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That small appliance you thought you could not live without ... where is it now?


Anna N
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An electric carving knife.  This year it went to a thrift shop.  I also had two coffee grinders, which were gifts, which I never used. One seems to have disappeared, and the other is up in the attic. It will have to be dusted off, and the dead silverfish shook out before it will even be fit for the thrift shop.

Edited to add that I have such limited space that before I buy anything I have to figure out what I'm going to get rid of, otherwise I would have bought a blender this year, and maybe even a pressure cooker.  My kitchen cabinets have more unusable space than usable space.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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It was a pain in the a$$ to clean. Went to a thrift store.

I never found cleaning a problem. Everything just rolled off the non stick surface. I would put a very wet paper towel in and close the lid after use and it would steam everything off

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I never found cleaning a problem. Everything just rolled off the non stick surface. I would put a very wet paper towel in and close the lid after use and it would steam everything off

That is exactly what I do with my Griddler. It basically cleans itself while I have dinner. Even last night when the marinade I used was high in sugar it took only a quick once over with a dish brush to clean up the Griddler plates.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Not my story but my daughter's:  She LOVES coffee. She NEEDED an espresso machine. She would use it daily! So we got her a very nice one for Christmas 3 or 4 years ago. This summer helping her move to a new job, the espresso machine was nowhere to be found. She thought it was probably in some corner of the cellar. Maybe if she dug around she could find it but really she didn't care. It took up a lot of counter space. There was a good coffee shop just down the street and that was so much easier. I've since seen a number of espresso machines in garage sales.

Elaina

I have seen some expensive espresso machines at garage sales and thrift stores. That was one gadget I managed to avoid since I don't like espresso even if made by somebody else!

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Tassimo, I will forever believe it to be SUPERIOR to Keurig but I never drink fresh coffee cause it aggravates my system (Instant does not)

I have a Williams Sonoma Ice Cream maker (that freezes by electricity not a sleeve) and I NEVER use it.

And finally my George Foreman DEEP FRYER, that spins the excess fat off, but the spinner died the first use

 

I dont have a George Foreman Grill...I have a TOASTMASTER GRILLERIE, which was made prior to George Foremans grill, and it has grill, cake, griddle, waffle and pizelle plates.

I use it 2 xs a week and when it dies Ill scour eBay for another

Yes I had to have the Waring Pro deep fryer. It would surely solve all my problems. I used it a few times and then passed it onto my daughter who was equally sure it would solve her problems. Wonder where it is now.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I am yet another who is not found of Keurig.  I was given one because a visitor thought my Senseo machine was "not versatile enough" and I found it a nuisance because it sputterd a lot and the counter was constantly messy.

Also I didn't care for the coffees on offer.  I grind my own coffee and fill my own pods for the Senseo because I like the extra dark - or French roast stuff. 

I gave the Keurig away just a few weeks later and have stuck with my Senseos (I bought extras when I learned the machines were to be discontinued in the U.S. - something about which I am still incensed.) 

 

I did have a rather elaborate espresso "superautomatic" machine - a high-end Saeco - which I gave away because I really wasn't using it - even though it was plumbed in and was very simple to use. 

The guys to whom I gifted it gave me a small Dolce Gusto machine in return and I use it all the time - mostly in the evening because I have it in my family room handy to my desk and where I sit to watch TV. 

 

I do love small appliances and have an extensive collection of "vintage" toasters, waffle irons, coffee brewers, tea brewers &etc.  I have a few of the "gimicky" ones that appeared briefly and did not catch on because they were simply unworkable - I have them for the novelty factor. 

 

Sometimes it is just a matter of finding a satisfying purpose for some of the "niche" appliances, some of which may be resurrected and put to regular use when outside forces change.

A neighbor tried to give me a bread machine (I have several) she had received as a gift, a couple of years ago because she said she just "didn't have time" to fool with it, measure out ingredients, etc.,  and it was taking up room in her kitchen.  I told her about - in fact I gifted her with - some of the boxed bread machine mixes which are absolutely foolproof and convinced her to give them a try.   She became an enthusiastic user and bakes bread for her family at least three times a week, sometimes more often.  The original machine developed a problem so she immediately replaced it with a newer machine with a larger capacity. 

The same thing happened with my daughter several years ago.  She said she "would never use" a bread machine but I convinced her to give one a try and sent her one.  Now she wouldn't be without it, uses it almost daily.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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That is exactly what I do with my Griddler. It basically cleans itself while I have dinner. Even last night when the marinade I used was high in sugar it took only a quick once over with a dish brush to clean up the Griddler plates.

