For a toast sandwich, take a very thin slice of bread and toast it. Once cold place it between two slices of bread, also sliced very thinly. Butter optional. Salt and pepper to taste.
Promoted by Victorian domestic goddess Isabella Beeton, this recipe comes from her 150-year-old Book of Household Management. Now the Royal Society of Chemistry wants to revive the dish to help the country through hard times.
The toast sandwich isn't the only recipe in Mrs Beeton's compendium to use cold toast as the basis for a meal. She recommended toast soup - 1lb (0.45kg) of bread crusts boiled in 2oz (0.05kg) of butter and a quart (1.1 litres) of "common stock". Or for a refreshing drink, what about "toast-and-water"? Made with, you guessed it, a slice of stale loaf toasted, then soaked in a quart (1.1 litres) of boiling water until cold.
Mrs. Beeton warns, "If drunk in a tepid or lukewarm state, it is an exceedingly disagreeable beverage."
Food historian Annie Gray says Victorian-era recipes aimed at invalids fit the bill of cheap and quick to prepare. As well as the toast sandwich, beef tea was another favourite.
"That's as simple to prepare as simply boiling up beef bones to make a stock"