I Love Diner Toast

Actually, I love toast in general but I do not make it for myself very often. 

There is a reason for that. It takes too long.

Yes, I am a grown ass woman and it takes me too long to make toast. 

It also takes me an inordinate amount of time to make myself nachos that are comprised of only two ingredients, but at least when I’m done making those I’m left with something edible. 

image of toast on a white plate. it is half-eaten. There is a knife with grape jelly resting atop the bread.

And not just some room-temp slightly crispy bread with some gloop on it. Which is what toast ends up being for when I make it for myself.

Which is a shame, because I really like toast. I mostly only ever have it in a diner or when someone else makes it for me, because my brain ruins it by having to be so ultra-specific about how I make it. 

Every bit must be covered by butter. This isn’t too bad as long as I remember to take the butter outta the fridge to warm it up a bit. Also! Mickey got me a neat. butter knife that does speed this process up considerably if the butter is still cold. And I have a very specific ratio of jelly to butter to adhere to, as well. 

I just thought things like nacho or toast making were just little quirks of mine. 

Which, yeah, I guess they are, but they are also one of the least harmful ways my OCD manifests itself.

(This is a lighthearted OCD-ish post, and I want to be sure to say Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is not a joke. The surface things displayed in movies and TV are just the easiest to portray. The real damage takes place inside the brain and I will talk about those things another day when I am braver. This was a big enough step for me today, okay? Okay.)

yummy plate of nachos

Nachos are my favorite food. 

I just backspaced “one of” because, why the fuck would I lie to you? I love nachos. They are without a doubt my favorite food. That is the thing I will ask for before I go ahead and keel over. 

One last cheesy crunch and that’s a wrap on Jacki. 

At least I’ll die happy. 

Unless I have to make them myself, then please alert me about 30 minutes before my death. I need that much time to make nachos that are literally nothing but chips and cheese. 

My OCD nachos are the comfortiest plate of comfort food I ever make myself, though.

However, I used be really embarrassed to make them in front of anyone but D. I shared the magic with D, because, while these nachos take forever, they are worth the time investment. 

I think regular people just dump some chips on a plate and then plop some shredded cheese on top and then microwave until it is melty. 

OK, so no. People have made nachos for me like that and I will politely eat a chip with cheese on it, but I get no joy from it. I want to. I want nachos to be that easy for me. I do. I don’t want to jump through these stupid hoops and scale these dumb walls just to make a plate of nachos. 

Instead of dumping and plopping, I methodically fill my chosen plate chip by chip, ensuring the entire surface area of the plate is covered, but no chips overlap. I will flip the bag of chips multiple times through preparing the chip layer so that I always have access to the biggest variety of chips shapes and sizes. 

Of course, I’m looking for unbroken chips first, then I’ll fill in the blank spaces with the broken buddies.

If I’m being honest, when I am alone I find this part to be very therapeutic and relaxing. It is one of the few times EVER where my brain is completely focused on what is exactly in front of me and nothing else. I am in the nacho zone. 

But if anyone is depending on me to eat their meal as well? Welp, then I feel like a burden and try to rush through the nacho-making. 

I can get it done in about half the time if I feel uncomfortable. I would prefer not to though.

Once the chips are arranged in a way that makes my brain happy, I can start on the cheese. This is not quite as time consuming, since I just salt-bae the cheese over the chips in a dramatic manner. 

After my first pass, I’ll inspect the chips and apply more cheese to the chips that aren’t as evenly dressed as the others. I want them all to be equal!! I want every chip to be as incredible as the ones before it. 

I used to exclusively make my nachos on paper plates. I knew exactly how many seconds to cook my nachos. I knew where the cheese would melt most and which chips would be still a little texture-y because of unmelted cheese. I knew what to expect with paper plates. Nothing less than perfection. 

For the last couple years or so, I’ve been trying to cut down on my disposable goods, so no more paper plates. And normal plates don’t react the same way paper plates do, so I had some learnin’ to do. 

So, after many tests and trials, I know that I can only make my nachos on my Snoopy plate or our Skull plate. Snoopy plate is best because I can get more chips on it. Plus the Skull plate gives me a volcano of cheese in the middle and cold sad chips on the ends. 

But they are the only two plates that cook all the nachos for me. So those are the only plates I will use. 

With the paper plates, I knew my nachos would be perfect after 30 seconds in the microwave, but with real plates? It takes almost a minute and then sometimes I still get that thing on some of the chips when the cheese cooks too much and gets almost cracker-like. That gives me a frowny face. 

Oh, and re: the chips and cheese. Those are ultra-specific too:

Chips: Santitas $2 Only (or Old Florida Lime Sensation, if Santitas are unavailable) These are the only chips that hold up to the process and have the correct amount of salty taste on them. 

Cheese: Sharp cheddar only, finely shredded if I’m being picky (I always am). Miss me with that “Mexican blend” bullshit. 

These are Jacki nachos and I will accept sharp cheddar only. Sorry lesser nacho cheeses. 

I feel like a whole other blog post might be needed to explain what happens when we add meats and beans and peppers and stuff to the mix. But that’s for another day or never, because this already seems like a boring enough topic.

Once my nachos are complete I will take them to the living room to eat while I watch whatever. 

Yes, you can have one. 

Oh, you want a whole plate? Just have this one, I will go make myself a fresh one.

So what was my point again?

Oh yeah diner toast! I love it!

I love that I can enjoy hot, buttered toast and not have to stress over it myself. I love that it just appears and I can eat and I don’t have to think. I like that my brain is not worried about making it… I just get to enjoy the savory crumbliness. 

In fact, there was a time in the beforetimes where Mickey and I would go out for breakfast and I would only order hashbrowns and toast. Toast that I don’t have to make that much of a treat for me. I felt lots of shame ordering such a carb-heavy breakfast, but whatever, it made me happy. 

I’m still getting used to doing things for that reason, because it doesn’t feel like enough of one, somehow. 

I also love when Mickey makes me toast all slapdash and willy nilly. Dunno why I can’t eat erratic nachos, but I can eat jumbly toast with zero issues. Can’t watch him make it, though. 

I can also eat nachos just fine at restaurants. But I almost always prefer chips and queso instead. Why? Who knows. 

My brain likes to keep me on my toes I guess. 

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