I can be contrary at times. Perverse, even.
Here in Portland, we’ve been deep into that in-between fruit season for a while now. Apples are getting mealy, citrus is on its way out. Rhubarb offers a springtime promise, but I usually spend this time of year complaining to whoever will listen. Hurry up strawberries! Will cherries, peaches and nectarines ever arrive?
Don’t get me wrong—I’m always grateful when the first rhubarb appears. It’s just that I’m missing fruit bowl appeal, wanting to grab a piece of fruit and eat it.
So you’d think I would have been happy a few weeks back when the thermometer hit 70°. I even had my first strawberries from the farmers market. But what did I do? I started to think about all the cozy winter foods I meant to eat and didn’t get around to. Stews, lasagna made with Béchamel sauce, and milk toast.
Milk toast? Is she kidding? Nope, just being perverse. I never ate milk toast when I was a kid. It had a bad reputation, kind of the way prunes did. I knew better than believing bad prune propaganda. But without once tasting milk toast, I accepted the notion that it was bland and repulsive.
Age can do wonders. Life experience has made me more open-minded. A while back I read something about milk toast, and decided to give it a try. Come to think of it, how can bread, butter, milk, and a little sugar (especially when you’re using the best available) go wrong?
Turns out a slice of chewy bread toasted, buttered generously, and sprinkled with sugar, floating in warm rich milk with bits of cream tastes pretty good. Who’d have thought?
But I wasn’t done. I’m not an invalid after all. What I really wanted, as soon as Pavel returned from his business trips and could attend his proper post (that would be in front of our espresso machine), was a bowl of caffe latte toast.
After toasting the bread (I used Ken’s country brown), I spread it with butter and sprinkled (okay, it was more of a hail storm) cinnamon sugar on top. While Pavel steamed the milk for my bowl o’latte, I ran the toast under the broiler, just to glaze it a bit.
So what now? You’d think I’d be happy with the return to cold weather. But I’m still complaining. Will the rain ever stop? Where are the strawberries? When will I get to have a peach? Because I’m contrary that way. Perverse, even.