Saturday, October 15, 2011

Toasting

In our twelve years of marriage, My Beloved and I have owned perhaps five toasters. I think my parents, in more than fifty years of wedded bliss, owned one. What is it with toasters these days?

When I moved to California, I left my toaster behind. Moving only my most cherished belongings was already horribly expensive, so the toaster had to go. I figured I'd just buy another one on the Left Coast. And that's what I did, the first of several that just didn't do the job.

It seems that with modern toasters there is no setting between "anemic" and "charred." At first, I thought I had just bought the wrong toaster so when I got Toaster Rage for the nth time I would go out and buy another, more expensive toaster, always hoping to find the Cadillac of toasters. Nothing worked. My toast was still either pale and pliant or rigid and blackened, unless I watched it carefully and popped it up manually when it was done. An ongoing mystery.

Then, last week, I purchased on a whim a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread, the kind of raisin bread I recall with pleasure from my childhood, what my mother would have called "gooshy bread" in a bright red plastic bag. This raisin toast was a rare treat in our household - it probably cost more, delivered less nutrition, and almost certainly was eaten up faster, something my frugal mother would only occasionally allow.

I got out the butter, dropped a couple of slices in the most recent of our long line of toasters, set it to a medium heat, and up popped perfectly toasted bread, nicely browned but not burned. For once, my toaster performed perfectly. Hallelujah!

And, finally, the penny dropped with me about toast - it's not the toasters, it's the bread! I don't normally buy national brand breads. Most of the toast I make is from leftover "artisan" bread that we had with dinner the night before, breads that no mainstream toaster is designed to toast. All along, I've been blaming the toasters when all I had to do is give them gooshy bread and they would have toasted like a champ!

Now, if you are a toaster engineer out there who happens to be reading this, would you please design a toaster that loves hearty, dense, handmade breads? I'd be your first customer.

12 Comments:

Blogger Ms Brown Mouse said...

This is why I make toast in the griller (broiler?) :) We, too, don't use packet bread.
Our first toaster was my first toaster, a cheapie bought from Kmart when I first left home. We only replaced it (still working) with Mr Brown's Mum's one, after she died. It was nicer looking you see!

Saturday, October 15, 2011  
Blogger Chilebrown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Saturday, October 15, 2011  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie's married to Buzz Lightyear? That is so cool.

Saturday, October 15, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Ms Mouse, solid thinking, in my view. Design is important, too, although functionality takes the day in toasters.

Chilebrown, where did you go?

Cookiecrumb, well, no, but they lived in the same town.

Sunday, October 16, 2011  
Blogger Greg said...

Toasters have their own personalities. Maybe they are little aliens taking over the planet. Our current toaster is two times down for bagels and once for wheat toast.Still burns stuff sometimes :(

Sunday, October 16, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, maybe the toasters have gremlins like hotel rooms have bedbugs?

Sunday, October 16, 2011  
Blogger James said...

Well we have to put our bread down 2x's to get it toasted right. Good bread makes a toaster work harder. Worth the trouble, I think.

Sunday, October 16, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

James, yes, at least 2X and sometimes the third time burns it if I don't watch carefully... *sigh*

Sunday, October 16, 2011  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Pixarburg!

Sunday, October 16, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, yep, only the other Buzz moved out of town to Emeryville. I guess he likes hustle and bustle.

Monday, October 17, 2011  
Blogger namastenancy said...

I have an "oldie but goodie" - 40 years old and still ticking. I look at today's toasters and yes, they are prettier but seem to be make mostly of plastic. However, I do grill my artesian bread because I don't think any toaster will do it the way I like it.

Monday, October 17, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Nancy, your toaster sounds like my waffle baker - not modern - and that's a good thing! :-)

Monday, October 17, 2011  

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