Let’s Make Toast the Hard Way!

On Monday I marched in Des Plaines’ Independence Day parade dressed in an emerald green 1950s cocktail dress as part of the Des Plaines History Center’s “Decades of Des Plaines History” marching contingent.  I actually think a cocktail dress is a very appropriate thing to wear while walking in a parade because I learned that you can’t do much except stand up straight while wearing such a garment.

Several fantastic things happened during my parade stint:

  • I convinced a kid to give me some of her candy while I was marching in the parade.  Thanks for the Sweet Tarts little girl!  And I thought kids never liked to share.
  • Governor Pat Quinn shook my hand (and said something about “local history, mumble, mumble…”)  and since I know that he has shaken hands with former governor-now-national-celebrity Rod Blagojevich I feel like I’ve been touched by greatness, sorta.
  • I almost convinced one of the Knights of Columbus to pretend to impale me with his sword for a photo-op, but that didn’t go over very well so I settled for being knighted instead.  I asked what good things I had coming to me as a knight and sadly the answer was nothing–except a great photo!

Trusty knight-in-green-cocktail-dress

No time to dwell on fun had during our nation’s birthday; onward to a new experiment!

Tonight I am trying out a metal toaster that we use at work when we talk about life at the turn of the last century.  Please don’t worry; this toaster is a reproduction.

Most people think this is a cheese grater

Bottom view

So the general idea is that heat from your wood-burning stove (or camp fire if you happen to take this gadget camping) will rise up through the holes in the bottom of the toaster and emanate out from the side slits, which will toast the bread that you lean against the wire bread supports.  Super bonus:  you can balance your kettle on top of the toaster and use it to heat water for coffee!

What I want to know is why you can’t just use a skillet to make toast.  This is a good idea because you can use butter, or even better, bacon grease, on the skillet and toast your bread while buttering it up at the same time.  As you can see from the picture, the toaster doesn’t toast very evenly but my heat source was only my gas burner so maybe this would not be a problem if I was using a regular wood burning stove.

I’m sure you have tried this at home too

Note the uneven toasting pattern

Shameless product placement

I am planning to see how long it takes to heat my water for coffee using the toaster, but not until tomorrow morning.

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