Monday, May 22, 2017

1779 Kitchen Confidential



Face it.  There’s never enough room in the kitchen to do what you want to do.  Something lives on every counter and on every shelf of every cabinet.


Solutions:  
  1. Remodel and expand
  2. Get rid of the counter hogs
  3. Buy more gadgets and appliances. We’ll figure out what to do with the overpopulation later.
I opt for number 3. Except the figure it out later part.


Do you suppose the great chefs of America, Europe and the far east created their timeless recipes using $10,000 ranges, $8,000 refrigerators and a symphony orchestra of electrical “tools?”


No way.  They had fire, a few pots and pans, some implements used to poke or stir or flip and a sense of adventure.


The first cooked eggs were scrambled with a fork or flipped with a spatula. The first salad was made by tearing apart vegetables.  The first cookie was baked because someone had too much left over dough but not enough to make a second cake.


Confession: I am an appliance addict in the body of a man who dislikes cooking and even more dislikes cleanup.


But that doesn’t stop me from drooling over the latest pressure cooker or slicer from Shopping TV with the same lust that used to be reserved for my female classmates in middle school.


The only real difference is access.


Look at the kitchen here!  There’s a machine that automatically cuts cucumbers, squash and onions in “perfectly uniform slices.”


Elizabeth II doesn’t travel all that much anymore.  And even if she came here for tea, would she notice the uniformity of the slices on the cucumber sandwiches?


Two electric pressure cookers. One six quart with a complicated control panel and enough pre-set choices for a jetliner or a Rolling Stones concert?




The second one is bigger and has only a mechanical timer.


Doesn’t matter what goes into either, what comes out is mush with an overlay that smells like something between spilled paint and a steam engine.


It took an act of congress to get rid of our Jack LaLanne juice machine.  But we finally replaced it with both a Ninja and a “Magic Bullet” mixer.


There’s a slow cooker. These things should come with alarms you set so you can use them early in the day.  Sure beats waiting for dinner at 10 PM because you started too late.


There’s a toaster oven with a control panel borrowed from the aforementioned Rolling Stones concert.  Just to make toast and warm up last night’s leftover pizza.


But it’s not just electrical appliances.  Acoustic appliances are just as crowding.


There’s the copper pot which is really good except it’s too small. (Should have waited for the larger model, just out.)  Oh, and there’s no copper in it. It’s aluminum with some sort of copper colored coating.


There are pots of every description ranging from itty-bitty to big enough to rate its own zip code.


There are two non-stick fry pans that are really really good.  They arrived here when Paula Deen became a non- person on TV,  discounters bought the surplus products with her name on them and then sold them for next to nothing.


Who needs two?  Plus the three others from Home Shopping that are rarely used.  Or the cast iron one that “I just had to have” and never use.


But there’s one really really critical piece of machinery: a stovetop percolator. That’s in case the electric power goes out crippling the Mr. Coffee.


And there’s a barbecue lighter for the same reason. Today’s gas stoves require electricity to ignite. But you can still turn it on in a power failure by striking a match or clicking your Bic.


I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
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© WJR 2017

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