The first gadget that literally fell out of my cupboard today is the toastie maker. In my no cooking days the toastie maker my old flatmate & I shared was my most used kitchen appliance. Now it's something I've used maybe twice since Nick & I received it as a wedding gift almost three years ago
I don't know if toastie makers are a thing in other countries? I know that I was super surprised to discover that kettles aren't the norm in American kitchens and that they have amazing things called toaster ovens. Because of these crazy cultural differences I'll be doing a step by step of the toastie making process!
Now a toastie, unlike, for example, a panini, are kinda dirty by nature. They're meant to be made with cheap sliced bread and simple ingredients. A cheese toastie is the classic thing to make in one of these contraptions and if you're feeling fancy you could add ham or pickle. Perhaps, if you wanna go really upmarket, you could add sliced tomato or onion. Nothing else. There is no room for your fancy sourdough, sauerkraut or tempeh here!
I chose Daiya as my cheese, Yves bologna as my ham and the softest white bread I could find in the supermarket. Butter, or in this case, margarine, is one of the most important parts of the toastie experience.
To put together your toastie you place the first piece of bread 'butter' side down on the toastie maker, cover it with cheese...
...add the ham...
...and then place the other piece of bread 'butter' side up and close the toastie maker.
Wait for around 5 minutes until the machine makes a beeping sound and voila, your toastie is ready!
I love how this kind of sandwich differs from the kind you would make in a cast iron pan, under the grill or in your panini press. It's neither better nor worse, just different. The toastie maker seals the edges of the bread creating a delicious pocket of melty cheesy greatness. The edges are crispy and delicious and the inside is hot hot hot! I (almost) always nibble off the edges and take a small bite out of the puffy centre before diving right in.
That's what I did today anyway. If you, for example, get drunk, make a toastie, and take a huge bite out of it you will burn your tongue and it will hurt. Perhaps because you aren't entirely sober you might decide that licking an ice tray will cure your burnt tongue. It won't, it will make everything worse and people will laugh at you when you regale them with this tale of your unbelievable stupidity!
That story isn't enough for me to contemplate giving up this gadget though, oh no! I may not use the toastie maker much, and I doubt that that will change, but on those evenings when you just cannot be bothered the toastie maker is the perfect gadget to help you whip up something hot & tasty.