The peculiar thing about our current home is that, despite being a generally well-proportioned four-bedroomed “luxury villa”, the kitchen seems to be designed for a childless couple who eat out a lot. It’s small, and even smaller when you realise that half of what seem to be cupboard doors are in fact hiding the fridge, dishwasher and washer/dryer. There’s quite the storage problem in the whole house, actually (the bathrooms have no cupboards whatsoever) but especially in the kitchen. I mean, one kitchen drawer. One. (One that is “kitchen drawer” sized, anyway, suitable for holding cutlery and all the usual kitchen-drawer crap; there is also a deep one for pots, and a medium deep one for plates. But that’s it. And no, they’re not wide drawers. They are titchy.)
So I find myself deciding on whether or not to acquire kitchen things based not on desire or cost, but on whether it’s worth cluttering up the countertop/fighting to squeeze another mug on the shelf. The answer is usually “no”. Which explains the large number of underlined items in the following meme-alicious list (purloined from extemporanea), and the pleasing paucity of italics. Underlined, as per her excellent suggestion, for “things I do not have but would like to”. Bold means I have and actually use (at least once a year); italics means I have but do not use. Strike through = had but ditched. (Huh. Apparently nothing? Huh.)
I wonder how many pasta machines, breadmakers, juicers,* blenders, deep fat fryers, egg boilers, melon ballers, sandwich makers, pastry brushes, cheese boards, cheese knives, electric woks, salad spinners, griddle pans, jam funnels, meat thermometers, filleting knives, egg poachers, cake stands, garlic crushers,** martini glasses,*** tea strainers, bamboo steamers, pizza stones, coffee grinders, milk frothers, piping bags, banana stands, fluted pastry wheels, tagine dishes, conical strainers, rice cookers, steam cookers, pressure cookers, slow cookers, spaetzle makers, cookie presses, gravy strainers, double boilers, sukiyaki stoves, ice cream makers, fondue sets, healthy-grills, home smokers, tempura sets, tortilla presses, electric whisks, cherry stoners, sugar thermometers, food processors, bacon presses, bacon slicers, mouli mills, cake testers, pestle-and-mortars, and sets of kebab skewers languish dustily at the back of the nation’s cupboards.
…added by extemp: mezzalunas, egg separators, nutmeg graters, egg timers, pizza slicers, cookbook holders, onion graters, fat separators, potato mashers and mandolins.
…and added by me: Kitchen Aid stand mixer! I admit, it’s hard to pin down why I crave one when I have a perfectly good food processor. I think it’s partly that I’m convinced the bowl shape of the Kitchen Aid would make for better mixing. But… yes… it’s largely the colours. I’m such a sucker for pretty colours.
The mandolin’s totally on its way out, I hate it. Strikethrough only a matter of time.
I’m quite inexpressibly baffled by some of these, really. Banana stands? BANANA stands?! I don’t get the point of rice cookers, either. It’s called a pot, surely?
* Part of food processor, which I actually do use. I’d probably use the juicer more often if I could access it more easily, but the relevant bits have to be stashed at the back of a particularly evilly inaccessible cupboard.
** I had an awesome one from Ikea but eventually it broke. Haven’t found a decent substitute, but I truly miss it.
*** I will not hear a word against my beloved martini glasses, even if we haven’t used them since… since the cocktail party that happened when I was just barely (and unknowingly) knocked up with Elfling. They deserve their cupboard space. They allow me to kid myself that we could be glamorous if we wanted to. This is, sort of, important.
7 thoughts on “I feel I *deserve* a breadmaker, though. I really do.”
In the cooler months I make bread nearly weekly – I don’t have a bread machine, but the stand mixer kneads VERY nicely. The food processor would not. So there’s that…
I’ve got a banana stand/tree thing! I use it pretty much every day (until there is only one banana – then it doesn’t work so good).
My breadmaker hasn’t been used in ages, but I’m pleased to see it’s the only “have but don’t use” on my list.
I feel I have to speak up in favour of the rice cooker: I was converted to them by a half-Chinese friend who makes excellent rice. S and I have had several carbohydrate-loaded conversations along the lines that the rice from our (basic, £20) rice cooker is so good you could eat it on its own as a treat. You can also use the steamer basket to cook char sui bao and other dim sum… Mmmm.
I use my slow cooker a lot – I call it my best friend. But then I call Henry Hoover my boyfriend, so what do I know?
Good to hear these arguments in favour of assorted gadgetry! I can definitely see the appeal of the slow cooker – unfortunately Armin is not a fan of stoo in any form, so I don’t know how much use I’d get out of it, though. As for the rice cooker, I didn’t know it actually made *better* rice. I’m not really keen on rice. Maybe I’m ripe for conversion!
You can make most things in slow cooker – spag bol and then add the pasta, jacket potatoes, I even did a shepeherd’s pie mine. I use it so that I can “cook” when I have the time, and eat when we are hungry. Great when I was working and dh was at college and coming back to an empty house with 3 hungry children.It was great to know there was a hot meal available immediately.
I LOVE kitchen gadgets, but like you I have one kitchen drawer so I have to be restrained. I have a very elderly Kenwood Chef (I think it predates Kitchen Aids) and although I do lust after the shiny new brightly coloured mixers, I love my Kenwood and can’t justify changing it.
I have a bread machine and although I make quite a lot of our own bread, I tend to make it mostly in the Kenwood Chef and by hand as I find it very theraputic. It’s a great stress reliever. That said, I do use the bread machine for emergency bread when I simply can’t be bothered…., or when I want to wake up to the smell of frshly baked bread wafting up the stairs.
The slow cooker is languishing at the back of a cupboard next to a popcorn maker we were given for Christmas a few years ago. I’m just never organsied enough to sort out the slow cooker before leaving for work.
The pasta machine is used in fits and starts, like making bread I find it quite theraputic, but I just need more hours in the day.
I could go on….but favourite current gadget (and I’m not entirely sure it reaches the lofty heights of being a gadget) is a red rubber/plastic pastry brush – it can go in the dishwasher without the bristles falling out.