Machine without an “ON” Button

On lazy weekend mornings where we, the kids, wanted to watch Disney movies without taking our eyes off the  TV even for a second, summoning us for breakfast around the table was a difficult task for my mom or my grandma. Either, the table had to be set at the formal dining table instead of the kitchen table so that we can grab the seats with the TV view, or we were given something easy, less than usual messy and preferably in one piece to eat on the couch.And for us, breakfast on the couch was much better option because it was something different than the usual.

Toast, which is known as panini on this side of the ocean, is something we saved for those stay-in-your-pjs-till-11 am type of  weekend mornings. A toast, at home in Turkey, means two slices of several day-old bread stuffed with a layer of hard, well aged Turkish cheddar cheese and sometimes four-five slices of Turkish sausage called sucuk  (soujuk). Then put several small dabs of butter on the outside of the bread, and place the toast in our vintage toast machine.Then put it on the stove at medium heat and constantly flip every one to two minutes until both sides are golden brown and you get the “toast” marks on both sides.

Now, this is where my husband laughed several minutes non stop when he first saw the “toast machine” that was brought from Turkey. I mean, laughed, laughed and laughed!

For a complete nerd and tech guy like he is, a machine had a loaded meaning. First of all, for it to be a machine, it had to be turned on and off.

Well, there is no “ON” button on our little toast machine. It relies on heat source to work. If you ask me, I think it is pretty clever and eliminates the need for those bulky panini makers. And somehow in my family, we kept calling this “the toast machine” and I don’t know what else we could call it… It made the toast. So … Why not?

For my husband, it is another humor source that he would like to tease me about and tell our friends:

“Canim, I want to make a toast but I can not find the user manual of this machine, do you know where it is by any chance?” followed by a long laugh!

To me though, this is another little vintage item that is loaded with memories with my family… breakfasts for dinner nights, lazy weekends, quick lunches, packable beach food. Who needs a user manual for that?


  1. by Terra
    12:13 am
    Jul 9, 2012

    Hmmmmm……what would it be called? I think toast machine sounds perfect to me:-) I adore hot sandwiches even on hot days, so I am loving this panini:-) Hugs, Terra

  2. by Calantha
    9:04 am
    Jul 9, 2012

    I think that’s fabulous and sure beats the regular “toaster”. Not to mention that sandwich looks and sounds delicious. Is it tea or maple syrup that you have in the little glasses? Because if it’s just tea, I think maple syrup might go really well with these sandwiches too, heh heh!

  3. by Ilke
    9:06 am
    Jul 9, 2012

    Calantha, it is Turkish tea. I would have never thought maple syrup with the savory toast, gotta try now :)

  4. by Susan
    10:39 am
    Jul 9, 2012

    I love your toast machine and the stories that came with it – no manual needed :) What a wonderful piece so full of memories. Your toasts looks delicious!

  5. by kitchenriffs
    12:28 pm
    Jul 9, 2012

    Toast machine works for me! Really nice story. And remind your husband that all of us came without a user’s manual (though maybe we could all use one!). Fun post – thanks.

  6. by Elizabeth
    4:51 pm
    Jul 10, 2012

    Ilke…what a wonderful way to keep childhood traditions alive! And what a hearty looking breakfast…that could keep one going all day. :)

  7. by Tanvi@SinfullySpicy
    1:52 am
    Jul 12, 2012

    OMG Ilke..this post took me to my granny home…we have a similar but smaller toaster in her house. And everytime i go to India I eat the sandwiches made out of it…and those are the best ones I have had in my life! Thanks for taking me there :)

  8. by hande
    2:38 am
    Jul 12, 2012

    I have the same “machine” , and I use it almost everyday, I love it! It makes the best toast.


  9. by Ilke
    8:43 am
    Jul 12, 2012

    You said it Hande! No toast for Jay!
    Tanvi, aren’t they the best! Glad to find something else in common with you :)

  10. by Angie@Angie's Recipes
    3:02 am
    Jul 13, 2012

    That’s a cool gadget!
    O man..that click of cheese oozing out the toast is just sensational!

  11. by rebecca
    5:01 pm
    Jul 13, 2012

    great sandwich and nice simple panini press

  12. by Shelley
    10:36 am
    Jul 15, 2012

    I love it! So much cooler than those ridiculous George Forman grill/electric panini maker gizmos. But then Eric and I are anti-appliance people- mostly because we have so little space in our kitchen. Your lo-fi approach looks perfect to me. As does those panini! I bet your husband isn’t laughing so much when he bites into one :-)

  13. by Mrs Ergül
    3:35 am
    Jul 17, 2012

    Gas is cheaper than electricity. Hand this to me any time! Lovely vintage kitchen tool!!

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