Perfectly Toasted


not brave, just broken

Urgency Day 387

500 Things Item 106: Broken Toaster

  • History: Purchased, best guess- more than 5 years ago
  • Value: Toasted the toast, waffled the waffles—sort of
  • Parting Pain: If someone will take it and fix it, none
  • Un-possessing: Freebie at yard sale

The toaster stopped toasting.

It’s pretty much all you can ask of a toaster, so when it stops, what you are left with is basically a really nasty, crumby cookbook prop.

I called out for my handy husband to fix the toaster. Now please. Actually, I asked him to fix the chair, but I was stabbing at the sticky buttons on the toaster and slamming the squeaky little door on the toaster, so I knew he knew I meant the toaster. Not the chair.

Why say “chair” if I meant “toaster?”

A long time ago, my brother-in-law Jim fixed a chair. One of the kids (maybe it was Sam, but it feels longer ago than little Sam, so maybe it was little Erin or maybe even little Laura, but that would be a really long time ago) chimed over and over, “Jim fix chair! Jim fix chair!” Ever since then, anything that needed fixing was a chair.

Paul, ever supportive of my gustatory whims, dutifully came and stabbed the sticky buttons on the toaster and slammed the squeaky little door on the toaster. And announced, “It’s broken.”

Reputations for fixing things are hard won and easily lost.

Paul also wanted it stated, for the record, lest anyone impugn his handiness, that the “$#&+% chair” is broken.

That’s right. The “chair” is toast.

Follow-up: I really, really wanted the toast, so, I fired up the broiler. Thirty seconds later, I had the most perfectly toasted toast I have ever had.

Alton Brown calls them unitaskers— kitchen gadgets that perform only one function—and encourages anyone listening to eschew them. I don’t think a toaster oven officially qualifies as a unitasker, but I know for sure an oven oven does not. By honing resolutely to the downsizing spirit and not replacing my broken toaster, I will save money and counter space, and enjoy using the broiler to make the perfect toast. Which I will also certainly enjoy. Just look at that toast!

yes, again, Facebook friends


7 Responses to “Perfectly Toasted”

  1. kara Says:

    ooo, I want that breakfast! We have an antique toaster that always burns the toast, so it is now something to look at in the dinning room. I use the oven to make toast, but often feel guilty about using a great big oven to make two small pieces of toast. And on these summer days, it’s just too hot to turn on the oven, so I often make toast in my cast iron skillet on the stove top. Not sure if I’m saving any energy but I am keeping the kitchen a few degrees cooler.

  2. sthibeault Says:

    So true about the heat and the energy! I monitor very closely and only leave the broiler on long enough to complete the task. I feel like I must break even somewhere by not buying another appliance. It would be an interesting cost-benefit analysis, however. Right now, my wallet appreciates my efforts!

  3. Emily Hepburn Lane Says:

    Alright, when we come to Chicago this fall, we’re having meals with you! That breakfast looks gorgeous!

  4. Donna Says:

    After many years of arguing with Jim (he of the broken chair) about the relative merits of toaster ovens or just-plain-toasters, I have thrown in the towel. We now have a j-p-t only and always will, I think. I occasionally miss my toaster oven. It could do english muffins to the exact degree of doneness my mood desired. At lunchtime, it could toast a hot dog bun in nothing flat. Dinnertime meant two to eight cloverleaf rolls baked at the last moment before going to the table. I loved it so much that over the years we went through many of them, most sitting on the counter, but some even hanging from the cupboard above. We occasionally tried the j-p-t for a while, but I always managed to steer us back to the toaster oven. Yet I have now given up the “fight” and the lovely four slot toaster we recently acquired (thank you Laura and Erin) is, I believe, here to stay. Jim’s turn to have his way for a few decades. For old time’s sake, however, I will keep “freshen foil in bottom of toaster oven” on the prep list I use before we leave to go on a trip.

  5. sthibeault Says:

    That travel “prep list” is currently is high-consult mode. Everyone should have such a detailed list. Since the original was created, we’ve added a few items such as “remember cell-phone chargers” and “refill the asthma inhaler Rx” but reminders such as “empty the dehumidifier” and “put away the butter” are as timely as the day the list was conceived. Thanks, Don!

  6. Donna Says:

    I emailed a copy of “the list” to Erin the other day. I had to add TIVO to the latest version. It would be too easy while on vacation to either overload the starage capacity on certain shows (e.g. John Stewart) or to miss something you really wanted to see.

  7. sthibeault Says:

    The changes to the list are mostly about technology, aren’t they? So much for technology simplifying our lives. But I, too, love DVR! And Jon Stewart!

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