Toast the story of a boy's hunger

by Nigel SLATER | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 1841152897 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Jenatleisure of Chobham, Surrey United Kingdom on 1/12/2005
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
13 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Jenatleisure from Chobham, Surrey United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 12, 2005
I heard this reviewed on "A good read" bbc radio4. The descriptions and enthusiasm of the reviewers made me want to rush out immediately and acquire my own copy. I resisted, but yesterday saw a copy in the charity shop for a £1 so here it is for us all to share.
email if you would like to dip in a refresh you childhood memories of food and families.

ring book
Nice-cup-of tea
TexasAngel August
then if no more takers back to jenatleisure

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Journal Entry 2 by katybean from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire United Kingdom on Monday, January 24, 2005
Book caught in the post this morning :o)

This will go on top of my to be read pile, so will be read very shortly. Thanks!

Journal Entry 3 by katybean from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, February 02, 2005
I have just finished reading this. I found it to be an interesting yet 'unusual' read!! I found the way in which Nigel Slater writes to be very descriptive and in places funny!!

Will pm Pam99 for their address!


Journal Entry 4 by katybean at Bookring in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Friday, February 04, 2005

Released 14 yrs ago (2/4/2005 UTC) at Bookring in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



Posted out to pam99, hope you enjoy it :o)

Journal Entry 5 by pam99 from Ochiltree, Scotland United Kingdom on Tuesday, February 08, 2005
arrived yesterday but I didn't get in till late, so journalling now! Looks good, will read as soon as possible.

Journal Entry 6 by pam99 from Ochiltree, Scotland United Kingdom on Friday, February 11, 2005
I enjoyed this book - I can relate to it as all of my childhood memories seem to be intricately connected to food - and I found it well written and moving at times, funny too.

Journal Entry 7 by pam99 from Ochiltree, Scotland United Kingdom on Friday, February 25, 2005
mailed today to Druisillamac

Journal Entry 8 by Drusillamac from Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom on Saturday, February 26, 2005
Caught in the post this morning! This is my next book on Mount TBR.

Journal Entry 9 by Drusillamac from Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom on Sunday, March 06, 2005
What a book. I throughly enjoyed this piece of writing. I did find some of the foods in the book a bit before my time but I can still identify with the idea. I thought the idea of using food to structure the book was a very original idea. I did find myself sniggering throughout the book, in particular the Walnut Whip incident. You do get a sense of isolation from the book but that obviously reflects what Nigel is going through himself.

Off to Kokalabare as soon as I get her address.

Journal Entry 10 by Drusillamac from Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom on Sunday, March 13, 2005
Sent in the post to Kokalabare on Friday. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 11 by Koalabare from Fetcham, Surrey United Kingdom on Monday, March 14, 2005
Thanks Drusillamac for sending this on - just had a browse and it looks great!

And thanks Jenatleisure for organising this!

Journal Entry 12 by Koalabare from Fetcham, Surrey United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 23, 2005
This was a sad, funny book that documents Nigel Slater's childhood, with his burgeoning love of food and associations between different foods and experiences.

Parts were shocking - his father's coldness and inability to understand or relate to his son was heartbreaking, as was the casual disregard for Nigel's feelings about Joan, the housekeeper cum stepmother.
But parts were also incredibly funny, not least because they documented social reactions to food 30 odd years ago - the first experience of spaghetti bolognese and prawn cocktails, and the snobbery (in the Slater household at least) towards certain types of food.
Very good - thank you Jenatleisure for sharing!

Journal Entry 13 by Koalabare from Fetcham, Surrey United Kingdom on Thursday, March 24, 2005
Posted today to Catrionamoore.

Journal Entry 14 by appletreen from Coalville, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Saturday, March 26, 2005
Arrived safely this morning with a few other books and goes straight into Mt TBR at 4th place but I am a pretty fast reader and will keep the journal updated on my progress, although it is unlikely for the book to spend longer than a month with me.

Journal Entry 15 by appletreen from Coalville, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Monday, April 04, 2005
I’ve enjoyed watching Nigel Slater’s Real Food series, he has even been christened The Dirty Man by all in our household. If it were possible to have an ultimate food threesome then mine would include the aforementioned Nigel and Nigella Lawson. However, knowing how passionate my husband is about food a kitchen threesome would probably be considered a worse infidelity than bedding the foodies!

For a man so passionate, often erotic, in his descriptions of food he is very matter of fact about certain areas of his life. As if he is neither seeking veneration nor sympathy from his audience, just telling it how it was. That said not all of his life beyond food is without emotion. His account of Marshmallows reduced me to a sniffle, not an easy thing to achieve.