 

OXO Good Grips has 2 Grill brushes for electric grills

 

http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-Electric-Grill-Panini/dp/B004ZLAGLS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417896425&sr=8-1&keywords=oxo+grill+brush

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004ZLAGN6/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=1C92G7GN5RK2L&coliid=I1IORYSWEMRNY0

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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My goodness!  I am a gadget junkie so I buy all sorts of things (like small appliances) because they look so clever,)

Such as:

 

Jumbo citrus press - it works great but it's so big and how often do I juice that many limes at a time?

Coffee grinder - Again, it works really well but it's too big and heavy and I don't want to leave it on the counter all the time.

Pressure cookers - I have too many because I was looking for just the right size.

Electric knife sharpener - I've had this for more than two years and still haven't used it - it's so much easier to use the hand-held type.

Electrolux mixer - Used it for a couple of years and then stopped making bread in quantity.  It's in the closet where it will stay.

Vitamix - For the number of times I've used it, it probably cost $100 each time.  It's a great appliance, don't get me wrong, it just doesn't get used.

Sodastream - It's on its way out the door.  Don't use it because I don't like their syrups.  I was looking for a good tonic mix but theirs isn't it.

Keurig - I don't like the coffee for every day.  I do use the iced tea pods in summer, the coffee pods for occasional iced coffee, and the spiced cider pods once in a while.  I keep moving it back and forth from the pantry to the counter.

I know there are more...

Oh yes, there are more. 

Ice cream maker - Too many calories and too many special ingredients.  Gave that one away.

Oh yeah, forgot about the:

Pannina maker - Used it a few times then it went into the pantry to stay. Need to give it away.

Deep fryer - Love the results of everything cooked in it but couldn't stand how it stunk up the house with the smell of grease. Used it in the garage after that but it was way too much trouble to clean it up and drain the filter the oil. Oy, what was I thinking? It's on it way somewhere soon as I figure out where that is.

I know there are still more.

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Cuisinart Pasta Extruder; we thought it would be great to make homemade pastas and since Cuisinart usually makes good products we thought it would be a great idea. It worked, made decent pasta however cleaning it was a real mess to do. It would probably be okay if you made a lot of pasta at one time but for just the two of us it certainly wasn't worth it.

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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I'm just happy to have apparently dodged several bullets!  Once again, my frugality (read: cheapness) saves the day!

 

The only things gathering dust at the moment are: 

 

- KitchenAid stand mixer (ca. 1986), not eating many baked goods these days

- KitchenAid food processor (ca. 2000), the last of the old RoboCoupe :laugh: models, only gets hauled out a few times per year

- Le Creuset two-burner reversible grill, because I thought everything would taste better with grill marks

 

Things that get used on a regular basis:

 

- Sous Vide Magic and Anova Precision

- Zojirushi rice cooker, used several times per week

- Vitamix 5200, because it makes our daily breakfast

- Zojirushi hot water dispenser, because it makes our daily tea

- Espresso machine (and manual grinder), because it makes my daily shot

- Cadco countertop convection oven (stretching the definition of "small appliance"), used numerous times per month

 

ETA:  That stupid meat grinder attachment for the KA mixer.  I should burn that SOB.

Edited by Joe Blowe (log)
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So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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I'm just happy to have apparently dodged several bullets!  Once again, my frugality (read: cheapness) saves the day!

 

The only things gathering dust at the moment are: 

 

- KitchenAid stand mixer (ca. 1986), not eating many baked goods these days

- KitchenAid food processor (ca. 2000), the last of the old RoboCoupe :laugh: models, only gets hauled out a few times per year

- Le Creuset two-burner reversible grill, because I thought everything would taste better with grill marks

 

Things that get used on a regular basis:

 

- Sous Vide Magic and Anova Precision

- Zojirushi rice cooker, used several times per week

- Vitamix 5200, because it makes our daily breakfast

- Zojirushi hot water dispenser, because it makes our daily tea

- Espresso machine (and manual grinder), because it makes my daily shot

- Cadco countertop convection oven (stretching the definition of "small appliance"), used numerous times per month

 

ETA:  That stupid meat grinder attachment for the KA mixer.  I should burn that SOB.

I too have the Cadco countertop 1/2 sheet pan size which I have had for years and I love it.  My first food processor was a Cuisinart, made by Robot Coupe in France and converted to U.S. current in the 1970s before they were sold for home use here.  I still have it. 

 

I also had a pasta machine - mixer/extruder  and I would probably still be using it but I loaned it to someone who needed it a lot more than I did.  I was never totally satisfied with the results.  And it was a bitch to clean if one left it for even half an hour the dough turned into concrete!!!

