My New Old Toaster

Real retro.

As I’ve blogged elsewhere, I was in the New York area late last month. I tried to see my godfather one last time before he passed away and missed him by two days. I went anyway and spent some time with family members. I also helped my mom and cousin sort through my godfather’s belongings in preparation for auctions, estate sales, and the eventual sale of his house. I blogged the details of my trip here.

One thing I learned about my godfather, Jackie, is that although he often received gifts that he didn’t want or need, he never returned them. We found many brand new items still in their original boxes or with tags still on them. He had, for example, at least 5 blenders, three of which were still boxed. (One, which he apparently used, looked like an original Vitamix.)

My New Old Toaster
Who needs a fake retro toaster when you can have a real one?

Among the things we found was a Proctor Silex toaster in a never-opened box. I mean, the box still had those big staples across the top holding it closed. The price $9.99 had been penciled in on one side. I opened the box and pulled out a shiny circa 1966 chrome two-slice toaster. I was in awe. The damn thing was nearly as old as I am and it was in absolute mint condition. (Obviously, I can’t say the same thing about me.)

I didn’t own a toaster. I haven’t ever owned a toaster. I always had toaster ovens. Toaster ovens are nice appliances to have, but they generally do a crappy job making toast.

I think I must have shocked my mother and cousin when I asked if I could have it.

I packed the toaster in its box into my luggage when it it was time to go home. I wondered whether it would raise any red flags with the TSA when it went through their X-ray machines. I hoped that if they opened it, they wouldn’t get fingerprints all over that nice chrome.

At home, I put it on my countertop.

I didn’t use it until today. Two reasons. First, I don’t eat much toast. The reason for that is that I didn’t have a toaster and wasn’t in the habit of eating toast. Also, I try to avoid unnecessary carbs. Second, I was kind of afraid to try it. Afraid that a 47-year-old toaster would spontaneously combust when I pushed the lever down. Or afraid to somehow “ruin” it by using it. After all, it wouldn’t be mint once it had some burned crumbs in the bottom.

My New Toaster in Action
My new old toaster in action.

But today I took the plunge. I pulled a slice of 12-grain bread out of a bag in the freezer and popped it in. I pushed the lever down. I watched the metal filaments glow red. I stood ready to pull the plug and grab the fire extinguisher if need be.

In the end, all I had to do was push the lever back up when I realized that my toast was getting overdone. I guess I need to play with the darkness adjustment next time.

I spread cashew butter on the toast. It was delicious.

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