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When Life Gives You Lemons....

When Life Gives You Lemons....

When Life Gives You Lemons....

Life, or more importantly, my garden is giving me lots of fruit at the moment.

For me there's nothing better than bringing the day's bounty into my kitchen and thinking up ways to process it into tasty treats, preserves or base products for a later date.
Once i've thought about what i'm going to make I crack on with the cooking, music turned up, in a happy contented world of my own and oblivious to anything else going on around me. 

One of the problems I end up with is the amount of kitchen gadgets with lots of parts that need washing, drying and re-assembling.
I'm pretty good about mis-en-place (prep) but if I forget something and have use the gadget again then repeat the process of washing up and drying I get a bit pouty - no one likes washing up!

So why do I have so many gadgets that I don't like to use?

 

Are you a kitchen gadget collector?

I am, my kitchen is full of innovative and, at the time, practical gadgets that have been bought over the years, many of which no longer play a part in my day to day kitchen life.
And although they play no part in my day to day life I still have them there, on shelves and in cupboards taking up space that I complain I haven't enough of.
Do I ever liberate them and move them on to people who might appreciate them? Nah, they just get moved to another room for me to look when I go in there.

I'm not talking about kitchen gadgets that are small with cute handles bought for €1 in the cook shop closing down sale.
No, I'm talking about machines, of which I have many.
The ice cream maker, the juicer, the half broken hand blender, the blender....the list goes on and on.

I have to admit that I'm slightly embarrassed by the amount of machines I have cluttering up my cupboards and I take a deep breath every time I see a new one winking at me in the electrical store.
I swear that time will come when I'll use them again but will I?

When Life Gives You Lemons....or Oranges!

I did cave in and finally move the ice cream maker to a new home, well at least it went out of the kitchen and into a box.
The stick blender or the hand blender? 
Well, depends whether it's soup day or Margheritas, so you have to have both in my opinion.

So why do I have so many?
Honestly it mainly comes down to laziness.
You see a gadget that makes things look effortless and you're in hook line and sinker.
Just plug it in, add the ingredients, press the button and hey presto it's done.

Most of them do work like that but what they don't tell you on the tin is that most of them are a pain in the butt to take apart, clean and re-assemble.

Take my centrifugal juicer for example.
Small compact little number, just pop the fruit in the top, push it down and get a great glass of juice the other end.
Reality means you have to peel most fruits (oranges for example) first, and when the job is done you then have to clean not only the clear hard plastic parts but the super fine mesh that acts as the centrifuge part. 
Takes forever, a dishwasher doesn't help and there's always bits left in the mesh.
The result is that my juicer sits in my drawer unused and unwanted.
The juice is a but "fluffy" too, almost like a whipped juice, which I don't like.

The blender, simple, just shove stuff in the top, stick the lid on, press the button and you're set.
Reality, if you don't take it apart properly and clean the rubber seal (including drying it) the thing doesn't last long.
It's work!

When Life Gives You Lemons....

So, you may have figured out that I'm lazy in the kitchen.
Actually I'm not, I'll spend hours preparing a dish and pondering over the details but when it comes to mundane things like blending, blitzing or juicing I need simple.
I don't have the patience for lots of pieces to put together.
I'm busy and I want easy and simple.

I have become prey to kitchen gadget advertizing and I should know better, I am after all a trained chef.
While some gadgets pretend to make life easier, in the long run it's the simple kitchen gadgets that actually do.
The simpler the better and easier to use.

Take for example my Phillips citrus juicer.
Cost next to nothing and has 3 parts to it - the motor/base, the juice bowl and the press.
Cut your orange in half, stick it on the press and press down.
Juice done, orange skins in the compost and the rest washes up super easily. 
Beautiful freshly squeezed orange juice, isn't that the point of juicing?
Why I needed a €70 machine with all sorts of attachments to do the same thing I have no idea.

It's orange season at the moment and sacks of oranges are cheap as chips so my little juicer is out every morning providing a beautiful tasty, and healthy start to the day.
I have no problem pulling the juicer apart and cleaning it because it's so easy but the thought of cleaning the centrifugal juicer just makes me leave it in the cupboard.

As usual, simple is best when it comes to the kitchen whether recipes, ingredients, equipment or gadgets.

When Life Gives You Lemons....or oranges, the best way to get your juice is not necessarily the most expensive!

When Life Gives You Lemons....

So, when it comes to kitchen gadgets, think before you buy.
Ask yourself if this "thing" is really for you and if it is then cool go for it and enjoy it.
If there's doubt, take the time to think before falling prey to consumer advertizing and end up with something that you're only going to use once or twice.

Small, cheap bijoux things, such as the spiral veg cutter I just procured, are fine and don't take up much space.
They are likely to go out of favour as quickly as it took you to decide to buy it in the first place.

But the big things.

Do I really need a soup maker? I have a pressure cooker, I have a beautiful set of Le Creuset saucepans and I have....a blender or two.
Do I really need a deep fat fryer that only uses a tablespoon of oil? I should hope not, that's just the same as sticking it in my beautiful oven and roasting.
Do I really need a bread maker? Gosh no, I live in France where bread is, well, French!

Think!
When Life Gives You Lemons....How is the best way to get what you want from them?

 

 

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Comments

After reading this makes me feel a bit better in helping you get rid of that BIG DC blender you bought all the way from Canada.

di's picture

Too true Peter, I should get you over more often to help me clear out.

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