The traditional method of toasting. You simply adjust the toaster setting so that it pops up cooked to perfection. At least, that’s the idea. The reality is that several factors usually result in very uneven toasting.
Basic toaster settings
No special training required
Uneven toasting (unless you use the Breville Toastmatic 4000)
The first level of advanced toast-making. The toaster is set to half the standard setting, and when it pops out midway you rotate the bread horizontally before reinserting for the second stage.
Consistent toasting on both sides
Top of bread often toasted more than bottom
Inexperienced users can burn their fingers at the midway stage
Basic training required
The Uther Henge Flip (mid-stage vertical rotation)
The pinnacle of practical toast-making. This is a simple improvement over the horizontal double insertion method. The introduction of a vertical flip creates fantastic toast.
Consistent toasting top to bottom on both sides
Resetting toaster to half the single insertion value confuses other toaster users who have to be forcefully inducted into the ways of the Uther Henge Flip.
Horizontal rotation followed by vertical flip followed by second vertical flip
This over-elaborate method of toasting results in the most consistent browning but is so complex that most people get worse results than the traditional single insertion method.
Incredibly even toasting
Requires quadruple insertion
Many novices fail to observe the rule that bread should be inserted either once, or an even number of times, but never an odd number, unless of course you introduce a final finishing off phase to remedy any inconsistencies
Setting the toaster becomes very complex
Toaster needs to be reset for subsequent slices to prevent over-cooking
Constant monitoring necessary to avoid burning
Many people forget how many toast rotations they have performed because they are distracted by other events in the kitchen
Factors to consider
Is your bread sliced by hand or machine?
Hand-slicing is less consistent than machine-slicing and the raised areas can become especially burnt. But you may be able to spread more Hobgoblin Marmalade on hand-sliced bread because it has a greater surface area. Experts call this the Goblin Ratio.
Is the bread thicker at one end than the other?
This can have a massive impact on the flow of hot air through your toaster, disrupting your calculations. You may be wise to set some time aside for wind-tunnel testing if your slices of bread are particularly wedge-shaped.
Who is Uther Henge?
Uther Henge is the chief mystics consultant for the National Trust stationed permanently at their gift shop at Glastonbury Tor. If you visit St. Michael’s Tower on top of Glastonbury Tor you can experience the Making Toast Through The Ages display at which Uther Henge gives a twice-daily lecture Toast, the Tor, Past Present and Future. Henge invented the Uther Henge Flip during one of his lectures when he realised that this unintuitive method of rotating bread resulted in a better and more consistent slice of toast.
A public outcry has followed the recent announcement that Glastonbury Pilgrims Union has donated thirty dog trolleys to enable people to enjoy the tor with their dogs. These trolleys were necessary because the tor has grown by 30 metres in the last decade which meant that many dogs were no longer able to get to the top under their own steam.
This week three hundred owners of other pets signed a petition that was handed in to the Lord Mayor of Glastonbury the Rt Hon Lawrence McKnight, that claimed equal rights to trolleys for all pets.
In a partial step-down the Pilgrims Union have agreed that if trolleys are not being used by dogs then other pets may use them. However it is not good news for all pets. Very small animals may be expected to double up and share with others in order to avoid wasting space. So for example, if two people arrive with chinchillas, and there is a spaniel sized trolley, they would be expected to share. There are no plans to force animals from entirely different species to share trolleys, but many people think this will be hard to enforce. The rule of thumb is that if a pet is likely to eat or attack another animal that it shares a trolley with, then it should wear a muzzle.
Fortunately muzzles for a wide range of species are available in the National Trust gift shop if pet owners arrive without one.
Patricia Barnyard of the Glastonbury Dogwalker’s Trust remains upbeat; “Obviously dogs take priority. They are the best sort of pet, and this new ruling on trolleys accepts that fact. It means that dogs are never expected to share a trolley. They are always welcome to enjoy their visit to the tor, although there have been occasions when a queue of beagles has developed. On the other hand, if you want to bring a hamster or a cat for a walk on the tor it is possible that they will be able to use the trolleys too, and visitors will find a good selection of cat muzzles in the shop, on the shelf below the Hobgoblin Marmalade.”
Today OAP Percival Angstrom was welcomed back to Glastonbury Tor at a reception arranged by Chief Gatekeeper Titania Bonham-Smythe. This followed his dramatic airlift in January when he was discovered unconscious in St. Michael’s Tower.
Angstrom was presented with a basket of new age products from the National Trust gift shop at the tor, including a delightful selection of lentil tea and Hobgoblin Marmalade.
But the highlight of the event was when the plucky pensioner was given the Vortex Award – a special cut-glass trophy in the shape of St. Michael’s Tower inscribed with his name. It means he joins a very prestigious club that only has eight other members.
Bonham-Smythe explained; “We have now deployed each of the thousand hand-painted signs we received as part of the annual shipment from head office. When Mr. Angstrom visited the tor last month there were still some signs that were not in their correct place, and the particular No Entry sign he encountered on the wrong side of the main door to the tower almost caused him to come a cropper. The St. Michael’s vortex is something that members of the public shouldn’t be too concerned about though. It is very rare, and usually there is a member of staff on hand to step in and help using the special anti-vortex equipment.”
Before leaving the Tor, Mr. Angstrom was shown the display Making Toast Through The Ages that was installed in St. Michael’s Tower as part of the cleanup operation following his vortex. Unfortunately the event was cut short when a slice of toast became wedged in a Toastmatic 4000, setting off the smoke alarm.
