I’ve written about my coffee pot, my bread machine and my stand mixer. Now it is time to write about my toaster oven. The toaster oven is pretty old. I actually remember buying it at K-Mart in Illinois. So it was more than 5 years ago. But I think that it was more like 9 or 10.
I’ve never had a toaster, always a toaster oven. I’ve made quick bread and muffins in the toaster oven. I’ve made biscuits, grilled cheese, English Muffin pizzas, crescent rolls and toast in my toaster oven. My muffin pans fit beautifully and I love not having to turn on the oven.
The toaster oven sits on the counter and takes up prime real estate in my kitchen. Apartments are not known for cabinet and counter top space. And I LOVE to cook and bake, so I have lots and lots of tools. The problem is that I don’t have a place for all of them. Some are in the storage closet, some are in the laundry closet and some are kept in the oven. But when we use the oven, we need to take all the bake-ware out. And the place to put it has been on the counter in front of the toaster oven.
Thursday afternoon I was trying to get cleaning done before I had to pick up Michael’s friend, Josh, from school. Josh’s mom, Angie, and I usually carpool. Thursday, Michael had band and didn’t need to be picked up until later, but Angie (I thought) had asked me if I could grab Josh because she had a meeting. I actually misunderstood, but I’ll save that story for another time.
I had worked for a couple more hours in the garage and had run stuff over to Goodwill. Then I figured that I would start some laundry and vacuum. I also thought that I would clean the top of the stove.
When I started cleaning the kitchen, the bake-ware was on the stove. Since I planned on using the oven, I figured I’d just move the bake-ware to the counter and move it back after dinner. The toaster oven was on the counter behind where I placed the bake-ware. I had the dishwasher and the washing machine running and started to vacuum. I smelt something burning. It wasn’t the vacuum.
I went into the kitchen and all the burners on the stove were off. The oven was off. I thought that it was maybe the dishwasher. We need a new one, but the apartment complex keeps telling me that this one is fine. So, I went back to vacuuming. The burning smell got worse. I checked the stove again. It wasn’t the stove. Nothing was on. As I headed back out of the kitchen to finish vacuuming, I felt heat coming from the counter. And it looked like there was some smoke.
Sure enough, the toaster oven was on fire. Well, not really on fire, it was smoldering. Apparently, the bake-ware that I placed in front of the toaster oven was holding the “toast” button down and the toaster oven was continuously trying to “toast.” This caused the home-made pot holder that was on top of the toaster to burn. And that is what I was smelling.
I opened the sliding glass door and set the fan going, after I got the toaster oven unplugged. I got my Pampered Chef pot holders and took the baking pan off the top of the toaster and put it in the sink. I took the toaster oven out to the patio. And I hoped that I wouldn’t set off the smoke detectors and bother everyone in the building.
David walked in shortly after that. He saw the toaster oven on the patio before he came in. He smelt the smoke. He didn’t have much to say, except, “what happened?” And then he shook his head in disbelief.
His mom had done it again – destroyed something in an unusual way.
My mom laughed at me when I told her what happened. She told me that a new toaster oven would be expensive ($50). I couldn’t believe it. I went online and looked and saw some for around $30. When I stopped at Wal-Mart, I did my regular perusal of the Clearance section – and found a brand new, Black and Decker counter top oven that bakes, broils and toasts for $19.99.
We haven’t tried out the new toaster oven yet. It is so pristine. I’m almost afraid to use it. I’m afraid that once I do and get lulled into a false sense that all is right and good in the world (and my kitchen), another small appliance will croak. I have to take a chance at some point, but all of my kitchen small appliances are new and I hate to take a risk.