I remember when I was younger we had a toaster that did an AMAZING thing…it TOASTED YOUR BREAD when you put it in the two slots and pushed down the lever. Not only did it toast your bread, it did it in about 30 seconds, and the toast was always the appropriate level of nice golden brown. Granted, sometimes this little aluminum box would occasionally melt the cord that was plugged into the wall, but GOD DAMMIT, it TOASTED YOUR BREAD (and/or muffins, bagels, pop-tarts, or whatever else you put in it.) And good god, when ya pulled your toast out of your toaster, your butter ACTUALLY MELTED on the toast!
Now with all these friggin’ “safety features”, even with my (work) toaster set on its longest setting, these new fangled toasters barley dry out your bread, let alone “toast” it. And, it does so over a period of 15-20 minutes. I vaguely remember when the switch to safety began, somewhere in the early 80’s, and toasters stopped functioning as a toasting mechanism and morphed into a safety appliance. It was just about the time that they introduced a larger toasters marketed for larger families, and went from the ever popular two slice toaster to the much needed FOUR SLICE toaster.
The four-slice toaster was ESSENTIAL for larger families, or any non-single-person household. I always hated Saturday/Sunday morning brunch, because as the youngest person in my family, I always got stuck with waiting to be last for my toast. I would get my toast some thirty minutes after the first person finished eating their hot breakfast. Even with the advent of the four-slicer, I always dreamed of having one of these industrial toasters in our house…
My uncle used to own a few franchise locations of a restaurant called George Webb’s in the Milwaukee area. I remember as a pre-teenager being fascinated with his industrial toaster in the restaurant, because it could put out toast faster than I could eat it…and BOY HOWDY, could I eat toast. To this day, my favorite meals is two eggs over medium on top of hashbrowns with bacon and toast. I love love love to sop up my egg yolks with my buttered toast, cuz my arteries just ain’t clogged enough yet!
So what happened? Why did our toaster become nothing more than warming trays? I have a few, ummm, thoughts on the matter.
Could it have been the introduction of the combination toaster/egg poacher?
REALLY? Have we become that lazy that it’s easier to pop two eggs in a toaster than it is to quickly heat up a small skillet on the stove top and fry them yourself? Did the “toasting” process slow down to a crawl to give the poaching compartment enough time to thoroughly cook your eggs? Or are your eggs as uncooked as your bread when the little “ding” finally goes off and you have to run it through the cycle three or four more times to get your eggs did right?
Or perhaps it was because of the HOT DOG/Bun toaster?
Uh…is it really that smart to have all that hot dog grease to be splattering inside a TOASTER? Or is that why they turned the heat down on these things? To prevent grease fires? And really…how many hot dogs do you need to eat to justify buying one of these things?
How many times have you been in your office and thought to yourself, “Huh, I REALLY wish I had some toast right now”???
Ohhhhh, goodie. Now I can plug my fucking toaster INTO MY COMPUTER? REALLY? How stupid is this??? I don’t know about your home, but in mine, wherever my computer is plugged in, there’s usually AN EXTRA FUCKING ELECTRICAL OUTLET where I can plug MY TOASTER INTO. Yeah, no wonder you can’t have a high heat source on your toaster when it’s PLUGGED INTO YOUR COMPUTER.
Tight on space in your house? No place to have a television and/or radio in your home?
No problem…just put a radio IN YOUR TOASTER??? COME ON! Yeah, again, cut the heat so you don’t melt your radio transistors? JUST GIVE ME SOMETHING THAT WILL BROWN MY BREAD! I’ve got an Ipod; a car stereo; a home stereo. I don’t need to listen to NPR on A FUCKING TOASTER.
I get so frustrated at home sometimes that I usually just leave my toaster in the cabinet and bust out my toaster oven.
Yeah, it takes up a little more space on my precious counter top space, but can quickly toast lots of bread for my starch lovin’ family. Come on toaster industry. We don’t need all these quirky little toasters. All we need is something that did things the way they used to…make hot, delicious toast that butter melts on. That’s all I’m asking.