Cosmologist Kirsten Denier from Glastonbury Observatory explained; “St. Michael’s Tower has always been a hive of activity, and even before the prison closure in January everyone has managed to coexist in this beautiful mystical space. However, since the Breville toast-making display went live last week it’s been nothing but trouble for us. Smoke from burnt toast has poured into the observatory, and the smoke alarms have been going off and disrupting our astral observations at the most inconvenient times.”
Uther Henge, the top mystical consultant at the National Trust, who leaves his duties at the gift shop twice a day to lead visitors through a presentation Toast, the Tor, Past Present and Future, was keen to placate the observatory; “Nobody predicted how much toast the visitors to the tor would burn. You know the settings on some of the old toasters were frightfully hard to get right, especially if you’re using the double-insertion method for even browning. We have installed a new extractor fan in the demonstration area, so we hope the smoke from burnt toast will vent away from the observatory in future.”
As a gesture of goodwill Henge delivered a tray of hot lentil tea and toast with lashings of Hobgoblin Marmalade to the cosmologists in the observatory.
In a surprise move only hours after Glastonbury Horticulture Society announced their bid to buy Glastonbury Tor from the National Trust, Société d’Horticulture de Poitiers announced at a surprise press briefing today that they have agreed to buy a controlling share in Glastonbury Horticulture Society.
This is seen by industry insiders as a move to outflank Deutsch Gartenbau Abteilung, the German horticulture consortium that bought fifteen small mountains in Belgium in 2010, and has been greedily eyeing the nominees for mountain status announced by the GIPN this year.
Société d’Horticulture de Poitiers have big plans for Glastonbury Tor if their purchase is successful; “We have slightly modified the plan announced by Glastonbury Horticultural Society to plant displays of variegated shrubs and perennials over the tor as far as the eye can see. We still envisage a major replanting but now are going to focus on a mixed crop of garlic and vines. Research indicates that it pleases people who visit modern horticultural pleasure parks when they see vegetation that has real commercial value.”
National Trust Chief Gatekeeper at the tor Titania Bonham-Smythe had mixed feelings when we talked to her today; “I was awfully excited by the idea of the variegated shrubs, but I’m not sure people will enjoy visiting Glastonbury Tor if their view over the plains is obstructed by vines. I actually think the Deutsch Gartenbau Abteilung bid for the tor might be more in line with the profile of visitors we see. I spent a week working in the gift shop at one of their Belgian mountains recently and their Klabautermann Marmelade (Hobgoblin Marmalade) had a piquancy you wouldn’t believe!”
Following the dramatic rescue of pensioner Percival Angstrom yesterday morning, staff at the National Trust gift shop at Glastonbury Tor were surprised to learn today that they have been landed with a huge bill.
Rushing to their defence the Glastonbury Pilgrims Union have pledged to boycott the Air Sea Rescue service until agreement is given that the Trust doesn’t have to pay.
Hundreds of members of the Glastonbury Pilgrims Union have climbed the tor barefoot every week since ancient times, so it was natural they should be the first to hear about the unwanted bill. Because they are such an active and close-knit community they were able to arrange an extraordinary union meeting in Glastonbury town hall and quickly agreed a motion to boycott.
Keen to get an explanation we called the Air Sea Rescue service and were patched straight through to Pilot Officer Graham Gillespie who was flying high over the nearby Bristol Channel; “This is the fifth airlift we have performed on Glastonbury Tor this year and we have decided enough is enough. Glastonbury is so far inland that other users of our service are suffering. Every time the National Trust call us out to rescue someone from the tor we are putting sailors lives at risk. By the way, I would like to thank the lovely Titania Bonham-Smythe because she packed us off with a tasty jar of Hobgoblin Marmalade from the gift shop yesterday when we picked up Mr. Angstrom.”
Tempers are running high in the local community over plans to open a new Tesco store at Glastonbury Tor in direct competition with the National Trust gift shop.
But this is going to be no ordinary branch of Tescos – to get past tight planning restrictions they have agreed to make new age products form at least 35% of their inventory.
A spokeswoman for Tesco announced at a press briefing today; “We will be able to offer a range of mystical birthstones that beat the competition at every price point. Our Basics Birthstones are only 59p which is a big saving over those sold at the National Trust.”
Uther Henge, the chief mystical consultant for the National Trust stationed permanently at their gift shop at Glastonbury Tor came quickly to the defence; “What members of the public need to remember is that although Tescos will have a wide range of competitively priced products and the convenience of self-service tills, the most important thing to think about is the total cost of your shopping basket, and this is where the National Trust wins big time.”
Pointing to the wide range of new age products on sale at the National Trust gift shop, Uther Henge explained; “Because we source our products from local new age traders we can compete well with the core items that visitors to the Tor really want. Products like lentil tea and Hobgoblin Marmalade are in Tescos more expensive Finest range, and there are also some products we sell at the gift shop that Tescos are never likely to stock, like the King Arthur Sword And Stone Playset, and our range of Lady Guinevere Lingerie.”
Update: Following pressure from Defra’s Squirrel Resuscitation Team today, Tescos have agreed to limit the sale of hand-cooked crisps at the Glastonbury Tor branch to people who can prove they are over 18 years old. Defra are expected to continue fighting for a total ban on hand-cooked crisps on the Tor.