Milk Toast


I was listening to the radio one evening this week and the book reviewer mentioned that a story was as bland as milk toast.  I hadn’t thought of milk toast in years and the thought of it didn’t conjure boredom as the commentator intended. It reminded me of my Grandma Payne and how she cared for me when I was a little girl. 

Mama worked and couldn’t stay home with me when I woke with a temperature, chills, upset stomach or bad cold.  She’d wrap me in a warm blanket and carry me to Grandma’s house. She met us at the door, gathered me into the soft warmth of her lilac smell and hugged me tight.

 My bed was already prepared on the living room couch with feather pillows, crisp white cotton sheets that smelled like the Yardley Lilly of the Valley scented soap she kept hidden in the linen closet. Only the two of us were allowed to open a cake of that soap for bath time.

Grandma pulled the maroon and orange afghan that her sister Ruby had crocheted over me, plumped my pillows, put her cool hand to my forehead, and asked me if I wanted the ice in my gingerale whole or crushed. The last thing she did before heading to the kitchen was turn on the small black and white Zenith television to the channel with Gilligan, Petty Coat Junction, and Green Acres on it.

With my cold drink on the table beside the couch, I watched TV and dozed until lunchtime.

If I was feeling up to it, I ate my lunch at the kitchen table with Grandpa and Grandma. She always fixed me milk toast and fussed over me.  To this day, If I close my eyes, I can still see the steam rising from that flowered china bowl in the center of her table. My portion was ladled into my own china bowl, the one with the picture of a rabbit in the bottom. My spoon was the only one with tiny flowers etched into the handle. The steam from the milk toast warmed my face, while the buttery liquid warmed my insides all the way down to my toes.


Milk Toast

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup milk

½ stick butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat all ingredients  in a saucepan on  top of the stove. When butter is melted, add some thickening to taste. (flour mixed with some cold water, pour in gradually and stir until it’s the right consistency). Pour liquid into bowl. Float pieces of toast on top. 

Grandma also fixed this for holiday meals to spoon over dressing.


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4 Responses to “Milk Toast”

  1. doris Says:

    How apropos! I have opted to stay in bed with this @#$ sorethroat/cough/cold! But alas no Milk Toast (I always think of Casper Milquetoast, the cartoon character but he was long before my time…. only know of him through my mother. See also: Had to make my own oatmeal even.

  2. Stephanie Says:

    Always a great story!! I have a craving for milk toast suddenly…

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