It looks as if there will be no early exit from the shitlist on which I find myself. The one I have occupied since killing my wife’s prized KitchenAid toaster several months back. Instead, it appears I have simply put a fresh coat of asphalt on the road to Hell.
The interim toaster was brutally utilitarian. Black, bulbous, squat – it was like having a bowling ball sitting on the counter. In all fairness, it wasn’t purchased with the kitchen in mind but rather pulled hastily from the RV to fill the gap until something more elegant could be procured. Serviceable but homely. And with every ‘ca-chunk’ of the popping mechanism, a reminder of my profound failures as a husband and a human.
And then, what appeared to be salvation. Long and sleek, at first glance it seemed to exceed expectations. The dearly departed had been a ‘one-slotter’ – a single, extended trench where two pieces of toast could be inserted end to end. This successor had the correct shape, so it would fill the vacant spot precisely, but with two long slots for toasting up to four pieces of bread at a time. Think of the entertaining possibilities!
Of course, there could be no getting around the fact that it was not the proper color (what KitchenAid called Majestic Yellow – a kind of pale mustardy hue that the bastards have discontinued), but at least it wasn’t bright red or cobalt blue. Just a neutral, unobtrusive white. Made by some firm I’d never heard of before but was willing to gamble on if it meant I could avoid another kitchen remodel.
But I may have to break out the power tools after all. Or continue the search. That’s because test slices in the new rig have been…inconsistent. What one would expect to be a moderate setting (somewhere in the middle of zero and six at the top end) is in fact more like ‘Center of the Sun,’ baking the bread to the consistency of a charcoal briquette. No doubt a person could fire pottery at the highest setting.
A few more slices were sacrificed as I tried to find this appliance’s sweet spot, which appears to be somewhere around one and a half. Though it’s hard to say exactly, based on the finished product. Thus far every piece of toast has come out resembling one of those sample paint cards you get at Lowes with all the varying shades of brown – a gradient scale, going from burnt russet to ecru, not only from one end to the other but also front to back. Regardless of its position in the slot.
As they say, you had one job.
And it doesn’t so much pop up as launch a piece of toast, like a pilot being ejected from a faltering F-16. You could lose an eye if you happened to be peering into the slot to assess doneness just at the moment of liftoff.
So while all men may be created equal, the same cannot be said of toasters. As for this one, PM me if your kiln ever craps out.