Nigel Slater’s book Toast is also one of my favourite books. It’s an incredibly funny and touching story that had me laughing one minute and crying the next. It’s basically a collection of short stories from his childhood as it follows his difficult relationship with his father after his mother’s death, interspersed with food. He is a really engaging writer, writing the way he talks. You can almost hear him telling the story as you’re reading it.
I love how he talks about food through the book. It takes you back to the 60s, when Arctic Roll was a much sought-after dinner party dessert and Angel Delight was the staple for everyday meals. He tells of his discovery of spaghetti and powdered parmesan in a tin; the joy of finding out that there was trifle; tinned ham (“pretty-pink with evil jelly”) which was served at a picnic with Heinz Salad Cream in a gravy boat; Terry’s All Gold; Bisto; crab-and-watercress sandwiches; cheese & onion crisps; Campbell’s meatballs in gravy; Fray Bentos steak and kidney pies, and the socially-defining moment when his Mum made grilled grapefruit, which he bragged about at school the next day.
I couldn’t put it down and when I finished it I went straight onto Amazon and bought 6 copies to send out to friends.
Unfortunately, the book was adapted for TV by the BBC last Christmas and it was awful. I found it really depressing and nothing like the book. I would recommend the book but definitely not the film!