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Take Five: Let's toast the toaster

Eat a better breakfast and you will have a good start on your day.

February 22, 2012|By Gene Pepper

I don't know anyone famous to quote here, other than my mother, who insisted that my sister and I eat something before we left for school.

“At least have a piece of toast,” she said. “You can't think in class if your stomach is empty.”

I remember dashing out of our home, pushing my bike's kickstand up, the toast wedged in my mouth, and then pedaling to school munching on this toasted mess.

I bring this subject to you because an informal and incomplete survey of relatives, friends, and La Cañada breakfast establishments proves that while the toast itself is universal, the toasting suffers from inconsistency. Home toasters, which is what most of us face every morning, are obstinate and tend to fight back when engaged.

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I offer this evidence: Narrow slots that can't accommodate sliced bagels. Oh yes, we can stuff the bagels down the chutes because we're desperate, but the results are disastrous when the heating elements have done their work — if they have. These same slots can't handle thick-sliced bread, or thin-sliced French rolls.

Toaster control knobs should be tried in court for false advertising. Consider this — the temperature settings run from 1 through 9. My non-scientific survey indicated that 4 is selected most of the time. What degree of difference exists in the last five numbers? And why is it, then, that smoke spews out of the toaster, followed by a blackened, crunchy unidentifiable mass? If you're not eligible for the witness protection program, using your fingers to root out burned toast is a hard way to lose your fingerprints.

Perhaps I should fault the bread people. It seems to me that bakers, who toil all through the night manufacturing who knows how many varieties of loaves, should include pre-approved toasters for sale next to their bread displays in supermarkets. I offer this brilliant marketing idea free to mergers and acquisition experts.

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