Writing my last article for Simple, And Tasty’s Farm To Fork, A CSA Series brought back memories of my mom’s cooking.

I reflected on my adaptation of the mini cheesecakes my mom used to make each Christmas. These treats were the vanilla wafer and cherry pie filling crown jewels on our Christmas Eve dinners. I haven’t thought about them for years and enjoyed the process of recreating them as an adult. Writing the last Farm To Fork article also brought to mind of carving pumpkins as children, as my mom roasted the pumpkin seeds.

This time of year has been difficult since my mother passed away in 2008. Whether I want to or not, I can’t help but think about her passing. Our recent wedding was fun, and our wedding was hard. Not an occasion from which I’d ever imagined her being absent.

Then I thought about her garlic toasts. The majority of my mom’s cooking was simple and hearty and some of it was semi-homemade. My dad often traveled for work and was gone for 11 days at a time while she stayed home to take care of my brother and I.  For her, cooking was more work than fun, though she seemed to enjoy trying new recipes as we finished high school and went to college.

During our last Christmas Eves together, she prepared our favorite artichoke dip and garlic toasts. I remember enjoying the leftover toasts days later, even when became so stale and sharp, they were painful to eat. This fall, I baked big batches of the toasts to nibble for breakfast or for snacks.

I make these toasts and think of my mom. To honor the memories we all shared together and for the new family I’ve found in Jake.  I also make them because they just taste good and are easy to prepare.

French bread
Olive oil
Garlic salt
Black pepper
Optional: Cayenne pepper, ground
Marjoram, dried
Parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Cut French bread into thin slices and place in a single layer on a sheet pan.
  2. Lightly drizzle with olive oil. Flip bread and rub oil on both sides.
  3. Season with garlic salt, black pepper, cayenne, and marjoram. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake until golden brown.