No, this is not a post on how to make the perfect slice of toast. This month’s feature for Food ‘n Flix was Nigel Slater’s quirky and unhappy childhood as depicted in the movie Toast. The film is based on Slater’s memoir Toast: The Story of a Boy’s Hunger. I enjoyed the film but now I want to get my hands on the book.
Thanks to This Mama Cooks for recommending the film and hosting this month.
Even though Nigel seemed to subsist on toast (his mother was horribly inept in the kitchen), Nigel had a love and desire for the finer things in his culinary life. (Although, I don’t know that canned Bolognese sauce fits that bill.)
Poor Nigel. His loving mother “was always opposed to fresh produce” stating, “You don’t know where its been.” (I didn’t understand this view when they had a lovely garden in the back with a hunky gardener.) His mother supplemented his toast diet with canned food which she boiled in the tins to prepare dinner.
But, Nigel ate his meager meals without complaint. “How can you not love someone who makes you toast?” he remembers.
There are many comedic scenes in the film even though it deals with some dark themes. I found myself laughing out loud as Nigel’s father thinks his son may be doing some inappropriate business behind his bedroom door. Nope, Nigel is just looking at cookbooks and wistfully sighing and gasping.
I found my inspiration for this Food ‘n Flix post in the Technicolor photos of Nigel’s food porn.
I have a number of vintage cookbooks from the 60s (the era Nigel grew up in) and I also love those glossy, weirdly colored photos of food.
One of my favorites that I loved to peruse during my childhood was Betty Crocker’s Party Book. I remember looking through those pages and planning party after party.
Most of the recipes from Party Book use a lot of premade and packaged items, primarily those from Betty Crocker (cake mixes, etc.) But I found one interesting sounding recipe in the May Day party planning section: Chickenburgers-in-a-Basket.
Adapted from Betty Crocker’s Party Book (1960)
2/3 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 T. sweet pickles, chopped fine
1 c. poached chicken breast, diced
1 T. grated onion
1 T. diced bell pepper (I used a red one for color.)
1 1/2 T. mayonnaise
2 oz. Third-less fat cream cheese
Dash of sriracha sauce (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
Hamburger (or hotdog buns)
Wrap in aluminum foil.
Heat in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
The original recipe states: “Serve in a doily-lined basket, with a bunch of flowers tied to the handle. ” It is for a May Day party!
One more scene that was memorable from the film was the last vacation to the beach that Nigel makes with his father and mother. Instead of jellied canned ham slices, maybe it would have been better to take these sandwiches along.
I used hot dog buns because I had some on hand. Mrs. Potter probably would have done the same. 🙂
The October feature is A Good Year and is hosted by Tina at Squirrel Head Manor. I can’t wait to see what gets cooked up from this film.