A toaster or a toaster oven (at least one of the two) belongs in every kitchen. While there are other ways to toast bread, using an appliance designed for it is the best way. There are other toasting appliances out there, but those designed for two or four slices at a time are the most commonly used. Not to mention, the least expensive.
I’ve had to do without correctly made toast more often than I care to remember.
As my family (my parents’ family) grew up, there was always at least one toaster in the kitchen. We lived in two different places (one in Arizona and one in Hawaii). Three, if you count the one I can’t remember living in as a baby and toddler.
Toasters were popular gifts at one time, for weddings and baby showers, as well as other small kitchen appliances. I don’t know why. Maybe it was because everyone could use one and not everyone already had one. I don’t remember us ever having an old one in the kitchen.
I seem to remember my older son, Joe, and his family using a toaster oven instead of a toaster the last time I stayed with them.
There have been a few occasions when I didn’t have a toaster in the kitchen. While I can’t remember every instance, there are a few instances that pop up in memory when I think about it.
One time was when I first moved to the Philippines. Josie (my wife) and I stayed in her mother’s crowded house until our house was built. Her mother didn’t have a toaster and neither did anyone else living with all of us. That was a rough seven months, give or take a week.
All of my in-laws told us we couldn’t buy certain household items because they weren’t sold in Olongapo City or at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. They were wrong. They just didn’t know where to look. That’s one of the bad habits they displayed. If they never saw something, it didn’t exist.
The only other times were when my existing toasters stopped working. Not being the mechanical type, it was much easier for me to replace them than to fix them. Sometimes one of my sisters-in-law would attempt to make toast by cooking the bread in a skillet. It just doesn’t work that way.
I’m not talking about breakfast toast, but plain bread can never replace it at breakfast time. No, I’m talking about certain recipes. One of my favorites is the BLT. While Josie or I can make a perfect BLT at home, some local restaurants are pretty good at screwing them up. You can’t replace fresh tomato slices with canned tomato anything.
A toasted or grilled cheese sandwich always uses toasted bread. To do it right, you toast the bread before you add the cheese. The only difference between a toasted and grilled cheese sandwich is that it’s grilled to melt the cheese. I never bother to go that far.
By: RT Cunningham
June 1, 2017
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