As a lover of food I do appreciate food beyond its property of sustenance, as my figure could tell you in far less words, reading this book made me think about food in a different way. I thought about food as memories. What foods are poignant reminders of my life? Cup-a-soup will always remind me of the first time I suffered with gastro-enteritis, even the smell today is enough to turn my stomach, but that isn’t the kind of memory I am thinking of. More in keeping with Toast is slipping into a small bedroom containing a single bed, a bedside table, a Chihuahua and a packet of Bassets Allsorts. I popped an Allsort into my mouth thinking myself an exceptionally devious child to have discovered the sweets. The bitter and quite disgusting taste took me by surprise and somehow I disturbed the sleeping dog who alerted my Mother and her Uncle to my light-fingered ways. I only met my Mother’s uncle, a lovely old man, one other time before he died and his Chihuahua came to live with us.

I have caro1's address so will be posting this on in the next couple of days.

Journal Entry 16 by Caro1 from Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Friday, April 08, 2005
Arrived this morning. Have another couple of rings ahead of it in the TBR pile, but I'm a fast reader, so no problem!

Journal Entry 17 by Caro1 from Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Monday, April 25, 2005
I haven't quite finished, but I had to come and journal how much I am enjoying this book. Many of my nostaligic memories of food match those of the author and I have been laughing so loudly that both cats have left the room in disgust! I know exactly what Slater means when he describes the taste of Artic Roll and whilst eggs were no problem, when it came to being force-fed tinned mandarin oranges.....eugh! My mum, unlike Slater's was a very good cook and this book has revived memories of Sunday lunches, followed by a tea of crumpets, or toast and beef dripping. Then Monday left-overs - cold meat with bubble and squeak, cottage or shepherd's pie and thick chicken broth. Fridays we had sweets on the way home from school, Sherbet Fountains or liquorice shoelaces for my sisters and I, and for my mum, the extravagence of a Walnut Whip.
It's no good, the cats will have to put up with it, I'm going back for a final wallow!!

Journal Entry 18 by Caro1 from Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, April 26, 2005
This book has unleashed a huge wave of nostalgia for food from my childhood - cheesy mashed potato with a poached egg, 'melting moments' biscuits, my dad's home-made ice-cream, stuffed marrow.....and the list goes on. It continued into the staff room today, with everyone describing their own personal favourites. Thank you so much for sharing Jenatleisure. Mailed to ermintrude75 today, 27 April.

Journal Entry 19 by ermintrude75 from Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom on Friday, April 29, 2005
Oh yay! I have been so looking forward to this one... dipped in for a mere second and had to try really hard not to just devour the whole book in one go! I'm going away for a week and it's too big for my bag (with the *cough* four other books I'm taking ;)... but what a nice book to come back to :)

Thanks jenatleisure and caro1!

Journal Entry 20 by ermintrude75 from Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 10, 2005
I couldn't resist... this book jumped into my hands from a little further down Mt TBR, and I'm very glad it did. I'm not sure what else I can add to what others have said - the ingenuity of structuring a memoir in this way, the sometimes heartbreaking treatment (inadvertent or otherwise) from his father and stepmother, and the obvious relish and nostalgia for the foods described (apart from eggs and milk, of course - which simply highlighted the stupidity of some adults when dealing with "fussy" children!). I could relate to many of the sweets and other foods described, which made the book even more enjoyable and gave me an odd craving for arctic roll :) The revelations about the 1970s restaurant trade were perhaps a little surprising, but then again perhaps not having read Kitchen Confidential a little while back! I really couldn't put this book down, and I wanted more when it was finished. I wonder if there will be another instalment or if the author's life since the end of the book is a little too recent for the same treatment as yet? It will be interesting to revisit some of his cookbooks and see the recipes in perhaps a different light.

On another note, why oh why did I not take this away to Switzerland with me? I could have arranged to hand it on to Nice-cup-of-tea in person, perhaps! :) Oh well - in the post before too long.

Thanks again!

Journal Entry 21 by nice-cup-of-tea from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Wednesday, May 18, 2005
This arrived in the post today (along with another bookring, and a birthday present book!). Thanks Katie! (ps I love your address /bookcrossing card!)
I shall read and enjoy and pass on....

Journal Entry 22 by nice-cup-of-tea from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Thursday, May 19, 2005
What a fantastic book! I devoured this in one sitting :-) Thanks Jenatleisure, a fantastic read!

As other journallers have said, food seems to be so closely linked to our memories of childhood and families, perhaps because food and being nourished is such a physical symbol of being love and cherished. So many incidents reminded me of family memories. Firstly, the whole tinned fruit thing. The greatest treat for us was peaches in golden syrup, which were always called goldish! "Mum, are we having goldfish and custard for pudding?"

The other passage that made me laugh at loud was this -->
"One day my father came home from work, and even before he had taken off his coat he grabbed one of four jam tarts from the wire cooling rack. He couldn't have known they had come from the oven only a minute or two before. His hands flapped, his face turned a deep raspberry red, beads of sweat formed like warts on his brow, he danced a merry dance. As he tried to swallow and his eyes filled with the sort of tears a man can only summon when he had boiling lemon curd stick to the roof of his mouth, I am sure that I saw the faintest of smiles flicked across my mother's face."