On the other hand, I still have a 40-year-old Atlas pasta machine - hand-cranked - that I use quite often so it is always handy.  Sometimes I use one of the Cuisinarts to make the dough (I have a 14 cup and the big 20 cup) but lately I have been working the dough in the bread machine.  Works great.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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For small appliances that rapidly lose their appeal - definitely a juicer. So hard to clean. If it wasn't for the cleaning then great. Freshly juiced apples are especially good, but not quite worth the effort of cleaning the machine.

At various times I have owned espresso machines but didn't use them much. The main problem I have is that I really love coffee but if I have more than 1 a day I don't sleep properly. If I'd had one at work or when I was out then I wouldn't have another at home.

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I've had and given to thrift shops George Foreman grills, waffle makers, sandwich makers, juicer, hard boiled egg cooker, etc.  I keep 2 rice cookers, don't use them that much at all, but want to have them when I do.  Food processor probably gets used the most, and gets the valuable counter space.  I am so tired of having to move something to get to something else and have wittled down a lot of kitchen stuff.  Plus, hate to have to dust things off before I use them.  I want them in the kitchen, either on counter or in a cupboard, not in my open 'pantry' area/back door area.  Just bought 5 Cuisinart Hand Blenders for $9.99 each at Macy's-part of their doorbuster Black Friday weekend specials.  Thought they'd make great Xmas presents but I have used mine twice and think it may end up at thrift store too.  For one thing the cord doesn't reach the stove.  Ugh.  Although the cleaning part of it is super easy, which is surprising for a gadget. 

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality. Clifton Fadiman

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For small appliances that rapidly lose their appeal - definitely a juicer. So hard to clean. If it wasn't for the cleaning then great. Freshly juiced apples are especially good, but not quite worth the effort of cleaning the machine.

At various times I have owned espresso machines but didn't use them much. The main problem I have is that I really love coffee but if I have more than 1 a day I don't sleep properly. If I'd had one at work or when I was out then I wouldn't have another at home.

 

BBM

 

I put everything in the dishwasher. If it can fit I will put it in there. If it doesnt get clean the first time Ill run it thru again....

Yes im lazy

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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My goodness!  I am a gadget junkie so I buy all sorts of things (like small appliances) because they look so clever,)

Such as:

 

Jumbo citrus press - it works great but it's so big and how often do I juice that many limes at a time?

Coffee grinder - Again, it works really well but it's too big and heavy and I don't want to leave it on the counter all the time.

Pressure cookers - I have too many because I was looking for just the right size.

Electric knife sharpener - I've had this for more than two years and still haven't used it - it's so much easier to use the hand-held type.

Electrolux mixer - Used it for a couple of years and then stopped making bread in quantity.  It's in the closet where it will stay.

Vitamix - For the number of times I've used it, it probably cost $100 each time.  It's a great appliance, don't get me wrong, it just doesn't get used.

Sodastream - It's on its way out the door.  Don't use it because I don't like their syrups.  I was looking for a good tonic mix but theirs isn't it.

Keurig - I don't like the coffee for every day.  I do use the iced tea pods in summer, the coffee pods for occasional iced coffee, and the spiced cider pods once in a while.  I keep moving it back and forth from the pantry to the counter.

I know there are more...

 

Search for tonic water syrup on amazon, you'll find several craft tonics which are quite nice. Also, carbonating white wine really works well....

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Waring Pro Deep Fryer...Too small an oil volume, too low a temp..basically a POS. Garage sale.

 

The Cusineart MiniPrep...still used, though not a lot.

 

Pannini presses...all ready for garage sale

 

Sous Vide Supreme- still used, but I have room for a big box of water in the cellar

 

Blendtech blender- its there when needed.

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That is exactly what I do with my Griddler. It basically cleans itself while I have dinner. Even last night when the marinade I used was high in sugar it took only a quick once over with a dish brush to clean up the Griddler plates.

 

Scoobydoo97/Anna,  I was using sugary BBQ sauces and such. I never thought about the paper towel trick.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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I am not a gadget freak. Mostly I think I am just lazy when it comes to washing objects. I would rather wash one knife than take apart an appliance, wash the separate pieces, and then put it back together again. So, lazy in a certain way. Also I think I have pretty good knife skills and can chop and slice pretty efficiently. And routinely I am cooking for two, not a crowd.

