A couple of weeks ago I went back to Montreal to attend a conference. Of course, on top of all of the work, I was busy seeing my friends and family. It’s always a whirlwind when I go back. Part of me feels like Montreal is still home but at the same time, I don’t feel connected to the city. I don’t have places that I always go visit or restaurants that I love. I never really feel like I know what’s going on, the landscape of the city changes so much, so quickly. So, when I go out with my friends, I rely on them to choose where we will eat, drink and relax. One night, my friend pulled together some suggestions for dinner, I chose one that sounded good, and we headed off to have a nice meal. We had both never been to this particular restaurant before. The food looked great but when we sat down and saw the prices we walked straight out. After a couple more interesting choices, which involved hastily drinking a margherita and walking out of a second restaurant, we finally landed on a winner.
My first egg memory is of my grandmother making me “dunkie” eggs, which is basically a soft boiled egg, with the top chopped off that you dip buttered toast soldiers into. She always had really cute egg holders, which I clearly don’t have but I made do with a couple of spoons. Eating this dish is a thoroughly satisfying experience. First, you get to eat the tiny bit of egg white that stuck in the top of the egg that’s been chopped off, the yolk totally gushes out with the first dunk, and once your done dunking your deliciously buttered toast into the egg, you scoop the remaining egg white out with a tiny spoon.
The toast that started this whole compilation of toast ‘recipes’ is the one that looks like, well, nothing, in the photographs. We were in Spain a little over two years ago and we had what I later learned was called Pa amb tomàquet for breakfast. It was so simple: a delicious, thick, piece of toast rubbed with tomato and topped with a bit of salt and some good quality olive oil. There’s also a version that slathers tomato puree onto the toast but this is the Catalan version. All you have to do is rub the halved tomato straight onto the bread and the bread soaks up all of the sweet tomato juices. Sprinkle with some coarse salt and good quality olive oil and you have a home run, guaranteed. There is no reason not to re-create it at home. You can also add a bit of garlic rubbed on the toast for an extra punch but it is not necessary. The only thing to keep in mind is that you should have a sturdy piece of bread so that you can rub the garlic and tomato ferociously and not have it fall apart. (I made some whole wheat no-knead bread in this case.)