For the want of a toaster…

My horoscope for the last few months might have read “The period will be marked by bursts of frenetic activity, with socializing and spending time with family and loved ones. Travel, for social and professional reasons is indicated, in which you shall explore exciting places and meet new people. Those with an interest in art shall enjoy literary indulgences. You shall celebrate your birthday in an unexpected manner.”


Birthday Dessert - Apple Pie and Cream
Birthday Dessert – Apple Pie and Cream

Numerous, and mostly good, things happened over the last two months, on my frenetic-activities-enforced blogging break. I travelled to Ireland and met lifelike replicas of Oscar Wilde (on our common birthday, no less) and Pierce Brosnan. Then there was a quick vacation to Pondicherry where many bottles of jam and one packet of flower seeds were purchased. A couple of work trips took place, which took me from the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea; festivals were celebrated, much fuss made over birthdays, family came a-visiting, huge meals were cooked and/or eaten, and about a trillion liters of beer were consumed.

Then my toaster died.

Honestly, this post started off as a tribute to Ireland’s food and drinks scene. Cue: the rather upbeat tone of the preceding paragraphs. But, this Tuesday morning, my world came to a juddering halt when while I was popping the bread into it, my toaster gave a couple of bleak sparks, and well, popped it.

Bad times never seemed so bad.

To add salt to injury, my dear friends would not stop ribbing about my relationship with my toaster. You see, I don’t see the point of sliced bread, or indeed the world, without a toaster. What good are eggs, however fluffy, without toast? What good is butter, rich and golden, without toast? What good is breakfast without toast? Oh my God! What is the point of waking up if not for breakfast, if not for toast, if not for the toaster?! The battle was not lost for the want of a nail, indeed, the world was lost for the want of a toaster!

My so-called friends, though, punned galore about my toaster being toast, getting fried, and of course, burning out.

It hurt.

Enter my brother in law (all my blogs feature sisters and sisters in law, time for some diversity, I say). This dear BIL writes software code by day and plays in a metal band at night. To add to his very marriageable charms, he makes the best udon and pizza (from scratch) that I have ever eaten. He is also a really cool DIY person and can fix everything from decrepit furniture to a broken fridge. His most sterling quality, though, is his deep empathy for my toaster-less existence. When I moaned that only an ode can adequately express my toaster feelings, this is what he sent me.

An ode to a broken and lifeless toaster
(Well… more like a metal song)

Why do we live in a world where we suffer?
All I wanted to do was melt down some butter.
On a slice of fresh bread, made warm inside.
Woke up one day, and found that you’d died.


Oh, the pain.
I’ll never know
True love again.


One day you may find
It comes to an end.
The good things in life
The reason to strive
For toasted, fresh bread.


I stand here this morning
My stomach gives warning
Of something very wrong on this Earth.
God who’s all knowing
Never gave warning
Or sent me so much as a sign
Of this curse.


Not again.
I’m left all alone.
No one but you
Can fill this void inside.


One day you may find
It comes to an end.
The good things in life
The reason to strive
For toasted, fresh bread.


The pangs of hunger
You’re torn asunder
That’s it. You’ve had your last, good fry.
He’s had his vengeance
And now you’re all spent
And now I say goodbye.


I’ll live on….
Must go on…

(Insert wicked guitar solo here)

Is he not the best ever? 

The BIL has a really sweet tooth, as evinced by his dessert desires after every meal. He was in India this last month, to celebrate Diwali with the family. I had a long list of desserts planned for him and his wife, but got around to making only hot chocolate pudding, literally hours before their flight back. I scaled down David Lebovitz’s hot chocolate pudding recipe and dished this up in 40 minutes, start to finish. Quickly break 55 gm of good chocolate into a bowl, and add 30 gm of butter. Heat gently over a low flame till melted. Whisk together (for 5 minutes) a large egg, 2 tbsp sugar and a pinch of salt, till the mix forms soft peaks. Bit by bit, gently fold together the eggs and chocolate. I divided the mix into 3 ramekins/oven proof ceramic dishes and baked for 15 minutes in a 190c oven.

Hot Chocolate Pudding
Hot Chocolate Pudding

To make the pudding less cake-like and more gooey, dial up the butter to about 40 gm.

That’s it, bye for now. You go make this pudding, I gotta run buy a new toaster.

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