This is sort of a boring story, but I'm in the mood to whine and get some sympathy. A few months ago I was rummaging about in the basement and discovered a Rival Crockpot, circa 1960's or 70's. Very iconic design! I have no memory of buying or using it, such are the benefits of a swiss-cheese memory. It looked spanking new, but without a box. I got totally excited, because it seemed like something for free. I love posole, and when I lived in NM that's the one thing that everyone used a crock pot for. I took it upstairs and promptly dropped it, breaking the ceramic insert. Clearly I was destined never to use that sucker. I've made posole numerous times by the long slow stovetop method and I am never in this lifetime going to buy a slow cooker after that goof. But it irritates the living hell out of me. And it is quite possible that if I acquired another one somehow I would never use it, but I'll never know.

Edited by Katie Meadow (log)
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I am not a gadget freak. Mostly I think I am just lazy when it comes to washing objects. I would rather wash one knife than take apart an appliance, wash the separate pieces, and then put it back together again. So, lazy in a certain way. Also I think I have pretty good knife skills and can chop and slice pretty efficiently. And routinely I am cooking for two, not a crowd.This is sort of a boring story, but I'm in the mood to whine and get some sympathy. A few months ago I was rummaging about in the basement and discovered a Rival Crockpot, circa 1960's or 70's. Very iconic design! I have no memory of buying or using it, such are the benefits of a swiss-cheese memory. It looked spanking new, but without a box. I got totally excited, because it seemed like something for free. I love posole, and when I lived in NM that's the one thing that everyone used a crock pot for. I took it upstairs and promptly dropped it, breaking the ceramic insert. Clearly I was destined never to use that sucker. I've made posole numerous times by the long slow stovetop method and I am never in this lifetime going to buy a slow cooker after that goof. But it irritates the living hell out of me. And it is quite possible that if I acquired another one somehow I would never use it, but I'll never know.

t

It is not likely the slightest consolation but I have three crockpots. Two are as you describe and one is relatively new. I have never had a single meal that was worth eating out of any of them! I don't care how many cookbooks, how many recipes, how many pieces of advice, how many blogs devoted to the damn subject someone puts forth, food tastes like sh*t in a crockpot.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Anna, I would mostly agree with you about complete dishes, with the exception of making NM style flat enchiladas. That said, it's more of an assemblage than actual cooking: layers of corn tortillas and filling with sauce poured over alternate layers, then heated. GIGO is the main rule with this one. I make enchiladas about once a month, so, it's worthwhile for me to keep the appliance. But, I mostly use my slow cooker for cooking plain dry beans. I like being able to run it on low (I have an old one with a low setting) when I am not home or sleeping, and I can put it on a timer.

 

I also use the slow cooker as a buffet server for soups and some sauces. But, I cook a meal about once a month for a large group and not everyone does that.

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Anna, I would mostly agree with you about complete dishes, with the exception of making NM style flat enchiladas. That said, it's more of an assemblage than actual cooking: layers of corn tortillas and filling with sauce poured over alternate layers, then heated. GIGO is the main rule with this one. I make enchiladas about once a month, so, it's worthwhile for me to keep the appliance. But, I mostly use my slow cooker for cooking plain dry beans. I like being able to run it on low (I have an old one with a low setting) when I am not home or sleeping, and I can put it on a timer.

 

I also use the slow cooker as a buffet server for soups and some sauces. But, I cook a meal about once a month for a large group and not everyone does that.

I absolutely know that there are people who swear by their slow cooker either for full meals or for components of a meal. I have to believe that I am missing some essential gene. People on this forum who I admire and wish I could emulate use crockpots. And somewhere, somehow I keep the faith else why would I be storing three crockpots in my tiny house?

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I have several CrockPots/slow cookers that I use fairly often.  I use them for candying ginger, citrus peel, making glacé fruits, making dulce de leche, reducing stocks but not so much for cooking meals - although there are a couple that work well for me.  One is pork stew verde, which seems to taste better when the pork chunks have gently cooked, barely simmering, in the green sauce for at least 8 hours. 

 

There is also a chicken dish, somewhat reminiscent of coq a vin, that works well for me and a  bratwurst, onions and apples dish that creates the most amazing aroma in the house and tastes very good too. 

 

I actually learned some of my techniques long before the CrockPot itself appeard on the scene as I had (and have) the electric roasters that were so popular in the late '40s and '50s because they allowed cooking of "extras" when the kitchen range was fully utilized. 

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I am not a gadget freak. Mostly I think I am just lazy when it comes to washing objects. I would rather wash one knife than take apart an appliance, wash the separate pieces, and then put it back together again. So, lazy in a certain way. Also I think I have pretty good knife skills and can chop and slice pretty efficiently. And routinely I am cooking for two, not a crowd.

Same here.

Mince my own beef for burgers using the knife / cleaver even though I could use the Vitamix.

Cutlery is my food processor.

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