I need a toaster oven that won’t send the rice cakes up in flames the minute my back is turned. When I told The Hunter how, once again, before I’d even had a calming cup of morning tea, I had to shovel yet another blackened, flaming rice cake into the sink, he sighed. And wondered why I couldn’t simply toast “normal” bread like “normal” people. (The Hunter, while completely at home and fearless in the wilderness or off-shore, tends to get a little skittish around things like rice cakes and bean sprouts or purple potatoes. He is always a little worried when rice cakes appear, as he thinks he may have to eat one. In his opinion, they don’t belong in a “normal” life.)
Before the recent kitchen remodel, I had a Maytag double oven/stove combo that had a toast function for the smaller, upper oven. I thought it was a brilliant idea. I didn’t need to have a toaster cluttering up the limited counter space, and when I had a house full of grandchildren and the little ones wanted waffles in the morning, I could toast everyone’s breakfast at once. Over the years this oven and I had come to understand one another on the subject of rice cakes. A two minute toast was perfect; I could set the timer, turn my back and know there wouldn’t be any flames. Therefore, when we went shopping for new appliances last September, toasting capability was the first feature on my list of “must haves” . I was prepared to compromise on other things to get it.
The horror then to find that no one makes this feature any more – because there is no demand for it. Apparently, I didn’t need to compromise on any feature; instead, I needed to go out and buy a new toaster oven.
The thing about modern toaster ovens is that they want to be regular ovens. People, I am told, like it this way. I don’t. (This was not a surprise to The Hunter, by the way.) I don’t want another fully tricked-out oven taking up counter space. I need something that will toast. Period. When toaster ovens get ideas above their station in life, they inflate to quite large proportions and this is simply unacceptable.
They also get expensive. Paying a lot of money for something you don’t really want is just painful. Besides, it’s been my experience, cheap or expensive, these things only last for 2 years, so go cheap because you’re going to be replacing it anyway.
As is obvious from this post, I did eventually find a toaster oven I thought I could live with. Chances are we will even come to grips with one another’s idiosyncrasies. However, being a realist, I imagine there will be a few more sacrificial rice cakes before that happens.
Mit Brennender Sorge flickered through my mind as a title for this post, but only briefly, because frankly it would incredibly insensitive – no matter how anxious The Hunter might be for the safety of me and everything around me, including himself. I haven’t told him yet that recently I have also figured out how to make a corn tortilla go up in flames. I’ll save that for a surprise.