Leading light and evangelist for the International League of Science Fiction Writing Cooks, Aliette de Bodard, posted her response to the following blog meme about all the cookery gadgets people tend to accumulate these days. Given the amount of cooking Aliette does (check out the cooking section of her site) I was impressed by her restraint. But I guess that’s the difference between proper cooks and the rest of us dilettantes.
Here’s the score for my household:
I wonder how many Bold the ones you have and use at least once a year, italicize the ones you have and don’t use, strike through the ones you have had but got rid of:
pasta machines, breadmakers, juicers, blenders, deep fat fryers, egg boilers, melon ballers, sandwich makers, pastry brushes, cheese knives, electric woks, miniature salad spinners, griddle pans, jam funnels, meat thermometers, filleting knives, egg poachers, cake stands, garlic presses, margarita glasses, tea strainers, bamboo steamers, pizza stones, coffee grinders, milk frothers, piping bags, banana stands, fluted pastry wheels, tagine dishes, conical strainers, rice cookers, steam cookers, pressure cookers, slow cookers, spaetzle makers, cookie presses, gravy strainers, double boilers (bains marie), sukiyaki stoves, food processors, ice cream makers, takoyaki makers, and fondue sets languish dustily at the back of the nation’s cupboards.
Actually, our score isn’t as bad as I thought it might be. Yes, we’ve got some gear in the cupboard that never gets used, but most of our bits and pieces see action from time to time (although not necessarily for the purposes they were designed for, but heh). Some of our gadgets get heavy use – the pressure cooker is an old friend and the slow cooker has provide itself amazingly useful for people who work nine to fives.
Of the unused pieces of kit… well I’ve always intended to use the pasta maker, honestly. I even bought pasta flour a wee while back. And we have a TAGINE! I’d completely forgotten! Really want to use this too (although, the slow cooker…). I hereby promise to get both of these into action before too long.
Interestingly… yesterday I made fish pie. Sum total of gadgets used: one box grater, and one sharp knife.
Oh, and I had my second attempt at making bread too. One large, well-fired, delishy loaf. Gadgets used: a bowl and my own two hands.
Makes you think.
6 thoughts on “Cooking equipment meme”
It does make you think. I cook … a lot … but I have none of these things. My one big concession to gadetry is a nifty garlic chopper you roll along the worktop. It’s a right PITA to clean but it’s fun to use. I keep meaning to get a slow cook but never got around to it. I don’t even own a microwave (even though it’s on my ‘to buy’ list right now).
I get by on various oven trays, a good selection of pots, whisks (yes I have more than one), strainer, collander, casserole dishes and [most important to me] a set of good quality lethally-sharp kitchen knives*.
My aunt collects tons of gadgets. She literally cannot have enough of them.
*Knives so sharp if friends cook in my flat they normally give themselves an injury. Which reminds me. I must go buy a whetstone.
Oh hang on I have a garlic press.
I think we, like many people, have accumulated many of our bits and bobs as gifts over the years. So it’s not necessarily a conscious effort to go out and buy kitchen stuff. Some of them are really good – we’ve been amazed at how much we use the slow cooker, brilliant for casseroles, and also good for stewing rhubarb (the allotment produces a lot of rhubarb) – and some of them have proved gimmicky but in the end less useful.
If you cook much at all there are undoubtedly a requisite set of good quality tools: pots, pans, and definitely knives plus whatever else you need to use.
Thanks for the second hand reminder, we also need a sharpening device for our knives. 😀
😀 My pleasure. You pointed out that I still don’t have a slow cooker. Cooking takes time and even though I can do a stew or something really quickly, if I have to spend half an hour chopping stuff then it does get a bit annoying. Plus cooking is something I will do when I procrastinate… when I broke up with the ex she took a lot of our kitchen paraphernalia but then she’s a baker and they have cool gadgets by the ton.
I recommend bread making. No gadgets, repetitive physical activity, time consuming. Absolutely perfect procrastination activity.
If anyone’s interested we have now used our pasta machine and our conical strainer. I wonder how low I can get the list of unused gadgets down to before the end of the year.