Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bread without Toasters: A Look at Alternate Toasting Methods in the Workplace

Although it is not impossible to make toast at work in the absence of a proper toaster, it is indeed challenging. In this post I have documented Eric's attempts to make the perfect slice of toasted bread using a variety of alternate methods.

Here he is demonstrating the heat-gun method, which directs a blast of super-heated air onto the surface of the bread, resulting in a very white and very dry piece of bread:

A camp stove is handy for many things, but toast-making isn't one of them:

Here Eric tries a traditional method of grilling, generally successful for meats, poultry, fish, etc. Little to no browning of the bread is evident:


 The Lit-Match Technique, which uses an open-source flame, leaves attractive char-marks and is especially recommended for all white-bread toast projects. The downside of this technique is that only very small portions of the bread are toasted at a time, requiring excessive patience. There is also the risk of singed fingertips:


In this video, Eric attempts to make use of the hot hood of his running car-engine. This is another example of a direct-heat approach, as the bread actually comes in contact with the heated metal. Unfortunately, Eric's half-hour lunch break was insufficient time to utilize this method, which can take upwards of 30 minutes per side. Additionally, the fuel required to run the engine for an hour or more makes this technique cost-prohibitive.     [Note: washing the car first is highly recommended in order to maintain proper toast hygiene.]

Here Eric demonstrates the ancient Mayan technique known as the Sun Method. Perhaps the least effective of all known toasting techniques, as practitioners must stand for long hours in the sun with arms raised above the head. Best results can be attained by toasting on the summer solstice.

As you can see in these examples, toasting at work without a proper toaster can be an arduous task. An electric toaster is highly recommended. And can be delivered to your door in no time at all with Amazon Prime!

Friday, May 6, 2016


The Gulf Stream is waning, which has showered upon us in the great northwest of the United States a pressure system which seems stuck on HOT. Thanks, climate change. I prefer a planet with reasonable seasons, if The Powers That Be are listening. (And you're not, Republicans.)


What shall become of our pathetic species? Nothing good enough to mention.

In the meantime, I spend most of my time off these days working on my house and garden. Soon: paint. I'm clearing the shrubbery, one twig at a time, as my beleagured hands allow. There's a mounded pile of quince debris in my driveway which screams for my attention. Tomorrow, I tell it, tomorrow.

And of course, tomorrow also involves planting beans and tomatoes and carrots and cucumbers.....

Where do I find a space in my life to write? Hell if I know. Poetry doesn't write itself. (Nor does it publish itself, apparently.)

Meanwhile, our magnificent and flawed planet continues its inexorable spin.....