! How do they get by without toast? However, in “What’s Your Recipe for Perfect Toast?”, Sarah Fuss describes how ABC Kitchen’s Dan Klugger makes toast. Basically, he fries it in olive oil. Nothing wrong with this technique, which would produce an excellent dinner toast. But, in my mind, at least, proper toast is made in a toaster. 

There is one area where Fuss and I are in perfect agreement, and that is with butter. We both like to leave the butter dish out of the refrigerator—only in the hottest weather will butter go bad. And now it’s time for a major confession: Like Fuss, I prefer salted butter. As a cook, I know I am supposed to prefer unsalted butter, and I have tried to like unsalted butter. In fact, it’s what I usually buy. But somehow butter just doesn’t taste as smooth and as sweet when it’s unsalted. To me, unsalted butter is the bland, boring cousin of salted butter. 

The second item of interest is a cooking video from the New York Times. In this short video, Melissa Clark demonstrates how to make a beautiful and mouth-watering citrus salad. All you need is a very sharp knife and a variety of citrus fruit. A little olive oil and sea salt for a dressing, and you have yourself a lovely salad. Then, to make a good thing even better, feta cheese, olives, or Parmesan can be added.  

I’ll be making one of these salads soon. Very soon.

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