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Darienne

Things I Hate about my Kitchen Appliances: warning...no need to read this

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I am getting old and cranky.  No, I am already old and getting crankier. 

 

We've had to buy several new kitchen appliances in the last few years and there are things about each of them I loathe and I feel like ranting today.  Furthermore, I have severe Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and am awaiting seeing a surgeon (since February...this is Ontario and I live in an underserviced area) so some stuff is just harder to use.

My new microwave has buttons which are too hard for me to push with any ease at all.  Even Ed finds them very stiff.   

 

Our new toaster oven gives three tiny beeps when it turns off which you can't hear from very far away.  (The microwave gives 5 loud beeps in its favor.)  The wire shelf kept falling out if I wasn't careful and Ed had to fix it so that it stopped doing that.   Otherwise I love it and scarcely use the big oven anymore.  However, I've yet to find a regular 9x13 pan which fits into it.  Ed curled the edges on a normal 9X13 pan so that it would fit and then I remembered that a friend had given me two stainless lidded steam table pans and they are perfect.

 

The new food processor weighs as much as a big lead weight and has one part on it which will break if you more than breathe on it.  (Ed, of course, bought the largest one on the market.)  It's the strangest configuration you can imagine.   I hate cleaning it.  I'll say one thing for it...since the major onset of CPS, I have really learned how to make good use of the adjustable slicer unit and the two sided shredder. 

 

The carafe on the coffee maker drips when you are pouring it.  It didn't when it was brand new.  Then after a while it did.  I don't know...

 

There is no such thing as a food chopper which doesn't break after 10 or 20 uses. 

 

No point in saying anything about can openers.  I ask Ed to open the cans.  Our electric one hit the dust years ago.  We actually have one from Lee Valley which is very unusual looking but works very well. 

 

I'm done for now.   My apologies.  I promise to read any complaints that anyone else posts.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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I share your ire at can openers. The electric ones either don't work, or stop working and it's hard to find a good hand-held one.

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47 minutes ago, Orbit said:

I share your ire at can openers. The electric ones either don't work, or stop working and it's hard to find a good hand-held one.

This is my go-to, even with arthritis in my wrists.   Works a charm.

https://www.webstaurantstore.com/swing-a-way-portable-can-opener-with-red-handle/407407RD.html

 

But even with the strap thingy, I've yet to find a way to open tight jars;     Keeps me out of the mayo...and everything else!  

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eGullet member #80.

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I hear your angst re new appliances.     I really don't like talking appliances.    Like the new FP fridge that beeps if you leave the door open long enough to get out all the things you need to make a sandwich.     Or the toaster that sounds like a run-down cell phone.     Our new dishwasher is fabulous.    Wine glasses et al go right into it.    But it is DEEP and LOW, so you are stressed to retrieve from the bottom rear even with the drawer pulled out.   

 

Our microwave is an "original",i.e., it's from the '80s.    Put stuff in, close door and TURN DIAL.    No having to stop and think about what setting, "is this a frozen pizza?" or a "cup of soup".    Of course, its power level is quite low.    D-I-L blanched when I told her to cook the broccoli for 5 minutes.    But like a family member, if you understand its idiosyncrasies, its quite lovable.. 

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47 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

But even with the strap thingy, I've yet to find a way to open tight jars;     Keeps me out of the mayo...and everything else!  

Aha!  Have one for tight jar lids.  It's from Lee Valley (which Americans can get now) and it's wonderful.  I've bought them for friends.  http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=44271&cat=2,75357,75413&ap=1  Get one.  You'll love it.

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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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2 hours ago, Darienne said:

The carafe on the coffee maker drips when you are pouring it.  It didn't when it was brand new.  Then after a while it did.  I don't know...

 

I don't either.  I know that would make me INSANE, tho.  Everything else too.  But that would befoul the TOP OF THE MORNING.  

 

Sigh.  I wish I could help.  

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35 minutes ago, SLB said:

I don't either.  I know that would make me INSANE, tho.  Everything else too.  But that would befoul the TOP OF THE MORNING.  

 

Sigh.  I wish I could help.  

Not sure it would solve your problem, but we have one electric drip pot whose carafe drips if used with lid in normal down position.    If you cock the lid, and pour with the lid up, it doesn't drip.   A royal pain, but it's at a weekend place so not worth replacing.   

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1 hour ago, Darienne said:

Aha!  Have one for tight jar lids.  It's from Lee Valley (which Americans can get now) and it's wonderful.  I've bought them for friends.  http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=44271&cat=2,75357,75413&ap=1  Get one.  You'll love it.

