When it comes to food, my main concern is almost always efficiency. Efficiency and convenience. Don’t get me wrong—I think flavor is important, too, and I appreciate good-tasting foods as much as the next guy (though apparently not as much as my wife and her friends, who geek out on recipes and related culinary matters as much as I do on computers). But in the end, taste is only secondary for me.
That’s why I prefer seedless grapes over strawberries (no little green leafy things to dispose of) and pre-mixed yogurt over the kind with fruit at the bottom. I love the taste of corn, but I almost never eat in on the cob, because it’s too messy to hold (when it’s salted and buttered), too inefficient to eat, and too annoying to get out from between my teeth. In grad school, I ate a lot more salads, with prep time at about 30 seconds, than macaroni & cheese, which can take up to 15 minutes to prepare if you include the time for the water to boil.
So, you can probably imagine my excitement when I came across the Back to Basics Egg & Muffin 2-Slice Toaster and Egg Poacher in a Maximum PC magazine holiday gift guide a few days ago. This little appliance will synchronize the toasting of an English muffin with the poaching of an egg for a hot, delicious “egg sandwich” in just four minutes. It even has a little meat warmer for a sausage or ham patty.
The timing of my discovery couldn’t have been better. Our family had been toasterless for the past few weeks. But when I showed this one to my wife, she just sort of chuckled. Two days later, we had a brand-new, conventional toaster in our kitchen. Oh well. There is something a little gimmicky about the “Back to Basics,” I suppose. Besides, I’m not even sure I’d use it much, since it would take about four minutes longer than I currently spend preparing breakfast—by tearing the wrapper off of a Clif Bar.