Love Toast

Strawberry Brulee Toast
Julia Child once famously said, "I have trouble with toast. Toast is very difficult. You have to watch it all the time or it burns up."

This was certainly true before very precise toasters came along, but truthfully, really good toast isn't the kind of toast that one produces via a toaster, even a very precise one. The kind of toast that I'm talking about, and that Julia Child was referring, is the kind of toast that can only be made under the broiler.

When I was a little girl, we lived for a time in Colorado. My mother rarely used her broiler, but every year, deep in the darkest days of winter when Christmas had long passed and the snow was dirty and icy and no good for building snowmen, she would surprise us with cinnamon toast. We'd wake to find a plate piled high with thick slabs of buttery toasted white bread topped with a dense layer of caramelized sugar and cinnamon that would crack between our teeth. And we, my brother and I, who fought endlessly every waking moment, would be rendered silent as we slipped into the reverie of our toast. Surprisingly, my mother, who must have realized the power of this toast, did not use it to regularly quiet us down.

Good toast is more than bread and butter. Good toast requires both time and patience, for it can't be hurried and it must be watched--very closely. But there is something about toast that is nourishing and satisfying and of course, comforting. So, for Valentine's Day, I made Mr. B a few pieces of this delectable strawberry brulee toast to enjoy along with his newspaper and coffee. It only took one bite for him to realize that this was something special, this toast was an act of love.

Mel's Strawberry Brulee Toast

Slices of really good bread--Baguette, Challah, Brioche
Good quality unsalted butter, softened
Fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
Pinch of sea salt

1. Turn on the broiler and preheat.
2. Butter the slices of bread, making sure to butter each slice completely to the edge.
3. Place under the broiler and toast; watch carefully, because it only takes a split second to go from golden brown to burnt.
4. Remove from the oven and layer the sliced strawberries over the bread.
5. Sprinkle with sugar and return to the oven.
6. Broil until the sugar bubbles and melts and turns golden.
7. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sea salt.

Remember, love is about the simple pleasures in life. Don't go any further on your journey without a proper piece of toast.


  1. It's funny you should post about broiler toast because my grandma didn't make it any other way. Even though we visited her in the summer, the smell of her cinnamon toast and fresh cut cantaloupe will forever bring me back to that time.

    Her cinnamon toast was simply on white bread, but the edges would be crunchy, while the inside was so tender. Thanks for the trip down memory lane today - happy Valentine's day!

  2. Yum on your grandma's toast; I wish we could have convinced my mom to make more of it more often.

    What a great memory. I don't know why, but toast is definitely a comforting food that makes us feel loved.

    Happy Valentine's day to you and Tony.


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