Good Food Blog
Go go gadgetPosted at 10:28AM, 26 January 2010 by Sarah Sysum - Assistant editor, Easy Cook magazine
As the gadget guru on Good Food, you'd expect my house to be crammed with all the latest kitchen wizardry. But when my partner told me it was him or the panini grill, I knew it was time for a serious cull.
Although a few of the gadgets were products of the day job, I must confess that most were impulse buys, the result of covetous thoughts on seeing other people's shiny new toys. On my work surface and crammed into cupboards were goodies including a breadmaker, an ice cream machine, a food processor, two stick blenders, a slow cooker, an electric jam maker, three electric steamers, said sandwich grill and the obligatory popcorn maker, shaped like a duck.
I found myself justifying this plethora of items by saying that they make my life less stressful
Like many gadget fans, I found myself justifying this plethora of items by saying that they make my life less stressful and therefore my cooking more pleasurable. But do they really? What's wrong with going back to basics?
Let's take the breadmaker. When I bought this, I used it daily. I even remember making jam in it (once). Now it's lucky if it gets a look-in once a fortnight. I've taken to using the dough hook on the food processor instead, giving me the happy compromise of feeling I've made a much-loved loaf, without the kneading.
I can't remember life without a food processor. It might look like a steel tank, but do I really want to go back to the old-fashioned alternative of a sharp knife and lots of chopping? There are plenty of recipes I just wouldn't make, such as pesto. Ask me what I'd save from a fire and the food processor would be up there.
My pressure cooker also had to stay. I know it's not the right way to cook risotto, but it does a great job of it in less than 10 minutes, without stirring. But I waved goodbye to the pizza wheel (use scissors), garlic press (use the back of the knife) and the aforementioned panini grill (a griddle pan works just as well).
I must just tell you about my newest gadget. It's a clear toaster where you can actually see the bread browning - brilliant! Now, if I got rid of the avocado slicer and moved the jam maker, I could probably clear a bit of room for something else...
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