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2002: This and That
2003: Super Australia Bowl Day
2004: Quiche and Cookies and Chips, Oh My!
2005: Gay Puppies
2006: Up and Down the Silverado Trail
2007: She's Home! She's Home!
2008: Michele and Gautami!
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LOVE THOSE APPLIANCES
27 January 2010
The coffee pot exploded this morning and spewed wet grounds and coffee all over everywhere, because I had put the pot on the burner slightly askew. The worst part of it was that I had to clean it up without having my morning coffee first!
As I was cleaning out the coffee pot, I was thinking about all my appliances. I don't have to have the biggest, the newest, the most expensive appliances and, if push comes to shove, I can do with much simpler, but I do love my electric toys.
I was looking at my KitchenAid mixer, for example. This is the real workhorse of my kitchen. I don't remember exactly when I got it. Walt must have given it to me as a gift, but I have been using it since the 1970s, when we lived in Oakland.
I got it during the years when I made all of our bread and the dough hook was just perfect. I made bread several times a week (and made lots of soup in the pot that was imbedded in one burner of our stove--loved that feature!)
When we moved to Davis I took cake decorating classes and started decorating cakes and selling them. I can't tell you how many probably hundreds of cakes and batches of frosting this mixer has mixed. I've never really had a problem with it in all these years of heavy use.
Now I don't use it all that much any more, more to blend potatoes for mashed potatoes and, more recently, to blend the cream mixture(s) for ice cream. I love this mixer and don't know how I could have done without it all these years. I wonder if they still make'em like that in these days of planned obsolescence.
This is a brand new Cuisinart, which we just got a couple of weeks ago because I was mixing up some bean soup and a bone from the ham I thought I had removed wedged itself between the blade and the container of the old machine and we were unable to remove it and get the thing functional again. However, the Cuisinart may be the appliance I use the most in the kitchen.
It was the only thing for me that I used the money in my father's bank account for after he died. I had long wanted a Cuisinart food processor and I went for the top of the line. I've never regretted it. It makes the very best pie crust (and yes, I am able to make a pie crust without it, but this just makes it easier). It works so much better than a regular blender for things like soup and it's great for chopping large quantities of vegetables. The old blender had stopped being able to grate cheese, but this new one does just fine.
I have this big cuisinart blender and the little Mrs. Kitchen food processor. I use the little one more than the big one, though the big one is great for smoothies and that sort of thing.
The little food processor was something I probably wouldn't have bought for myself, but Peggy gave it to me for Christmas several years ago and I'm surprised at how often I use it. Where the larger food processor is good for large amounts of vegetables, if you just want to chop up half an onion or mash an avocado this is great.
It has also come in handy for blending up meats for puppies who need to be encouraged to eat something and if I want just a quick pick-me-up, I toss a banana and some juice in the thing and in a couple of seconds I have a small smoothie. It's safe to say I use this little machine several times a week.
I don't use the bread baker as much as I did for the first few years after I bought it, but I sure have gotten my money's worth out of it. After I bought it I got back into making all of our bread again (I think at least some of the kids were still living at home when I bought it), but when it was just Walt and me, I had to admit that I was eating too much of the bread myself, and so I forced myself to stop baking homemade bread.
I still use it from time to time, though, for making bread dough to make hockies (fried bread dough). And once in awhile I'll make a loaf of bread if I'm too lazy to go to the store to buy a loaf. It's also great for pizza dough, and cheaper (to say nothing of tasting better!) than ordering pizza from a local pizza parlor.
Two years ago, Peggy gave me another kitchen appliance.
I'd long thought that it might be handy to have a vacuum food processor and it is! I save a lot of money on things like onions and cheese, which I don't use every day, and which go bad in the fridge. I also love it for buying in bulk at Costco and vacuum packing things before sticking them in the freezer. Somehow I can't get out of that "buy lots" mode that I was in for so many years when the kids were home. Using a vacuum seal makes all those foods last much longer and I don't throw away nearly as much any more.
Now, of course, I have a new appliance that I'm in love with Ashley gave me an ice cream maker for Christmas this year and I'm finding that it has seriously changed my attitude toward ice cream. I only let myself make one batch a week (which is three nights of a small dessert for Walt and me) but it's 100% pure, no artificial anything, and I find that I'm not tempted to buy ice cream treats in the store any more so, to my surprise, I think that it was actually a very good appliance to add and one that might actually help rather than hurt me.
(I'm not putting in a photo of the ice cream maker because I'm not
making ice cream until tomorrow--testing out rum raisin this time--and won't set it up
until then. Should be different from the kind you get in ice cream stores since this
uses real rum...and nothing is cooked, so I think you can't gorge on it or you might have
a hangover in the morning!)
Updated photo of Anjali