Walking back home from yoga on a Thursday evening. As I am arriving, I notice through one of my neighbors’ window (I love watching in people’s home, I love picturing what their life might be like, create stories about them, imagine what it feels to live in someone else’s shoes) a toaster on the counter.
And that toaster is my madeleine de Proust. All of a sudden, I am travelling back into the past, back to a casual Friday night with my parents and my sister in our house in the suburbs. That night, we were preparing together club sandwiches. My father was the master of the toaster, I was responsible of the mayonnaise. In between two batches of toasts, I was helping him cut the tomatoes. The pre-cooked bacon had already been warmed up, and the chicken was a leftover. My sister was setting up the table, and my mother was just getting out of the shower, coming back from a long day at work.
When preparing club sandwiches, timing is everything. And we were rocking it. As soon as the toasts were up, we were ready. Years of experience in quality control in a factory had led my father to be a real king of the assembly line, and he was coaching me to create the master piece our dinner would be. In less time than it takes to order it in a deli, we were ready to serve the product of our work.
It wasn’t fancy. The tablecloth was not the one we were using when hosting big family dinners. Our napkins were in paper. But it did not matter. We were together. And that made that club sandwich the best one I ever ate.