Toast is Nigel Slater’s truly extraordinary story of a childhood remembered through food. In each chapter, he takes readers on a tour of the contents of his family’s pantry: rice pudding, tinned ham, cream soda, mince pies, lemon drops, bourbon biscuits. His mother was a chops-and-peas sort of cook, exasperated by the highs and lows of a temperamental stove, a finicky little son, and the asthma that was to prove fatal. His father was a honey-and-crumpets man with an unpredictable temper. When Nigel’s widowed father takes on a housekeeper with social aspirations and a talent in the kitchen, the following years become a heartbreaking cooking contest for his father’s affections. But as he slowly loses the battle, Nigel finds a new outlet for his culinary talents, and we witness the birth of what was to become a lifelong passion for food.
Nigel’s likes and dislikes, aversions and sweet-toothed weaknesses, form a fascinating backdrop to this exceptionally moving memoir of childhood, adolescence, and sexual awakening.
A father’s legacy
The vegetarian-cooking pioneer
Barbecue, tamales, cocktails, and more
Good on everything