Tuesday, July 17, 2012

They don't make them like they used to!

Yes, it's a cliche, but it's a really good one.  Know why?  Because it's the one pure steady truth in today's world.  Nothing's built like it once was...with pride of workmanship.  I've probably gone off on this before, but it's worth repeating.  What got me thinking about it today is my waffle iron.  Actually, waffle irons.

My parents were married March 26, 1966.  Like most couples, they received their china, crystal, flatware, and small appliances as gifts.  But you know which one we're all still amazed by?  That's right; the GE waffle iron.  

I love this little work horse!
This thing is like no other.  It has waffle plates that clamp on and bake perfect waffles.  But, what makes it truly invaluable is that the plates flip over and become flat griddles.  Picture the perfect grilled cheese, panini or pancakes.  And, it's operation is so simple, it's genius.  Slide the lever to low, medium or high.  Novel concept.  When it reaches temperature, a clever little red light illuminates on the top and viola!  you're ready to roll.

Why is she telling me all this?  BECAUSE THE ONE MY PARENTS GOT AS A WEDDING GIFT IN 1966 IS STILL BEING USED TODAY.  Yeah, I yelled that at you.  This waffle iron is so solid, built well and keeps on truckin'. I actually asked my mom if I could have it when she dies.  Then, along came that fateful day that I happened to end up at the Jamil Temple Shriner's garage sale (I know, I know.  I'm still not exactly sure how this happened.)  But what Divine Providence!  As I meandered through the rows and rows of "treasures" I came across a miracle.  I called to mom.  She hurried over.  I pointed.  We stared.  We squealed with delight.  (Any of you who know us know that it takes a lot of doin' to get us to actually "squeal" at all.)

Yes, friends, there was a GE waffle iron with changeable flat iron plates and it was in great shape.  Even better was the price tag.  A whopping 5 bucks! I snatched it up and ran to the check out.  Major score.  An appliance from the 1960's!  Because after all, they don't build 'em like they used to.

Fast forward now several years.  I happen to walk into the Salvation Army to donate a bunch of miscellaneous stuff.  When you donate, you go in the back where they process all the stuff they receive.  As I waited for my receipt, I casually glance around. There was a flash of light, I heard a loud Hosanna, and there it was.  A 1960-something GE waffle iron.  This one looked like it had never been used.  It shone like a new DeLorean.  When the man came back I asked him how much it was.  He looked over at it and said, "I don't know, we just got it.  Haven't even checked it in yet."  So, I said, "I love it.  I need it.  How about five bucks?"  He agreed and I skipped off happily.

Now, you're probably asking yourself.  Why in the world does this kooky broad need two 1960-something GE waffle irons? Well, I'm glad you asked.  #2 is a back up for when #1 dies.  Of course!  But here's the really amazing thing.  Recall that mom's from 1966 is still very much alive and kicking. I bought my #1 around 1993.  It's still going strong and the only time I've ever used #2 was when I was making panini for a crowd.  At this rate, I'll be able to give the second one to Vivian as a wedding present.  That should be about 2036.  Between the two of us, we'll be able to serve up magnificent waffles and grilled cheese well into the next century.  I'd love it if someone from GE would get their hands on this.  But, rather than inspire him/her, they'd probably celebrate that the old days are over because this means they'd only sell a person a waffle iron once every 70 years or so.  Sad but true...quality construction and pride in workmanship has gone by the wayside in most aspects of the modern world.  But, I've got my killer waffle/grilled cheese/panini/griddle until the day I die and beyond!

P.S.  What got me thinking about this today was the amazing pressed Cuban sandwiches I made for supper.  Hoagie roll, roast pork, ham, sliced Claussen's pickles, mustard from Asheville, NC,  provolone (I was outta Swiss) and a little mayo. Thanks GE! 

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