Thursday, 10 August 2006

Toast and tea

I don't know why anyone should be interested in this. Let's call it an exercise in taking soundings of the seemingly bottomless ocean of trivia that can be dished up on blogs without causing readers to actually complain / unsubscribe / write op-eds in the newspaper about Teh Stupidity of blogging.

A while back we finally killed our kettle stone dead by leaving it on the stove all night. The whistly thing in the lid was already dislodged, so when the kettle boiled nobody noticed, and it boiled dry, then just sat there on the element getting hotter and hotter. The next day the metal coating the copper base had all flaked off and the handle had sort of petrified, like lignite.

So we had to buy a new kettle and like Val (who had a very similar experience a few weeks ago) I was reluctant to get an electric one - more junk to fill up the precious bench space - but the big shed electrical goods shop was selling jug-and-toaster sets for $80. So we bought one, which meant the old toaster had to go too.

The old toaster was the upright kind with a single element in the middle and two drop-down flaps to hold the bread, one on each side. So you had to turn the bread over to toast both sides, and you also had to remember the toast was in there because it didn't stop cooking of its own accord. Much bread was needlessly burnt black in the old toaster.

Yeah they were filthy old pieces of shite but they continued to do the job for a bloody long time. The kettle would have been about forty years old and the toaster was probably in its seventies (Bakelite knobs, deco styling.) I felt kind of bad throwing them away. The new ones won't last that long.


R.H. said...

Good heavens, an old Hecla toaster! You are beyond cuteness. I've always thought so.

Well I'm sorry but that toaster is a collectable; I've got one myself. It's worth about $60.00. In poor condition.

lucy tartan said...

Hecla, huh? Well I never.

As for collectability, I'm afraid the bin men collected it.

Drewzel said...

I found this post rather interesting actually, tell that to Roger Bannister.
Our household had one of those toasters all through my childhood (I think Mum still used it up till I was about 25)...but I used to find it scary, I could never tilt the toast forward enough to get it to fall forward to be able to turn it over. As you said, lots o' burnt toast, mmm.

lucy tartan said...

Charred on one side, raw and sweaty on the other.

Anonymous said...

that's weird: we had a kettle accident a couple of weeks ago too.
I was given a flash stove-top kettle for christmas (it's a gorgeous bright red with a black handle... uxo brand or something), but the whistle never really worked. I didn't ever get around to taking it apart to make it work, and one day working at home I left it on the stove unwhistling away. When I found it (a couple of hours later) it wasn't bright red any more, and it smelt strange.

I was all for just abandoning it, but The Squeeze felt terrible about my present getting trashed, so he scrubbed it til it was clean, took it apart to fix the whistle and now it works better than ever!

So how's that - a new kettle that survived the Great Immolation (sort of) of '06 and still works!

Anonymous said...

Bugger that Laura. I was going to buy you a toaster for your birthday. The old one was lethal.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

ohhh... poor old lethal toaster. I love those little bakelite handled jobs. although I have a problem with the angle of the otast - the doors should open just a little more.

you should have flogged it on eBay!

Ron said...

Toast: what a luxurious memory! With these supersensitive compulsory smoke alarms we have to have in NSW now, I can only set my automatic toaster to produce slightly more than just-warmed bread.

Well, it's not really that bad but it so annoying to be running around waving magazines and things under smoke detectors to stop them screaming at you while your toast and tea goes cold.

I tell my neigbours we just like to have lots of really hot sex in our house in the mornings.

Guy Ellis said...

Nice one Lucy. Your story inspired me to blog my burnt kettle story - thanks.

GS said...

A cousin of that toaster lived in some shared house, with me and teams of others - in another place/time/century. Though the one I remember had a very frayed cord and wobbley sticky-out-bits in the plug.

Strange - I can't remember which house, the toast, the people - only a sence of foreboding whenever I used it.

JahTeh said...

I always keep a spare kettle in the cupboard because I'm always burning the backside out of the kettle and why does the handle always come loose and set itself on fire? My dear old Sunbeam toaster has been repaired once and was a wedding present, it's lasted longer than him.

After six burnt kettles I gave up using them as pot planters, too much incriminating evidence.

Suse said...

The elderly kitchen appliances provide a pleasing counterpoint to the pretentious git mansions post.

lucy tartan said...

Heh. I view it more as a continuum. Studying Schonberg and narratology and that....appliances salvaged from relative's chuck-out piles....hand in glove, really.

Anonymous said...

Smoke alarms. We have an umbrella standing in the corner. Open it up, whoosh, and wave it at the alarm, and it stops.

- barista

muebles en pozuelo de alarcon said...

It won't truly have success, I believe so.