I’ve learned a lot about cooking, and entertaining for that matter, from my Uncle Gary (my favorite uncle, as I often remind him). He’s taught me to become a proficient charcoal griller, prep a bar for any party and order almost everything on the menu at a restaurant with no apologies. Most importantly, he remind me to have a blast while doing all of it.
I became a student of Uncle Gary’s during our annual summer trips to my grandparent’s house on Iowa’s Lake Okoboji – which some have called the happiest place on earth. It’s the place where our extended family would gather for meals, drinks, games, boating and laughs that put your stomach in knots. It was in preparation for many of these epic meals that Uncle Gary would take on the role of grill master, and many times commissioned me to be his apprentice.
I can think of few things that wouldn’t be made better when slathered on a piece of crusty bread. Actually, maybe I can’t think of any. Perhaps it’s my recent half marathon training (and the extra carbohydrates that are encouraged as part of the training diet) that has led me to believe that every meal should include thick slices of bread. But whatever it is, toast is on my brain these days and it just makes me happy.