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  • Rob


Updated: Sep 17, 2020

When lockdown hit I went on a spending spree buying stuff I thought I didn't want and would never use. Two of the devices I purchased were the breadmaker and the humble toasted sandwich maker, it is fair to say that both have been absolutely hammered over the last 6 months.

I make a loaf at least once a week, more if I'm knocking something up for the outlaws. I know it is a cliche but the smell that fills the house from freshly made bread is right up there with the very best (possibly only bacon beats it for me). We have it later in the week with homemade soups and at the weekend as part of a lazy brunch (how middle class does that sound?)

But just as good is the humble toasted sandwich maker. I'm sure you all had a 'Breville' when you were kids, that funny looking little box you would throw bread in, stuffed with cheese that would create those strange little triangles filled with something approaching the temperature and consistency of lava.

Miss L said one day in early lockdown that she "really fancied a toastie like we have when we are on holiday" so off I went to the Internet to see if they still made them. Spoiler alert: they do, and they are dead cheap too! Amazon has a machine for just £7! Of course, you get what you pay for (buy shite, buy twice and the father-in-law says) so don't expect it to last but for seven quid, are you that bothered?

I had a quick look at the market and then came across the Breville VST041. After seeing it in action (click on the image to watch the promotional video) I was convinced it was the one for me and bought it without consulting with the boss - thankfully I got away with it because it is not only boss but it is multifunctional!

It comes with removable, non-stick, dishwasher safe plates for easy cleaning that are interchangeable with waffle plates! YAAAS! 1 machine, two uses a whole world of unhealthy breakfast/lunch/snack options - it is the gift that keeps giving!

Boring cheese and ham sandwich for your working from home lunch? Why not smear butter on the outside too, whack it in the Beville and have an amazing lunch that lets you play Russian Roulette with the roof of your mouth at the same time? Are you brave enough to tuck in early knowing that there is a very good chance molten cheese will stick to every inch of your mouth, burning everything that it touches leaving your mouth filled with skin-covered bubblewrap?!

There are tons of recipies out there but the one I return to time and time again is the Pizza Pocket. Two slices of bread filled with mozzerella cheese, pepperoni slices, Italian herbs and a big squeeze of tomato sauce. Bang it in the machine for 6 minutes and you have little triangles of perfection! I've swapped out the tomato sauce for BBQ and added chilli flakes to spice everything up and it works brilliantly.

The Beville was bought almost as a joke to be honest but the little fella has won a place in my heart. No wonder they were so popular back in the day, they are ace and all it took was a global pandemic to make me realise it again.


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