I come from a long line of kitchen gadget lovers.
Always first in the ‘hood in my memories to embrace a new bit of culinary kit – from newfangled ‘crazy’ ideas like microwaves, dishwashers and gas BBQs, to the more obscure pie maker and Angel Delight Tupperware shaker – generations of the interrupted family have tried them all. Some have stayed with us, become commonplace and seen many years of good service, many more have gathered years of dust before going to their final resting place in the great electrical skip in the sky.
This week I purchased a waffle maker on a whim, because I love waffles, and I was craving them, and I realised nobody was going to make one for me any time soon. I have now eaten enough waffles to justify the expense, if not the calories, and only time will tell if it is just another flash in the pan or a worthwhile long term investment.
Anyway, I thought I’d use the inspiration to chart my most used and beloved kitchen gadgets, my most regretted purchases, and the ones that got away.
Feel free to contribute to the lists or play your own kitchen gadget bingo as you read along…
1. Magimix. In service pretty much every day since I requested it for Christmas in my early 20s. Best thing ever.
2. Stick blender. Thought I didn’t need one, and then I moved to Scotland where soup making is essential to survival.
3. Toastie maker – should be provided on the NHS when you have children.
4. Nutri-bullet – makes a mean smoothie, doesn’t take up much space. Top gadget points.
5. Gas BBQ – not for the purists, but the purists must either not live in the northern hemisphere, or have way too much time on their hands.
1. Waffle maker – see comments in intro, initial signs are good; delicious product, easy to use and takes up minimal cupboard space.
2. Ice cream maker – easy to use and makes delicious ice cream, but haven’t had enough space in my freezer to chill the churning bowl since lockdown and bulk buying began.
3. Pizza oven – bought an Ooni one a couple of years ago whilst slightly tipsy at a school fundraiser. I do love it; it’s super fast and the pizzas are delicious, but it’s taken a while to master the technique and the combination of energy, time and weather required to make it happen are somewhat challenging.
4. Chilly’s Food Pot – not sure if this counts as a ‘gadget’ but it’s been bothering me. It’s a very pretty colour and an aesthetically pleasing design, but I’m just not sure it keeps my hot food hot enough or my cold food cold enough. What am I doing wrong? Not a bad word to say about the water bottles though. Been stylishly saving the planet and sipping cool water with mine now for several years.
5. Bean to cup coffee maker – only joking. Zero regrets. Expensive but worth every penny for lockdown alone.
1. Pasta maker – too much time, too much mess, too much cupboard space, too many regrettable dinner disasters. The only thing Jamie Oliver has ever let me down on.
2. Fondue maker – as for the pasta maker. Just buy a Camembert baking dish and get all of the cheesy goodness in half the time with none of the third degree burns.
3. Bread machine – just as easy, time consuming, better for you and better tasting to make it yourself. Reclaim your work top now!
4. Spiralizer – I like courgetti and twirly carrots as much as the next superfood freak, but the cupboard space is not worth it for its infrequent health kick usage.
5. Juicer – I love my juicer and I love freshly squeezed juice. I just hate cleaning the fucking thing.
Most longed for:
1. Kitchen Aid – preferably in a pretty pastel colour on my imaginary kitchen island in my imaginary massive and immaculate kitchen.
2. A la carte kitchen – requested every Christmas and birthday for many years. Harshly denied each time.
3. Mr. Frosty – see above.
4. Soda stream – I don’t actually want one, but I did in the 80s when Laura down the road had one (and she had an A la carte kitchen and a Mr. Frosty). I can’t tell you how upsetting it has been to find out my parents have now purchased one so they can make their own fizzy water. Bloody outrageous.
5. Husband – this one is worth its weight in gold as although it can be quite messy and requires constant feeding, it comes into its own when changing light bulbs, doing the washing up, taking the bin out, putting the kettle on, unloading the dishwasher, unblocking the sink and finding a space for all your new gadgets or taking your old ones to the skip. Used to have one, but have temporarily lost it. Willing to consider upgrading to a newer model if it comes with the modern man ‘makes breakfast in bed’ , ‘mops the floor’ and ‘feeds the kids’ functionality.