cooking gadget," she tells me as we walk into the "cheap and cheerful" place we are going to eat at.
Yes, we went out to lunch yesterday. We do this occasionally with some friends. The last time we did it was on the occasion when the Senior Cat and the husband went to a film - and I trailed around after someone who likes "shopping".
We did not go shopping yesterday but I heard about shopping which had been done. The cooking gadget was something called an "air-fryer". I was told "it can do chips, not that we eat chips". Right. You can apparently "fry" and "grill" and "roast" and "bake" with this machine - or so she tells me.
I know their kitchen has other things which will do the same thing. I have seen them.
Their kitchen is also suspiciously tidy and clean. The appliances all look spotless. Our kitchen is reasonably tidy and it is clean to the point where a food standards inspector would allow other people to eat from it but the few appliances in it - microwave, toaster, bread machine, oven, stove top, blender and mixer - do look as if they are used. I do not own any other appliances. We could, if necessary, do without the microwave but it does heat things rapidly and I do cook some things in it. We could do without the toaster if we used the grill function of the oven - but again that takes longer and needs to be monitored which is not a good idea when the Senior Cat is cooking toast.
I suppose we could buy bread but it is actually cheaper to make our own...the bread machine has paid for itself by now. I can also make much better bread than that sold locally. The oven? I think we need that although I suppose I could manage to use just the stove top - our meals would just be less diverse and interesting. The stove top I need unless I go and cook on an open fire outside. The blender was a gift and I use it several times a week, especially in winter. The mixer is used less often and I suppose I could - just - manage to beat anything by hand.
Apart from that I do not own electrical kitchen gadgets. I don't need them or want them. I do not have a lot of other gadgets either. There is the potato peeler and the ice cream scoop - used for scoops of other things as well - and the tin-opener and the egg-slicer (an ancient thing but well used) and the gadget that helps to get lids off jars. I also have a slicer I use when making the marmalade - a surprisingly useful gift - and the most useful "gadget" which sharpens the cooking knives.
I know other people have all sorts of things. I am not sure what they do with them. Somehow I manage without them. I think we still eat well. I try to feed the Senior Cat good, healthy and tasty home-cooked meals. He seems content and as healthy as I can expect a 90 year to be so I doubt I need any of those "gadgets". I am not sure where I would put them anyway. The kitchen is not much bigger than a ship's galley.
But our friend has a new air-fryer and she is very proud of it. She extolled the virtues of it and how useful it was although she did say,
"Not that I do any cooking of course."