Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I Have Become a Kitchen Gadget Geek

I used to think that a coffee maker and an Osterizer blender were all the gadgets I needed for my kitchen. I've accumulated a few others over the years, but this year I've zoomed past the tipping point and am boosting Amazon's share price with all my orders. The shopping spree started when the food processor attachment of my immersion blender broke while I was using it to crush ice. That accident inspired two purchases: a Cuisinart food processor and a dedicated ice crusher.

It took me a while to get around to using these devices, but over Memorial Day I finally made coleslaw with the food processor and made a whiskey sour with the help of the ice crusher. The food processor is very fast and efficient, but you still have to prep the ingredients and cleanup can take a while. Then again, the coleslaw recipe involves 3 different blades, so there were a lot of parts to clean. The ice crusher is great for one or two people, but at 15 seconds per ice cube, this model would not be suitable for a party situation.

My one remaining jar opener was very old and had developed some tears, so I treated myself to a new set.
I'd been wanting a bread box for a while. Since I was on a roll, I picked one up from Amazon.

It works well! It kept a loaf of home-made bread fresh for almost 2 weeks.

After finally using the food processor, I realized that it would be difficult to store the blades and discs safely. I didn't want to just toss them into a drawer. Fortunately, Cuisinart offers a blade-and-disc holder. This was my next acquisition.

Having made a pitcher of sangria last year with fresh citrus fruits, I was well aware of how tedious it is to juice by hand. Even juicing one or two limes is a pain because the pulp and seeds clog up the slots in my cheap hand juicer. I decided to get a good quality juicing machine.

I used this last night to juice 6 limes. The limes needed to be peeled before juicing, which took a bit of time. The actual juicing was done in seconds, but the cleanup, especially of the fine mesh basket, took a while. The juice was excellent--not overpoweringly sour like bottled juice. There was a little bitterness (not necessarily a bad thing) from the pith, and it was also a little foamy from the pith.

After researching how best to prepare citrus fruits for juicing, I realized that a dedicated citrus juicer was probably the way to go. You only have to cut the fruit in half and the rind is left intact. So, this morning, I placed an order for a citrus juicer.

I expect this to be delivered on Saturday. I'm sure I'll get plenty of use out of the other juicing machine for such things as berries and vegetables.

My credenza in the dining room is now covered with gadgets. My kitchen and dining room are actually one large room. The kitchen part is pretty small--virtually no counter space for gadgets. I think I'm going to remove and store my espresso maker because I haven't used that in a couple of years.

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