 

Uncanny timing.    Just last night I had to ask DH to open a recalcitrant jar of artichokes.   But even he couldn't open it with bare hands.    He rummaged in "the drawer" and pulled out an old fashioned "church key" opener.    Used the blunt end to gently pry around the jar but not dent the lid.   Swooosh!  Enough air expelled to allow him to easily open the jar.    I will have to practice this method of yours and his.photo.thumb.JPG.7885c8981e0a5d8a0c30b18df5609ab3.JPG

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45 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

 

Uncanny timing.    Just last night I had to ask DH to open a recalcitrant jar of artichokes.   But even he couldn't open it with bare hands.    He rummaged in "the drawer" and pulled out an old fashioned "church key" opener.    Used the blunt end to gently pry around the jar but not dent the lid.   Swooosh!  Enough air expelled to allow him to easily open the jar.    I will have to practice this method of yours and his.

I know the church key...but trust me, it's not a patch on the Lee Valley one. 

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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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I used the stove in the new house for the first time Sunday. I cannot make the oven come on in "bake" mode. It works just fine in convection mode. Everything will be cooked in convection mode until I have time to read the manual.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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image.png.79af5db2040f7300c401fce4f7b03e8d.png

These are the jar openers I got from Lee Valley (called Strap Wrenches). They are absolutely amazing for opening jars, even with arthritic hands. Unfortunately, they are discontinued. 😟

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, TdeV said:

image.png.79af5db2040f7300c401fce4f7b03e8d.png

These are the jar openers I got from Lee Valley (called Strap Wrenches). They are absolutely amazing for opening jars, even with arthritic hands. Unfortunately, they are discontinued. 😟

Go to an automotive store and get a oil filter wrench. Basically the same. Be sure it adjusts to different sizes. 

And Amazon has a bunch of strap wrenchs


Edited by gfweb (log)
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Oh, kitchen scales which malfunction after about two or three years.  I can't count how many we have purchased.  No, it's not the batteries...it's the computer mechanism in the works.   Ed and I use them constantly...at least three times a day if not more.  We do weigh the dogs' food.  Yes, they eat raw.   We've fed raw for over 23 years now since we restored the health of a dog near death on commercial food.   

 

And as for electric stoves...I wish we could get gas...why does our stove have the slow small burner at the left front and the fast small burner at the right back.  I have never ever used the slow burner.  

 

I could add that we own two chest freezers, the smaller one in the garage for the dog's food, ice cream, and oddments and the larger in the cellar for people food only...chest freezers were not designed for women who are under 5' whatever.  I'm probably down to 5'3" or even less now and I have great trouble with the larger of the two freezers in the cellar.  Yes, we have a cellar and not a basement in this very old house. 

 

However, this I have to tell you all...we bought it in 1975 when many of you were not even a twinkle...and it's still running perfectly.  It will probably break down in the next month, thanks to my audacious boldness.   A former of Ed's students who worked for years in a now-defunct appliance store told Ed a few years ago...don't expect a stove, fridge, freezer, etc to last more than five years. 

 

Hey!  I'm running out of crabbiness.  And it's not raining today and the sun is out and we don't need jackets and mitts to go outside.   Oh, it's raining tomorrow and the next day.  But my heart aches for the folks in the Midwest and Southeast. 

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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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13 minutes ago, Darienne said:

 

 

And as for electric stoves...I wish we could get gas...why does our stove have the slow small burner at the left front and the fast small burner at the right back.  I have never ever used the slow burner.  

 

 

 

 

 

Makes you wonder who designs things like this....obviously someone who doesn't cook.

 

My GE gas range at least does have a decent burner design; big, fast burner at right front.  Medium fast burner at left front (I use this one most).  Small hot burner at right rear and small slow burner at left rear.

Or, more simply said: Right side, large hot in front and small hot in rear.  Slower large at left front and slower small in left rear.  It's a good setup.  The big, hot burner on the right front is super hot so I don't use it much, I have to keep and eye on it so it doesn't scorch.  I've only used it for pressure cooking and big vats of boiling water.

 

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I am still in process of formulating my future kitchen.  I am terrified at the "opportunity" to buy modern appliances.  The reviews on refrigerators alone are depressing.   I want a simple freezerless fridge with no water dispenser or bells and whistles.   I will have a dedicated freezer elsewhere.   I am not looking forward to the decisions on appliances.

 

dishwashers....don't get me started.........

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18 minutes ago, lemniscate said:

I am still in process of formulating my future kitchen.  I am terrified at the "opportunity" to buy modern appliances.  The reviews on refrigerators alone are depressing.   I want a simple freezerless fridge with no water dispenser or bells and whistles.   I will have a dedicated freezer elsewhere.   I am not looking forward to the decisions on appliances.

 

dishwashers....don't get me started.........

All best...

