Have you ever wondered why we call it a ‘toast’? As in, raising your glass and giving a toast. So…before the term ‘toasting’ became a thing, raising your glass in tribute, or for celebration, came from the ancient Greeks. (*eye roll* those Greeks and all their origins of stuff) They would raise a goblet to the sky, offering it up to the Gods. I don’t know what they called it, they didn’t invite me, but the term ‘toast’ for that very thing came about in the 17th century. Back then, people would drop toasted bread into vats of booze as a flavor enhancer (I know, right?!) and would eat it (whaaaa?!). That practice of drinking the toasty booze while giving a speech at banquets caught on and the name stuck. And these banquets would get so rowdy that they had people called ‘toastmasters’, who were basically just referees, employed to keep things in order.
Don’t you love learning something random and weird that you use in daily life but have never, ever questioned because it’s just a thing? It makes you wonder what other things we should question and maybe stop taking for granted.
And Huey Lewis.
Ok. So, sometimes I write things because I have things swimming in my head. There may not be a direct line of thought, but just… stuff up there. So I’ll start writing and see where it takes me. I was reading the other day and learned that bit about toasting and found it strange and cool and felt like sharing. Then I wanted to run with that notion of questioning more things in our lives and see where that took me. Then the title, ‘raw toast is just bread’ somehow popped in my head. And I’m trying to figure out what that means to me. And if there’s a connection to it all.
Normally you get to see things here in their polished state, (eh… ok, semi-polished state à la Abbey) but these days I’m learning to be more comfortable with the fact that my journey is more important than where it is I’m trying to go. That what I am made of is fun and weird and complicated, and I really like that. I’m working on being more confident with things that I used to try to change in order to please others. And I’m working on not being shy to say what I feel and what I want and what I need.
I don’t even like toast. Isn’t that strange? I have no use for it. Give me the bread and leave me alone. Bread is good and soft inside and welcoming, like a gentle hug. And toast is brittle and stiff and not a complete thing and merely a vehicle for something else. Like being the outside of a griddled sandwich. Filled with cheese. And pork. And mustard. And a pickle. (Now I want a Cuban.) But bread! Ahh. Bread has so many possibilities, while toast has met the end of its line. Toast is as far as bread will ever go. Toast is sad. And resentful. And ornery. It takes a couple seconds for toast to go from perfect to absolute garbage. What a temper!! That doesn’t sound fun to me. But bread can be anything.
Bread began as flour and water and yeast and salt. Just a few otherwise simple and random ingredients. And they were mixed together. In the exactly perfect way. And those simple and random things grew together to become a brand new thing. They worked together, using each other’s strengths and compensating for their weaknesses, and they rose. Together, they rose. It stopped being a They and became an It. And It rose and grew and expanded and It looked up to a higher purpose.
It raised Its glass and toasted to the Gods and asked to become it’s greatest self.
But toast is where bread goes when it’s given up. Because you do not use your good bread for toast. You wait until the bread has giving all that it can give and you go, eh… toast, then? You cannot change toast. You cannot take toast’s mistakes and correct them. And I don’t like that in a person.
I think changing is the key to a lot of things in life. If we don’t change, we don’t move. If we don’t move, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we cease. Is this why I love bread so much? Maybe. Or maybe I love it because it is my favorite thing and I do not need a reason for loving the things, or the people, that I love.
But when you take something you have never before questioned and have perhaps taken for granted because it has always been there for you, you start to look at things in a different way.
Raw toast is just bread… Everything is whatever it is you perceive it to be.
Click here for my Whole Wheat Italian Bread recipe that I served with Rigatoni and Sausage Ragout over Christmas…