Toast is a ritual at my in-laws house. Every weekend morning, my father-in-law (and only my father-in-law) tirelessly butters and toasts as much bread as the assembled family will eat. And he's really good at it...and it makes a difference. Toast is one of those simple things that benefits from a little attention to detail. Throw in a little love and you have some wonderful memories. Maybe I should plan a toast mosaic for him on his next decimally significant birthday.

Apparently my father-in-law and caretakers everywhere have unwittingly secured pleasant memories of their toast by way of neurochemistry. Apparently toast doesn't just engender nostalgia, toast actually creates nostalgia. Toasting bread, Alton Brown (one of my favorites) would probably like you to know, is a Maillard reaction, an amino-sugar-heat trifecta which also creates key flavors in beer, whiskey, roasted coffee, and Dulce de leche.

My father-in-law developed his toast technique by experience, but apparently John Thorne has written 12 pages on the subject in Pot on the Fire (hat tip Orangette, where you can also find a great recipe for bread to toast). But really, when you've got neurochemicals on your side, it's hard to go wrong. But if you do want specific toast recipes and more toast-love/info head over to Dr. Toast's Amazing World of Toast and also get some great music to play in the background while waiting for the toaster to ding.

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