One of my favorite snacks when I was growing up was a piece of bread, lightly toasted and buttered, with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top. In a way it’s a surprising favorite food for me, because I’m not much of a bread person in general and even today I rarely eat bread in any form. Cinnamon toast was a standard after-school snack. I was good with restraint – I liked my bread barely toasted golden brown. My mom kept the butter in a butter crock so it was always room temperature and spread easily without tearing the toast. A light dusting of sugar and cinnamon was all I needed. Comfort.
I like coffee, I like toast, and I like the Bay area, so when I came across this headline, A Toast Story: How Did Toast Become the Latest Artisanal Food Craze, from a friend’s social media site, I had to check it out. But what I thought was going to be a story about hipsters and the over-priced “craft food” industry was instead a deeply moving story about mental illness, community, and comfort.
I encourage you to read this piece. Having spent two years working with people with schizophrenia-related disabilities, I have a particularly soft spot for people who are afflicted with this disability. It was through working with this population that I learned just how razor’s edge the line is that can separate “us” from “them” and learned to really see people with dignity and acknowledge their gifts and talents.