“What is that thing-a-ma-jiggy?” Ruth queried as we proceeded down the isle of the antique store, spending some quality time together on a Sunday afternoon. We try to get out and about together at least once a week. The object in question was a bit odd; it was metal, square, and had four grids standing upright leaning into the center.
“Hmm, it looks like one of those old-fashioned bread toasters,” I surmised. “You’d put this device on a kitchen stove burner and let it get hot, and then stand bread slices around each grid. When the sides were browned to your liking, you’d flip them over and brown the other side. I guess it was the modern way to make toast.”
Burnt toast, that is. Regulating the temperature on such a device to avoid the dreaded burnt toast was probably a daily challenge for the cook who was also juggling eggs and bacon preparation. Must have been quite a job to watch the bread so light delicate toast slices were produced instead of burnt toast. I’m sure more than one child assigned to watch the toast got distracted, and the family had to eat charred toast with their butter and marmalade. (And a few tears were probably shed in the process.)
Surely no recipe existed for burnt toast in the family cookbook. As technologically savvy as we think we are, more than one household still experiences burnt toast, even with our sophisticated sensor appliances. All it takes is a mistaken turn one notch to the right to create a masterpiece of burnt toast in today’s kitchen.
What to do with today’s burnt toast?
Here are my top 5 things to do with burnt toast:
1. Scrape off the burned part and eat it. Most likely this is what our no waste ancestors did. They probably liked the taste of burnt toast after awhile.
2. Make croutons. Depending on the degree of burnt-ness, cube the burnt toast with a sharp knife and use for salads.
3. Make breadcrumbs. These burnt toast breadcrumbs can be tasty additions to meatloaf. You can also make breadcrumbs and feed to the birds.
4. Use as fertilizer. Burn the burnt toast again, crush it, and scatter around in flower or vegetable beds.
5. Play with your dog. Use burnt toast as flying play toys for your dog to chase and catch. Eventually the dog will eat it.
The above suggestions for my top 5 things to do with burnt toast are merely ways to avoid throwing the burnt toast away. Our frugal ancestors used whatever they had to its fullest potential.
Which isn’t a bad idea.
Even for a little burnt toast.