Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Kitchen Gadgets to the Rescue

Does anyone else ever feel like they have too many gadgets in their kitchen?  Expresso machine, bread machine, Vitamix, toaster, toaster-oven, slow cooker, electric kettle, rice cooker, Magic Bullet, dehydrator, juicer, fondue pot, ice cream maker ... the list goes on!  For the record, I do NOT own all of the items listed above.  However, I admit I am guilty of coveting gadgets, using them furiously for weeks to months, then relegating to the back shelf of the pantry.  That is where my bread machine is.  It was the coolest thing ever when it was given to me, but I can't honestly remember the last time I used it.   My great uncle won it and passed it on, so at least nobody paid for a bread machine to sit on my shelf.

We recently had the opportunity to dust off some gadgets, as our stove has been out of commission for the past 2 weeks.  I was trying to tidy up the cupboard above the stove, when I knocked over a mason jar full of cereal.  I heard a loud smash & cursed myself for breaking the mason jar & making a big mess.  No such luck!  The mason jar was intact.  Our stove top... not so much.

Not awesome

I had to get a bit creative with the cooking, but we ate well, thanks to our gadgets!

The gadget that really saved our bacon was the BBQ.   We used it most nights, and you really can't go too wrong with a BBQ.  I tried to attach a rotisserie accessory I bought years ago on sale, but it didn't fit - drat!  With the mild winters we have, there is really no reason to close down the BBQ once summer is over.

The next most useful gadget was our rice cooker.  Rice cookers are not fly-by-night gadgets, they are legit.  They are super helpful.  They cook rice like you've never tasted.  I can't remember a time when we did not have a rice cooker in our kitchen.   The one we currently have was gifted to us at Christmas 2 yrs ago & I love it.  The buttons are in English (my last machine was in Japanese), it has a timer, and it makes amazing rice.

Without a stove, I had to find a new way to cook Finley's morning porridge.  The rice cooker was equal to the task.  I put the oats & water in at bedtime, set the timer & woke up to hot porridge.  I don't think I'll go back to the stove top for this one.

A few years ago I bought a sukiyaki maker at Uwajimaya in Seattle.  I received a great deal of teasing from my friends who were there with me.  We love sukiyaki, but you can only eat it so often, so this gadget has not seen much use.  Until now!  In the past two weeks, the sukiyaki maker has expanded her repertoire - pancakes, scrambled eggs, omelet, stir fry, yakisoba, steamed veggies, fried rice, and yes - sukiyaki!

"sukiyaki maker"
Last, but not least - the slow cooker.  I didn't bring it out until today, for a delicious dinner of pulled pork tacos.  It was the first slow cooked meal of the season & I'm looking forward to more.

But starting tomorrow, we can cook on our stove again.  Jeff from Best Appliances came through for us today & we have a sparkling new stove top.  What should we make first!?

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