From the frying pan into the toaster

By Lindsay Slogrove Time of article published Aug 21, 2021

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THE couch research centre is famous. So famous it once got an email.

That’s not counting the one from someone foaming at the mouth over the terrible investigative journalism that found “The Former Guy” in the White House had suggested his people inject or sip bleach to kill Covid.

The accusation of shoddy research was so concerning we had to rewatch the clip in which the advice was given many times, with cringing ears and teary eyes. He really really did.

Anyway, that’s beside the point. This week’s couch investigation involves important culinary designs and cost oddities.

For instance: who on Earth decided 30cm was a good measure for a standard frying pan? Did they not know that two slices of ordinary bread do not fit properly when making French toast? Edges climb up the sides and get stuck there. There’s a lot of flipping required to cook all four corners. Why not 32cm?

Try to fit six patties in at once and the same applies: cooked in the middle and flipping about to cook the outside edges.

In the 30cm’s favour, though, it does fit very neatly into the sink to soak away the bits that got stuck on the sides because they didn’t fit on the bottom. And no, mine aren’t non-stick ones because they need way too much babying: if something sticks on stainless, you can soak and scour and put on a dish rack and not worry about flaking black stuff in your food.

The couch, not the kitchen, is the heart of our house, which came with a very small kitchen and we can fit more of us on the couch. The dogs’ food – raided daily by the now-resident and very welcome robin – is in there, and the human occasionally wanders in to make coffee or toast, French or otherwise. Which brings me to the toaster.

Maybe it’s excessive use, but the toaster gave up the ghost. Burned one side and warmed the other. The canines never seemed to mind when they got their peanut butter toast treats, but the human did. So a new one was required.

It became apparent that the old one was very old considering how much the prices of new ones had soared. This was not one of your designer-name fancy colour-coded appliances, just a plain 4-slice toaster (less time in the kitchen). It was almost an out-of-body experience, standing in the aisle of a regular supermarket hoping one that cost less would miraculously appear. But no. A Made-in-China mass-produced one was nearly 500 ront. A similarly aged woman and I exchanged commiserations, clicked tongues and with head shakes reluctantly trollied our purchases.

I tried to complain to a younger member of the household, reminiscing about the old flip side manual toasters we used to have, and was met with a blank stare: no clue what I was on about. Everything is pop-up nowadays.

One brilliant design is the spaghetti server. Our one has been decommissioned because it makes the best back scratcher ever. It’s never more than an arm’s length away. And a good strong plastic clothes peg is the world’s best book mark.

The couch is happy to share many more wonderful ideas. Just drop us a mail.

The Independent on Saturday

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