Brilliant! My Grandad's favourite food story was very similar, but involving a hot mince pie, and would be accompanied by him pulling the appropriate "i've got hot mince stuck to the roof of my mouth". As kids we loved this story, and always ate our mince pies *extremely* gingerly :-)

"Toast" will be on its way to Katie1980 as soon as I get her address!


posted to Katie1980 Fri 20th May Economy

Journal Entry 23 by katie1980 from Basingstoke, Hampshire United Kingdom on Sunday, May 29, 2005
Arrived on Friday, I think, but I forgot to come and journal it! Sorry! Anyways, it arrived safely, and is in the pile to be read as soon as I can get to it :)
Thanks for including me in the ring :)

Journal Entry 24 by katie1980 from Basingstoke, Hampshire United Kingdom on Friday, June 24, 2005
I'm about half-way through the book now, and I'm really enjoying it! I love how the individual sections are so short that you can pick up the book for a couple of minutes, read a bit and put it down (like when you see the boss coming into the office! - nah, I'm kidding!) without feeling like you're in the middle of a chapter or something.
I'll PM Lucycat about this shortly, and will probably pass it on at the UnConvention next week - I'm sure I'll have no problems in finishing it by then.... *famous last words, please take note!!* *lol*

Journal Entry 25 by lucycat from Hull, East Yorkshire United Kingdom on Monday, July 04, 2005
Handed over at (or almost after!) this year's Unconvention in Birmingham.
Thanks so much Katie - I'm really looking forward to reading this and it was lovely to finally meet you & Gary! :O)

Update 5/8/05

Apologies for hanging on to this one for so long - I mistakenly thought UrbanSpaceman was after me! Only when I came back to 'add a bit' to my entry did I see that TexasAngel is after me instead - she's kindly very swiftly supplied her address, so this will be hitting the road again on Monday.

It wasn't quite what I was expecting, but a fascinating read nonetheless - from reading Nigel Slater's recipe books you can tell he is incredibly passionate about food, particularly comfort eating, and reading the sad stories of his virtually affectionless childhood, you can understand exactly why.

Awfully sad in places, but an enlightening read and incredibly self-aware which is rare but refreshing in a biography.

Journal Entry 26 by katie1980 from Basingstoke, Hampshire United Kingdom on Sunday, July 10, 2005
I enjoyed this book - it was easy to "dip into".
I loved the description of cream soda:

"Cream soda never seems as cold as the other drinks. The bubbles are softer, and don't get up your nose and make your sinuses burn like dandelion and burdock or orangeade. Cream soda looks as if it is going to taste of lime but is instead rather more fleeting, vanilla perhaps. Whatever flavourings they use it is raher like drinking a sponge cake."


Thanks for sharing, and Lucycat, I'm glad I just managed to catch you on Sunday! ;o)

Journal Entry 27 by TexasAngel from Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Saturday, August 13, 2005
Received book in the post

Journal Entry 28 by TexasAngel from Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, February 22, 2006
This book was not quite what I was expecting but I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway. I am waiting for a PM from UrbanSpaceman before releasing the book. (I hasten to add that I did finish it a long time ago and have been waiting for the PM quite a while.)

Released 13 yrs ago (3/22/2006 UTC) at -- Controlled Release in -- By post or by hand --, Greater London United Kingdom



Journal Entry 30 by UrbanSpaceman from Kingston upon Thames, Greater London United Kingdom on Thursday, March 23, 2006
First time I have had Toast by post :) I'm sorry that it took so long for the book to get from TexasAngel to me - I never got her first PM so she was waiting months and months for a reply that never came. All sorted now, though. I've enjoyed reading all your reviews of it already and they've made me feel quite hungry! I'll eat, I mean *read*, it and then send it home to Jenatleisure.

Journal Entry 31 by UrbanSpaceman from Kingston upon Thames, Greater London United Kingdom on Friday, March 24, 2006
This was very good book. I think an alternative title for it could have been "Hunger", dealing as it does with Slater's early hunger for love and affection which becomes sublimated with his hunger for food and then, later, for sex. Slater has combined an extended "a recherche du temps perdu" with a story that is by turns sad, funny and painful while writing is a starkly honest but very light manner - as if he has applied his culinary principles to writing. I also have to say that all through reading "Toast" and for a while after, I felt *hungry* and even writing this short review has rekindled that!

Thanks so much to jenatleisure for sharing this. Will post it home to her once I have an address.

Journal Entry 32 by Jenatleisure from Chobham, Surrey United Kingdom on Tuesday, November 28, 2006
This book arrived back home months ago and everyone seems to have enjoyed it.
Hope to find another group of readers to enjoy it

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