The Gadget and Appliance Trap

February 12th, 2013 posted by Family Corner Staff


365 Ways to Cook Chicken 365 Ways to Cook Chicken

rustic kitchen I love my kitchen. We have a log house and extra tall ceilings and a completely wide-open floor plan throughout our abode. I love standing in my kitchen and watching the kids color at the table, enjoy conversation with my husband and never miss a moment of the life and times of our family while I am whipping up a delectable feast. But, alas, I was not always happy with my kitchen, and it took some major cleaning to find my true self amongst the gadgets and appliances. Oh, sure, it would be nice to have an egg separator when I need to make an angel food cake. It would even be more convenient to have an electric can opener when I am in a hurry and need a large can of beans opened for a potluck dinner. But, the money I save in not purchasing these items saves me much more than the little bit of elbow grease and effort I need to “make due”. When we moved into this house over a year ago, I took everything out of the moving boxes and laid the items all over my kitchen and dining room. I took stock of all of the gadgets I had and those that I used on a weekly basis and sent the rest packing. I was liberated from the gadget and appliance trap and it felt so good! Here is a list of the items that I kept as well as some replacements and suggestions for those that I used monthly but did not have the space for:

Hand-held can opener

– Although this takes a bit of exertion on my part to work, I never have to worry about power outages, the kids getting hurt on it or making a mess on my counters. Plus, I can send the hand-held through the dishwasher for easy cleaning.

Cheese grater

– This is the one gadget I kept. We have an electric appliance that grates cheese, slices and dices and does all kinds of nifty things. The reason it comes in so handy is because the valley that we live in produces the most cheese in the state. Therefore, I can go directly to the factory to obtain bulk cheese at great prices, grate it and package it into serving-sized portions and freeze it! I still use the mobile grating unit for daily tasks to keep the hands exercised.

Pots and pans

– I got rid of nearly every odd pan and lid in my cabinets. I found that even though there were occasions that I needed to fill the entire stovetop to cook a feast, it did not happen often. I have a set of five pans with their corresponding lids as well as a wok and a roaster.

The utensil drawer

– This is where I could have a blast with all that is available to make my life easier. But, I rarely used any of those nifty items. I have a set of spatulas, a few wooden spoons and a couple of pancake turners. There are also a set of skewers in the drawer, a pizza cutter, a set of nice knives and a wine opener. Nothing else!

Slow Cooker

– This is not really a gadget as much as it is a “save mom hours in the kitchen” appliance, but it is used weekly in our house. Besides being able to put everything into it and letting our dinner cook on its own, I also use it to keep food warm if my husband is not able to eat with us as well as to keep food warm for potluck dinners. Additionally, the stoneware is removable, and it I can used as a serving dish.

Mixing bowls

– I have two sets of bowls. One set is stoneware and the other is stainless steel, but the sizes are all different so I am never at a loss for just the right bowl to mix things in.

Bake ware

– I do have a half-dozen baking pans, my most extravagant grouping. I love stoneware and have three pieces of that collection that I use constantly, and they are easily cleaned with warm water. I also have the cupcake pan for school treats, as well as a bundt pan.

Leftover containers

– We have a very small cabinet that is for the leftover containers. There are two uses for these items. Obviously, we use them to store leftovers. The other use is that they are great for the kids to play with while I am toiling over a hot stove!

Air popper

– For as long as I can remember, Sunday night has been popcorn night. Sometimes it is just plain popcorn, sometimes we spice it up and sometimes it turns into zoo mix.

Coffee pot

– This item is not mine, but it is the first on my husband’s list for must-have appliances. Not only am I liberated, but my kitchen is, too. There are tons of new and exciting things on the market that could make me look like the queen of the kitchen, but, I am already the queen of the house, and don’t need the added title. Besides, the more gadgets and appliances in my kitchen, the more the family relies on me for making dinner instead of everyone pitching in and making it a family collaboration! Copyright 2000 Tammy Harrison.

Tammy Harrison is a wife and mother of three children (5, 2, 1) and another on the way, as well as a home-based working mom. She has a degree from Mizzou in Consumer Economics. She is the Independent Creative Representative for Home-Based Working Moms Subscribe to HBWM free eNewsletter at mailto:[email protected]

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