Tag Archives: toaster

A Toast

I’ve long held the belief that there’s not much that smells better than bread, specifically toast of any kind.

Right now I own two toasters—a cheap one that I got from Walgreens six years ago that still browns my bread to perfection, and one that I received for my birthday that brands the bread with the logo of my beloved Detroit Tigers.

I thought the Tiger toaster was very cool and clever.

With that said, there are some things I just don’t want on my toast. Sunflower seed butter? Bring it on. Vegan margarine? I can’t get enough. The image of genitalia?

Excuse me, but what?

Head on over In the Powder Room to read how with the push of a lever, you can have a pornographic piece of toasted treat, served just for you, and I’ll see you back here later this week.

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My Reality Bites

I was carbo-loading on the couch in preparation for a “Chopped” marathon on Food Network when I realized that as much as I love my food competition shows, they’re not exactly “reality” shows.

Considering my smoke alarm often doubles as a kitchen timer, it probably comes as no surprise that they’re the opposite of the “reality” of my kitchen:

If there are more than five steps or ingredients, I’m out.

If a recipe requires me to incorporate another recipe or let something sit for more than 30 minutes before including it, I’m out.

If it relies on me trusting my appliances, I’m out.

My non-stick pans are questionable on the understanding of their job description, and I’ve learned a watched pot never boils, but if I turn my back for .4 seconds it will spill out and onto the stove.

And my toaster?

Sometimes the handle won’t stay down, therefore negating the actual toasting it is pressed into service to do. So I stand there muttering something along the lines of, “Well, aren’t WE the defiant little bastard today” until my bread comes out unevenly browned and bitter at the forced interaction.

(I’ve tried a different approach with, “Yes, take your time. I’ll just hold the handle down while you decide what you’d like to do with this bread.” That worked a bit better, but now the crumb tray refuses to stay securely fastened to the bottom.)

Even though it rarely takes me more than 15 minutes to make a meal anyway, everything on these shows is about being timed. Can’t find a knife? Use your teeth to separate that raw chicken! There are only 10 SECONDS LEFT!!!

Whereas I make an emergency run to the store when I get down to one head of broccoli, these cooks never have the ingredients they—or any normal person rooted in reality—would normally use together.

“For the dessert round, you have to use unicorn horn, pancetta, pink currants and crème fraiche.”

Really? I couldn’t make a great dessert if I was given anything other than the recipe, the ingredients and possibly Florian Bellanger, “Cupcake Wars” judge/pastry expert who expects contestants to make 1,000 cupcakes in two hours.

And seeing the less-than-hygienic things that go on in these kitchens makes me twitchy.

No, the secret ingredient is not elephant garlic. It’s sweat. And I wonder how anyone can eat anything presented.

Then there’s the dialogue.

I might talk to myself—and occasionally the testy toaster—but the judges on these shows flap their hands around in the final seconds of a round yelling, “Just get something on the plate!” while the hosts tries to talk to contestants moving really fast in an attempt to “just get something on the plate!”

Then there’s the judging itself in which the meal made from the juice of exotic olives and chocolate from Pluto in less than 20 minutes on a grill (plot twist!) results in them being told they’re on the chopping block and not the Next Top Iron Master Chef.

All that work and pressure and they don’t even eat what they make, which might not be a bad thing if they seasoned it with perspiration and possibly snot.

At any rate, it’s a good thing I like my food simple and fresh. It leaves me more time to sit on the couch yelling at the TV in my best Gordon Ramsay accent about how NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO MAKE RISOTTO while fishing out a piece of asparagus I dropped in the cushion.

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I actually found this in the couch a couple days ago.

Call me Food Network. Let’s talk.

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Couchgating 101

Unless you’re new here, you know that I love sports. If you’re new here, you should know that I love sports.

I watch them on TV. I listen to sports talk radio 95 percent of the time. If someone approaches me for an intelligent discussion about baseball or anything/anyone on ESPN, it’s like flipping a switch. You instantly have my attention.

Sports get me. I get sports.

But I have to confess that as much as I love watching and talking about the games, I don’t always enjoy watching the games at the games. Overpriced parking, $5 bottles of water and expensive tickets just to sit in a cramped seat next to a drunken fool who spends the whole game screaming obscenities through a bullhorn? No thanks. 

I know, I know. Nothing can replace the atmosphere of attending an event live and I do enjoy going once in awhile, but with few extreme exceptions, the only thing I’m parking is my ass on the couch.

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My couch gets me. I get my couch.

So what do you get when you combine sports and the couch? Couchgating*, the underrated yet superior alternative to traditional tailgating and game viewing. Unlike the rigid rules associated with attending an event—parking passes, assigned seats, having to wear pants—couchgating is much more relaxed, greatly improving the game day experience.

If you want to wear your favorite jersey, paint your face and ring a cowbell—looking at you mom—you can do so without judgment or death threats (depending on your neighbors, of course.)

And if you’re going more casual, you can even wear a cat hair-covered robe and judge every missed call like a much poorer, sports obsessed Judge Judy without anyone giving you “the look.”

“The look” can also be seen—and appropriately given—when stuck behind people on the concourse walking ridiculously slow who won’t let you pass as you try and make your way up to the concession stand.

Once there, said people will scour the limited menu as if deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics, delaying your ability to secure an overpriced water bottle that will send you to the germ-infested toilet or claustrophobia-inducing Petri dish known as a Porto-Potty multiple times.

At home, there are no concession concessions (see what I did there?) needed, and the option to use a working toilet instead of climbing through rows of disgruntled fans to secure a spot in a 20 minute line to evacuate your bladder of the $5 water pretty much seals the deal for me. (In case you’re new here and haven’t left yet, I have a bladder the size of a Cheerio.)

I also overshare.

Anyway, the only “obstructed view seats” at home are when the cat does her rendition of “Riverdance”  in front of the TV to get my attention/catnip, the Wave can be done on your schedule without the pressure of waiting for your turn to stand and if the game sucks, you can just change the channel.

So while I admit that going to games can be fun, at the end of the game day for me, you know where I’ll probably be.

Couchgating gets me. I get couchgating.

*Note: In warmer weather, couchgating is replaced with deckgating, which is similar in structure but necessitates a lawn chair on the deck and a radio.

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