Yesterday I received hearty congratulations on a major milestone: the adoption of a new toaster. The thick multilingual manual greets me with "Congratulations on your purchase of an OSTER Toaster," as if buying a toaster merited a ticker-tape parade and a medal the size of a hubcap.
I'm not sure who needs a 40-page manual to learn how to operate a toaster (Conociendo Su Tostadora!), but I don't intend to read the whole thing. I have seen Groundhog Day, so I don't need to be reminded that it's a bad idea to use my new toaster in the bathtub--although maybe that would be a great place to use the old toaster. Nobody warned me not to!
Anyone who needs to be told repeatedly in writing to "Press the toast button if you are going to toast bread" probably shouldn't be permitted to own a toaster, especially considering the manual's stern warning that "Toasted food can be very hot." (Isn't this the whole POINT of a toaster? I mean, the reason we had to retire the old toaster was that it got out of the habit of producing heat, which transformed it into a clunky decorative item with little practical use. If the need arose I suppose I could toss it at an intruder, but what would stop the intruder from simply tossing it back? I can't keep a nonfunctional toaster clogging up the kitchen just on the off chance that I might someday want to play Toss the Toaster with a masked stranger!)
But I digress.
My new toaster has entered the Internet age: it comes equipped with directions for accessing the Oster Inspire Club, an online forum promising "Exclusive access to recipes, entertaining ideas, and exciting new products." Entertaining with a toaster? Sign me up!
A quick search for toaster-related recipes results in the luscious-sounding Toaster Petite Italian Hazelnut Chocolate Spread Puffs, but further exploration reveals that this recipe requires a toaster OVEN, which is a different animal entirely. If I had purchased an Oster Toaster Oven, Oster Inspire could inspire me to entertain a glittering assemblage of friends with Spa Pizza (prebaked pizza shells, one sliced tomato, and a dollop of goat cheese) or Meatloaf Enrobed in Mashed Potatoes. (Is this a bathrobe-themed party or what?)
For plain old toasters, though, Oster Inspire offers nothing except helpful hints about what the "bagel" button is for. (Toasting bagels. Who knew?) If I want to use my new toaster to entertain my friends, I'll have to come up with my own recipes. Whole-wheat toast with raspberry jelly, anyone? How about a nice bagel with cream cheese?
Be careful! Toasted foods can be very hot!