my darling, my toaster

“The smell of that buttered toast simply spoke to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cozy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one’s ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender; of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries.” ~ Kenneth Grahame (The Wind in the Willows, 1908)

Good morning!

Though most of you probably greet each new day worshipping at the ‘altar of drip coffee maker’, my wake-up appliance of choice is my humble yet decidedly adorable toaster.

Love this clever and well deserved ‘toast to toasters’ by Allan Chochinov. 🙂

“Rosebud” watercolor by Denny Bond (2011)
by Allan Chochinov

Ode to my toaster, so shiny and clean
You’re the butterknife's foe, you're the bread's trampoline
You're the lightest, the darkest, the coolest and proud
You’re the jack-in-the-box of the countertop crowd.

In the old days you had a side entrance instead
You were far more ornate as a true thoroughbred
But now you're a box with a push-button trick
You're a bit more convenient, but a little too slick.

And if that weren't sufficient to cause you some shame,
There's your bullying arch-rival muscling in on your game
They say big toaster-ovens are "double the tool"
They can brown up a bagel and reheat your gruel.

But don't be discouraged, I still think you're swell
You do do one thing, but you do that thing well
And though fancy new gizmos might stir up a yen, remember
Your name still pops up, every now and again.

~ via Design Observer (2008)


I smile whenever I catch a glimpse of my creamy-shiny, chunky but cute Dualit toaster sitting happily on the kitchen counter. I bought it when we moved into our current home 22 years ago, and it has served us well.

I remember thinking at the time that it was a little pricey, but I decided to splurge anyway.

After all, I loved its classic design, and it was hand built in the UK with fully replaceable or repairable parts, meaning I’d never have to buy another toaster ever again. It’s been worth every penny.

Continue reading

toast to toast


One slice or two?

I love you, toast, I do.

Forgive my dalliance with chewy English muffins and poppy seed bagels. My fascination with showy waffles. My unabashed drooling over muffins and pancakes and other batter beauties. When all is said and done, when a person is weary of gimmick and falderal, there is only you, my toast — simple, basic, and totally unassuming.

Why did I ever think anything could replace this bastion of breakfast? There are some (gasp!) who find toast boring and unresponsive. I dare say they have lost touch with their inner crumb.

When I was little, my older brother and I sometimes ventured to Grandma Kim’s house for breakfast. Both our parents worked, so we were left to our own devices much of the time. We’d arrive on her doorstep unannounced, and didn’t have to say a word. One look at us and she knew exactly what we wanted.

First, half a slice of sweet, cold, homegrown papaya. Next, two almost hard boiled eggs, not too runny in the middle. And then, the best part –a perfectly toasted slice of white bread, generously buttered all the way to the edges, with a coating of fresh guava jelly. Her signature presentation? The toast folded precisely in half, perfect for small hands and eager mouths. Biting into that combination of warm, chewy bread, butter and jelly, told us we were safe, loved, and always welcome.

Toast is the stuff dreams are made of.

Now, I’m not the only one who worships at the shrine of toast. Do you know Mercy Watson? Yes, she’s a pig, but no ordinary porker. She’s the porcine wonder who stars in her own series of early readers. I absolutely. Love. This. Series. I mean, we’re talking Kate DiCamillo here. With illos by Chris Van Dusen.

Mercy lives with Mr. and Mrs. Watson, who are all retro-50’s smiley and kind. They love and indulge her, and everything she does delights them. Her weakness? Hot buttered toast. Stacks and stacks of it. Her pursuit of and acute awareness of HBT makes for some rollicking good stories. So far, in Books 1-4, she’s “rescued” the Watsons from a falling bed, hijacked a pink cadillac, foiled an intruder, and dressed up as a princess for Halloween.

The latest installment, Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig, finds her in trouble for eating the neighbors’ newly planted pansies. She manages to escape Animal Control, and as in the other books, there is a big feast of HBT at the end for all concerned. Chris Van Dusen’s cartoony illustrations jack up the humor several notches with manic energy and hilarious facial expressions. If you can read one of these books and NOT crave HBT, there is something seriously wrong with you. Really.

I’ve just finished a slice of white toast with butter and guava jelly, and I miss Grandma Kim. I loved the sound of the toast popping up and the knife scraping the toast as she buttered it. Such is the power of simple food, lovingly prepared.

How do you like your toast?


More Toast Love:

Visit the Cyber Toaster Museum.

What about a toast-it note instead of a post-it?

Make some Bite Me/I’m Hot Toast!

Australian art on toast.

Uber cool musical toast.

And then there’s always this:

Butter me up!