Kitchen Toys

Trissie the cat, resting in the Nesco Roaster Oven & Slow Cooker

Trissie the cat, resting in the Nesco Roaster Oven & Slow Cooker

A news story in an English tabloid rather amused me today, as it listed the top ten little used kitchen appliances which might (or might not) be in the average English kitchen. Being the owner of a house with a painfully small kitchen, but one who still enjoys cooking – from scratch, yet – I will plead guilty to owning some under-used gadgets. Of course, at one time or another, things like the slow-cooker got a great deal more use. And before we began experimenting with the paleo-style diet, we did get a lot more use out of the bread-making machine. But at lease we can plead that we did not waste money on purchasing most of the underused gadgets. In some cases, we bought them second-hand, or at rummage sales, and so paid mere pennies, compared to the original price.

Looking down at the list, though – I wonder how some of these gadgets aren’t used more. I mean – a blender? I use the blender all the time, and the food processor, too. From the top of the list – a toasted sandwich maker. That’s one I don’t have, although I think my daughter had one, living in the barracks. And my father was very fond of making sandwiches in the stove-top non-electric croque-monsieur iron. A George Foreman-type grill is another kitchen tool which apparently 17% of English purchasers never use again – which is sad as I would really like one, especially the model which has the interchangeable, dishwasher-safe grill plates, and which can either lay out flat or be used as a Panini press. I do have a rather nice little one, picked up on sale at Williams-Sonoma; nice to use, a bear to clean afterwards, though. Kitchen scales – unused by 16%? Say what, then? Sorry, I have a cheap little one which I use all the time, and would love to replace it with a nice Victorian-style antique one with the interchangeable weights. Juicers are unused at the same rate as kitchen scales, but it’s a good and healthy thing that this means 84% of English owners of juicers are using them regularly. Bread-maker (also going %16 unused in England); we plead guilty to several, all of them bought at yard or rummage sales.

They seem to have been the gadget of choice for wedding presents, about fifteen years ago; they’re everywhere at second-hand sales, and usually barely – if ever- used by the original recipient.
Hand-blenders are next on the little-list, at %15 unused. That is one I don’t have, or even thought about buying. Seems kind of pointless, when I have a selection of balloon whisks handy. And finally, rounding out the little-used list, at %14 percent – a coffee machine. I don’t have one … for the very good reason that I don’t drink coffee. Lately though, the very high-end cappuccino machines seem to have taken the place of bread-making machines as the go-to gadget for up-scale presents, so my daughter – who does drink coffee and is known as the Queen of All Garage Sales – looks forward to seeing them available at thrift shops and yard sales.