Cheese Toast is a personal project of mine. Poetry and cooking are two hobbies that I frequent. For years I have been writing poetry, whether it be a long stint of writing, or sporadic jots, I’ve always found writing to be the best way to express myself. Cooking also has a huge impact on me. By nature, I love to engage with people and share something I really enjoy—food! I’m often coming up with new recipes, ideas, and combinations. Some are better results than others, but it felt important to me to include my favorite recipes in this book since they are so meaningful and personal to me. Many of these recipes are from my mother, grandma, or even further back than both can recall. Some of the recipes are my own. It’s a complete mash up.
I terrible irony, but I decided to dedicate this book to Bourdain before he even left us. Just before in fact. It was so surreal that I felt I owed it not only to myself, but now to him to get this book out there. Food has taught me a lot about other people, cultures, and ideas. Food is often very thoughtful. Not only in its flavor, but it tells a story of influence, resources, and perseverance.
Like poetry, food can allow someone to be creative and express themselves. It’s absolutely a creative field but you still have to get the basics down to be really exceptional.
My poetry spans four years of my life. I went to school in Seattle, moved back to my hometown in Sacramento, and then finally found myself in Oakland where I currently reside. Cheese Toast is a timeline of change and also persistency. Though at times I have changed, a part of me stays consistent. Like the fact that I’ve been eating cheese toast for breakfast for years, never wavering. (Cheese toast is a piece of sourdough slightly toasted with apricot jam and sharp (ideally white) cheddar cheese.) For me, it’s the perfect meal in the morning. It reminds me of my grandma, it tastes amazing, and is consistently my favorite breakfast in the morning.
The final book resulted in 144 pages, with hundreds of poems and about forty or so recipes.