of some sort which is so whizz-bang it does just about everything short of the washing up. My father has friends who have just invested in one of these things. He viewed it yesterday and came back looking a little bewildered.
"They have got rid of just about everything else except the toaster, the oven and the refrigerator," he told me.
I looked at him and waited for more. There had to be more. There was.
"You can make bread in the thing but then you have to take the dough out and let it rise and then you have to put it in the oven."
"You can make icecream in the thing too but you have to put the mixture in the freezer afterwards."
"It beats stuff up."
"And it chops things."
"And it whizzes things."
"And I am not convinced."
Phew. I am relieved to hear that.
I am not good at kitchen gadgets. We have a toaster and a microwave oven. Most people I know own those things. We could do toast under the griller but the toaster is faster, more efficient, uses less power and does not require watching in the same way. We could go back to the stove top for some of the microwave oven things but I have to confess it is faster and more efficient for heating things and cooking a small number of things. For most things I confess I prefer our gas cooktop. I could live without the microwave oven.
In the cupboard I have a "vertical grill". That is the healthy option. The fat from the lamb chops we occasionally have drips into the tray below and can be "got rid off". I am not a happy cat when the little meat I eat is greasy with fat. We also have an electric mixer which I could probably just manage without but having inherited it from my mother I will use it as long as it lasts.
We do have one luxury item, or is it? This is the bread machine. It has now paid for itself and, even if I say it myself, the loaves I can produce from that are superior to the shop variety. It does all the work once I have put the ingredients in. All I have to do afterwards is wash the bucket and wipe out the machine...oh, and help to eat the bread.
Lastly we have what I call the "whizzer". My sister gave it to us. I use it quite often when making soup but I could probably manage without it if necessary.
After my mother died I slowly and quietly removed a lot of detritus from the kitchen drawers. It was a "good thing". I have never wanted to replace the things I packed up and passed on to the local charity shop.
I do not want kitchen gadgets. Cleaning them up afterwards can be more work than it is worth. They take up space we do not have. They can go wrong or fail altogether.
Someone asked me once what I thought was the most useful thing you could have in a kitchen.
My answer was, "A really sharp knife."
I hope I will keep thinking that as long as possible.