Artwork by Lynley Eavis
I like to make snickers toast. I only do this when I am alone. If other people were around, I could imagine them thinking how unhealthy I am being, how gross. But it tastes like childhood and sometimes I need that.
The toast comes out of the toaster and I make sure it is piping hot. I like it slightly blackened, a hint of charcoal. Sometimes, when it isn’t to my satisfaction, I put it back in again but forget about it until I smell it. At times like these, I can occasionally salvage it. Scrape off the black bits into the sink and wash them away. Otherwise, it goes straight into the bin and I start again.
When the toast is on my plate, I move quickly. I spread the peanut butter on first so that it melts, an oily, mustardy film. It must be chunky. And less salt is always better. Then I spoon on the chocolate, Nutella usually, a great dollop. I mix it around with the peanut butter and it marbles under my knife, great swirls of brown goo and nut. If I have nougat, I chop it into little pieces and sprinkle it on top. If I don’t, I just convince myself that the toast itself is an acceptable enough substitute.
When I bite into it, the topping will sometimes dribble off. I get it on my hands or else it falls back onto the plate, the pieces of nougat clinking on the china. I dip my fingers into the splodges. They smear. I lick my fingers, sucking the chocolate from the skin. Waste not, want not.
If the peanut butter is salty, I taste it straight away. Food connoisseurs say that salt works well with sweet foods. The contrast. Heightens the flavour. ‘Salted caramel’, ‘Dark chocolate with a touch of sea salt’… But I’m not a big fan. I find the salt distracting. I like my chocolate sweet, or bitter. Or with a hint of chilli to tickle the tongue. But not salty. I prefer unsalted butter too.
As I begin to eat, the chocolate and peanut butter paste clings to the roof of my mouth. It begrudgingly slides across my tongue, thick and sticky. The little pieces of peanut and nougat roll around until they are clamped by my jaws. When I chew, my teeth feel as though they are sticking together, the nougat like edible glue. I enjoy the feeling, like a battle between the food and I.
While I eat, I try and distract myself from my gluttony. Comedy shows on my computer usually, something funny. I try and keep them short but the temptation to just keep watching usually wins out. It is often because I have an assignment to do. I eat slowly, to make it last.
I’ll often get chocolate on the computer.
When I finish, sometimes I feel bad. My face seems oilier, my teeth smeared and dirty. I try to clear my conscience by having an apple, or a banana. Other times I will just wallow in my self-pity and conclude that my lack of self-restraint is the main reason why I fail to get ahead in life.
Most of the time though, I don’t pay too much attention. After all, it’s not like I have snickers toast every day.
I only eat it when I am alone.