Honeymooning with my toasties | Jack Marshall's column

Toasties are like London buses: they arrive in your life in thick clusters.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 4:55 am
The humble toastie

They appear suddenly, saviour-like, coming into view as a tangible concept seemingly out of nowhere. Then another comes. And another. And probably one more. Show me the man who casually has a single toastie a week and I’ll show you a liar.

Picture the scene: you’re a normal human being who eats normal human being things. You don’t typically have the same meal four days in a row - that would be silly. You fill your diet with normal human things like broccoli and spaghetti bolognese. Life goes on.

Then you remember that a concept called ‘the toastie’ exists. Something primal and yearning-for-dairy stirs in you. Suddenly, all other food becomes stupid. The mere suggestion of a cold sandwich becomes utterly laughable.

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Maybe the toastie maker is retrieved from its dark corner at the back of that cupboard where you keep all of the loudest pans, which duly clatter all over one another. Maybe it’s plucked carefully from behind a row of dusty margarita glasses on an impossibly high shelf.

You notice one of the rubber feet is missing. It sits on the side as you wipe it down with a sponge. You flip open the lid and see the familiar triangular patterns, gazing like Pythagoras at a pattern you know so well. The first toastie is the gateway meal: a portal into a world where, all of a sudden, your brain is flooded with memories of just how bloody good toasties are.

You start wondering why you ever put the toastie maker away in the loud cupboard or on the high shelf in the first place. Thick, warm bread. Gooey cheese. Beans, chilli, ham. Chicken, turkey, halloumi. Onions, bacon, mustard. The combinations are endless. ‘I’ll never eat anything else ever again,’ you think. Usually, that first toastie is followed by another the same day.

This is the toastie honeymoon period.

You and the toastie are getting along so, so well. Your lunches are now foregone conclusions, a mid-afternoon snack an absolute certainty. The toastie reigns supreme. And then, it doesn’t. Just as swiftly as it came into your life, it leaves. You go back to eating like a human being, your toastie tryst - your breaddy bender - replaced by broccoli and spag bol.

But you’ll be back.