From the random mindbump site, here is today’s writing prompt (remember, I am participating in National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo) with a post a day):
“If you were limited to having only one electrical outlet in your home, what device would you plug into it?”
I am going to chose to modify this by asking:
“If you were limited to having only one electric kitchen gadget, what device would you chose?”
Wow, so many choices. Stand mixer, food processor, immersion blender, coffee maker, toaster, waffle maker, electric teapot, slow cooker. What to chose, let’s discuss the options:
Stand mixer: Useful for cookie dough and cake batter. Great for bread (but I can make bread by hand easily enough with Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day). Good as a juicer, if you have a tree-load of lemons. I guess you can use it grind meat, but I have not tried that particular attachement on my machine. Verdict: I can pretty much do everything by hand that my mixer does, it would just take me longer but it would probably help me buff out my pecs. Not a necessary gadget.
Food processor: Great for shredding and chopping foods to small bits. Good for pesto, sauces and making the pre-cooked pumpkin pie recipe I like from Cook’s Illustrated. A sharp knife could do some of the same activities, but it sure is convenient. Don’t love washing the work bowl, however. Verdict: I can cut most things I need with a sharp knife, and shred with a upright shredder. Not a necessary gadget.
Immersion blender: Love this tool for pureeing soups in the cooking pot. With attachments, also is good for milkshake making, and chopping of herbs. Verdict: The soup pureeing part is the most important, and cannot be imitated by hand. I guess you could use a potato masher and a hand blender, but then you would need to run the soup through a fine seive. Not worth the extra effort. This is a keeper.
Coffee maker: Coffee is important, no denying it. But the coffee maker is used once a week, tops, and the espresso maker is used once or twice on the weekends. The non-electric way of making coffee works just as well, providing a nice product that can be individualized. Does help save money because we are less likely to go out for special coffee drinks since we can make them at home. Verdict: We could do without this device and use a French press or drop cone to make coffee most mornings. Not a necessary gadget.
Toaster: Toast is pretty awesome in the toaster, coming out all nice and brown. Plus, toasters are important when you freeze bread and need a quick thaw. It is a one-trick pony however, unless you count toasting bagels and poptarts as separate activities. A toaster oven might be a good investment, especially for smaller families and singles who want to bake a quick batch of cookies. Verdict : Hard to replicate elsewhere in the kitchen, unless you want to turn on the whole oven, but I am pretty sure that takes more energy. This is a keeper.
Waffle maker: Ours doubles as a panini press (fancy name for a grilled cheese maker), so we do get double duty out of the gadget already. And it is pretty difficult to get your waffles to look as pretty as they do when they come out of a waffle maker. In fact, I am not sure you can make waffles without this gadget, correct me if I am wrong. Verdict: You cannot make waffles without a waffle maker. This is a keeper.
Electric teapot: This convenient device boils water quickly in a self-contained pot. Yes, water could be boiled on the stove, but this one works so much faster. Good for boiling a quick cup of water for your recipe, or water for tea or coffee (see above). Verdict: Water can be boiled other ways, but this gadget sure in handy. Not a necessary gadget.
Slow cooker: I seriously don’t know if I could live without this gadget, I use it quite often. Soups, chili, chicken stock, taco filling, ribs, pulled pork, applesauce. Definitely a well-loved gadget in my house. That said, I could do much of this cooking in the oven on low in a Dutch oven. Not quite as easy to set-and-forget, but definitely a solution. Verdict: In my kitchen, this is an important appliance, one I could probably make do without, but why, I have my husband’s Crock Pot from 1983 and it is working just fine. This is a keeper.
Well, looks like the electric gadgets I am unable to live without include the immersion blender, toaster, waffle maker and slow cooker.
Which device would you chose in your kitchen?