 

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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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My 5-burner Wolf cooktop has the burners in a staggered arrangement which I guess makes sense so you don't have big pots bumping into each other but it makes it impossible to put a griddle/grill pan over 2 burners of the same size.  

Otherwise, it's fine.  I like the 2-stage burners with a separate low flame for simmering and the continuous grates for shifting pots around easily.

 

When I bought this house ~ 10 years ago, I put in the 2-drawer Fisher-Paykel dishwasher and am still very happy with it.   I rarely used the full sized one I had in my old place but can run these small loads often. 

 

The over-the-cooktop microwave/fan unit is a sorry thing.  The microwave is loud, takes forever and shuts down if it gets too hot.  It's not vented outside and doesn't even recirculate air as it should.  The house inspector said he'd never seen anything like it.  I'd like to replace it with a proper vent hood but I don't have the same fancy job/paycheck I had when I bought the cooktop and dishwasher 🙃

 

The smoke detector in adjacent family room is perfectly positioned to detect the smallest wisp of smoke that drifts away from the stove.  That is a wise and safe thing.  It's also so high that I need to go out to the garage and haul in the big ladder so I can climb up and silence it.  Sometimes I try standing on the top step of my step stool and hitting it with a broom, while trying to avoid breaking the clerestory windows right next to it but that just prolongs the situation.

 

I hate the narrow freezer shelves of my side-by-side refrigerator and the fact that so much space is taken up with the ice maker and water dispenser but it's an early '90s model that's still soldiering on without complaining so I shouldn't either. The previous owner built the cabinets around it and put a small island right in front of it so replacing it when it dies will be a pain. 

 

The design of the carafe on the Bonavita drip coffee maker is obnoxious in so, so many ways.  The only positive is that it drove me to put it away in a closet and switch to my Aeropress on the regular unless I have guests. I like the Aeropress coffee better. 

 

I should get one of those Lee Valley can opener things that @Darienne mentioned.  I usually whack the edge of the lid with the back side of my biggest chef knife hard enough to dent the lid and release the pressure.  It works fine but alarms my guests. 

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1 hour ago, blue_dolphin said:

The smoke detector in adjacent family room is perfectly positioned to detect the smallest wisp of smoke that drifts away from the stove.  That is a wise and safe thing.  It's also so high that I need to go out to the garage and haul in the big ladder so I can climb up and silence it.  Sometimes I try standing on the top step of my step stool and hitting it with a broom, while trying to avoid breaking the clerestory windows right next to it but that just prolongs the situation.

Dear BD, Is there some reason you cannot move the smoke detector?  

 

We have a similar problem.  The smoke detector outside the kitchen door shrieks if we have a smallest wisp of smoke also.  Fortunately I can reach it easily (and do often).  When our monthly overnight guests come with their nervous and high-strung little dog, we simply take it down.  Last time it went off, the little creature went berserk and stayed shaking for ages.  Our dogs couldn't care less.  

 

Why don't we move it?  :wacko:

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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

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58 minutes ago, Darienne said:

Dear BD, Is there some reason you cannot move the smoke detector?  

 

No, it's not hard-wired so I can move it and will give that some thought.  I like that it does such a good job detecting kitchen smoke but wish I could reach it more easily.  The wall it's on is almost entirely windows so I can't just move it down but there may be another location I could use.  I'm due to replace them since the new requirement for non-wired detectors is to have a 10-year non-replaceable battery.   That would be a good time to move it. 

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15 hours ago, robirdstx said:

One Christmas my mom gave all of us these jar openers (click). The little hook (see the third picture on the linked-to page) pries the lid open enough to break the pressure seal, then the jar opens easily.

 

I also save the big blue rubber bands that they put on bunches of asparagus in the grocery stores. When you have a jar you can't open, wrap the rubber band along the edge of the jar lid. This will give you a good grip and the jar should open easily. 

 

Regarding appliances, I've posted about this before but my mom always bought the extended warranties for her appliances. We told her she was wasting her money. She told us the technicians they send out to repair the appliances these days don't have a clue as how to fix appliances anymore. They just tell their bosses "Send out a new dishwasher" and she gets a new dishwasher. Maybe she knew what she was doing.:laugh:

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Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

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1 hour ago, Toliver said:

I also save the big blue rubber bands that they put on bunches of asparagus in the grocery stores. When you have a jar you can't open, wrap the rubber band along the edge of the jar lid. This will give you a good grip and the jar should open easily. 

 

I do this also (though I'm a broccoli girl so that's where my BBRBs  usually come from. I can open almost all jars with one of those on the lid edge!   xD

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...no need to read this

 

Very clever.  Twenty-two replies so far.  Priceline occasionally does the same thing with an email subject line ("Don't open this!")

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