Skip to content

The Toast Burners

I burnt my toast again this morning. I’ve decided that making toast is boring and too simple and that’s why I deviate. In fact it’s so boring that I’ve just deviated from writing about it into a little exploration of the word “burnt”…

Apparently “Burned is the older form. Burnt came about during a period in the 16th through 18th centuries in which there was a trend toward replacing -ed endings with -t in words where -ed was no longer pronounced as a separate syllable. Later, British writers continued to favor [favour! This is clearly American…] the newer -t forms for a handful of verbs, while North Americans went back to the more traditional -ed forms.”
~ courtesy of


Last night I made a fish pie plus a vegetarian option for our eldest daughter. I juggled (or should that be “jugglt”?) boiling eggs, chopping onions, making a white sauce, skinning and chopping salmon and haddock, scrubbing, chopping and parboiling potatoes, etc, etc, etc… I made 2 separate dishes synchronously. I used a recipe I’d found on the Internet and I altered it to suit us. I concentrated on doing this and only this for an hour and that’s why it all came together. And it was yummy.
See: I can cook. I can do concentration. I enjoy things I can throw myself into, that I can do alone, that take the whole of me. I am designed for projects, for research, for periods of intensity.

I can’t stand at a toaster and wait. Not even for 30-60 seconds. I have to wander off.
It’s intensity I need. I can’t be doing with faffy, lightweight, ordinary stuff. I get bored.

Unfortunately for the rest of my family, you are not permitted to talk to me or get in my way while I am in the intensity zone, and after that intensity I am burnt out and need to fizz quietly in the corner like an extinguished flame.

It’s a fact that many autistic people struggle to cope with normal every day things. It’s not the same things in the same way every day and it’s not the same for everyone. Just like neuro-typical people we are all very different from each other and have our own likes and dislikes, problems and skills. But there is a suggestion in a lot of research that some brains have evolved this way over time because the human race needs brains like ours.

We are the chosen ones.
We are the toast burners.
Cherish our special skills.


2 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’ve worked with autistic and dyspraxic students and the way we all see things differently fascinates me. I burn toast (I’m not autistic, just easily distracted) and I can’t juggle ingredients for one recipe let alone two. I make a decent fish pie, but only if I can bung in whatever random bits and bobs are at hand – following a written recipe is hopeless – although following the plot in a long, complicated novel comes easily to me. I have no idea what a ‘normal’ brain is, but it sounds pretty dull to me.


  2. Interesting insights Rachel. I often cook and wash up at the same time, knowing it will free up time for the one thing that absorbs me totally.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: