Monday, January 18, 2010

Kitchen appliances

My usage of kitchen appliances comes and goes. We have nearly a full complement of ... everything (minus a Kitchen-aid stand mixer, which I'll pick up one of these days when I have a spare Lowe's gift card or two lying around). This morning though, as I reached for the coffee grinder in preparation of making coffee, and as I took last night's rice out of the rice cooker and popped it into the fridge, and plugged back in the toaster... I got to thinking about which small appliances and gadgets are on my "daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly/semi-annually/annually" list (Oven/Range/Fridge/Dishwasher are excluded). Here's what I was thinking, in order of usage (and forgive some duplication as P. and I each had some of these tools when we came together)

  1. Coffee pot -- daily

  2. Coffee grinder -- daily (also use as a spice grinder)

  3. Toaster -- weekly

  4. Microwave -- weekly

  5. Rice cooker -- weekly

  6. Stand Blender -- monthly

  7. Hand Blender -- monthly

  8. Hand Mixer -- quarterly

  9. Crock Pot (Sm/Lg) -- quarterly (more in winter)

  10. Waffle Iron (Sq) -- quarterly

  11. Food processor -- quarterly

  12. Waffle Iron (Rnd) -- semi annually

  13. Mini food chopper -- seldom

  14. Juicer -- Annually/Seldom

  15. Bread Machine -- Seldom/Never

  16. Electric Tea Kettle -- Seldom/Never

I had the salad spinner on here, as well as the new tortilladora, but I think I need to put those items on a different, "kitchen tools" list... you know, non-electric crap you have in your tools drawer and cabinets, taking up space.

Looking at this list, I feel ok that this is stuff I use a lot. But also, looking at this list, I'm sort of ashamed that our diets are so complex (or our food culture so full of itself) that we have to have all this crapola to make it happen. I mean, I guess I never had a food processor until last year; same with a hand blender.

Some of these were "lifestyle purchases" that we don't use much now. For instance, I used the bread machine about every other week for several years, when I was in California and worked in an office. And, the juicer was actually on the counter in HB when we had access to bulk citrus and fresh fruit 4 seasons. The electric tea kettle I had in the office so I could make hot water for tea on my desk; and the mini food chopper was my cheap answer to a food processor before I gave in and took the plunge. Still... this is a lot and I bet it's on the low end of the "modern" kitchen.

What do you use that's not on this list? What do we have that you don't use? Please tell me you have more crap than we do... please? Pretty please?


girlnblack77 said...

We use a standard kettle and coffee press, which frees up some space. We did receive, for Christmas, a cappuccino machine... so the toaster and blender are now stored away. We love the bread machine and use it about twice a month (excellent for homemade calzones). The electric can opener has been stored away since we moved to town four years ago... but I haven't FreeCycled it because I fear the manual one breaking and not being able to open a can of black-eyed peas. The microwave, we use a few times a day. The mini-chopper, we seldom use but it's the perfect size for making meringue for pies. The hand mixer, I probably use twice a month - an essential for boxed brownies and birthday cakes. The rotisserie grill was also a gift; we'll go months without using it and then use it three times in one week... but it lives on the top shelf of the pantry most of the time. We only have one waffle iron - the one thing I asked for as a bride-to-be a decade ago - and we use it about every other weekend. Our most recent purchase was an electric griddle, which I love, because we can make six grilled cheese sandwiches in the time it took me to make one before we owned it.
I had an electric wok that my mom gave me when I moved out years back, but the feet were smashed in a move and I haven't replaced it. We also had an electric frying pan that I sneakily disposed of when the hubbie wasn't looking. I think the Fry Daddy followed shortly thereafter, as did the toaster oven.
I think that's it. Feeling a bit better? :)

Burkbum said...

Actually, a little bit. Yes. :)

I was thinking about an electric griddle, but I think I'm more inclined to just get a big griddle for the range that spans two burners. That's the route I took when the George Foreman grills were all the rage -- all my cousins got a GF Grill for christmas, and I got a grill pan. I still love my grill pan. I don't know where anyone's GF grills have gone.

Speaking of this, I'm really keeping my eye out for a good old cast iron skillet.

Little Bird said...

I won't even touch the issue of "stuff" in our kitchen! But I will say this. You can keep looking for a good old cast iron skillet; but if you go ahead and purchase a new Lodge cast iron skillet (from any supplier), you will have a great skillet! The new ones even come pre-seasoned. Then you can simply re-season as you use it, never-ever touching it with dish soap, but cleaning it with coarse salt and water. You must always dry it completely too, or it will develop rust (which you can scour off, but then you have to re-season it). I always dry ours over a hot burner for a minute after use. A new good-sized everyday Lodge skillet that will last forever costs only about twenty bucks!

Eric said...

I was thinking of getting a coffee grinder for herbs but now I'm looking at a mortar and pestle.

Apparently the heat generated from the electric grinder can diminish the flavor of the herbs.

Probably not a huge difference but once I hear something like that I can't ignore it. And you can't not look cool grinding stuff in a mortar!

raji007 said...

i liked u r blog..
kitchenaid 4 slice toaster

Anonymous said...

I've been meaning to comment on this one, and your newer posts about food inspired me to do so. I bought a Vitamix blender in the last couple of months or so, and it's just amazing. It makes any other blender or food processor look like a toy. We've been starting our day (as a family) with smoothies (mine green and non-dairy and the boys' fruit with organic yogurt). It burns through any fruit or veg with ease! I make non-dairy cream cheese using raw, organic cashews, and it's the best!!! You must give it a try! The next purchase I am going to make if I can will be a small dehydrator. I will use it for a variety of things, but for example I make these tasty "burgers" from raw, organic walnuts with jalepeno and onions (using the vitamix). I eat them wet between lettuce leaves with all the fixings, but one hour in the deydrator and they are like a "burger." It's a great alternative to a lot of the processed soy that's out there. My coffee machine is taking a vacation as my new rule is that coffee is meant to be shared with company, and my microwave is on very limited use because I am worried about what is might be doing to us -- especially the babies!!!! I still use it (moments of weakness, but it's very limited! BABY STEPS!)

-- Jo