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Rantings of a Kitchen Luddite


Darienne
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I am very old.  Older than dirt, as the T-shirt says.  And like many old people, I like it when things stay the same.  Which they don't.  Hence the rant.

 

The ceramic innards of my big crock pot broke last year and of course I had to get a newer model.  What happened to a simple temperature guide and the choice of low or high heat?  Well, most of you know.  It was replaced by a long pathway of choices which I don't want and which, if you don't get the sequence correct, you have to start all over again.  And over and over.

 

Then the food processor on/off switch went.  Buy a new one?  Not likely.  They don't make them with the same number of discs which I depended on for slicing and grating.  The ones, which do have a slicer, have only one choice on the slicer...mine has many.  So Ed, He Who Can Fix Anything whether he understands the mechanism or not, fixed the on/off part of the machine.  I think he used a wooden popsicle stick.  Of course, the safety mechanism no longer works so don't stick your hand into the machine when the blades are in there.  I do have a large attached warning sticker.

 

Oh yes and then the garage fridge was next.  And we were expecting company, the first Annual Dog Weekend since the start of Covid.  (Oh, did I mention that our well water turned up contaminated for the first time in 27 years of testing and that the septic tank backed up into my bathtub and the upstairs shower wasn't working properly?  And the front windshield of the Sienna had to be replaced?)  So Ed found a very good deal on a Maytag Plus at the Restore, his store of stores.  And it was much newer than our kitchen fridge which was bought in 1980 (which makes it 42 years old, still newer than our cellar freezer bought in 1975, 47 years ago, and still going strong.) So after the company left, we switched fridges.  But fridges have changed quite a lot and for us, not for the better.  I simply assumed it would be better.  Rule #3 of the Toltec Wisdom...don't make assumptions.  The freezer compartment is much larger,...which I don't need...while the actual fridge compartment is smaller, and more restrictive with all its fancy plastic shelves and drawers, than our old model.  I think we are going to have to go through the painful fridge switch again.

 

Next the microwave broke down while we had company.  Ed went out and bought a new LG microwave, ranked top of the line by Consumers Report.  I hated it.  No number buttons...you either have to slide your finger along a + line or tap the line until you reached your setting.  Of course you have to switch on a light.  At 6:30 am?  I think not.  The entire front is glass so you leave fingerprint smudges on it each time unless you are careful and use the front door edge.  Which I didn't remember to do. I did not want to learn how to use it.  End of discussion.  Wonderful Best Buy took it back after a week and a half trial. 

 

I'll just end this rant with a mention of our new LG washing machine.  Yes, it works well.  Has enormous capacity.  Twice that of our old model.  Has a thousand options but you are at liberty to ignore them with impunity.  It even plays a cute little song when it is finished.  BUT...the drum is so deep that I can scarcely reach the clothes at the bottom.  I have longer than normal arms so I just can manage.  My S-i-L is shorter than I am with shorter arms and she simply can't reach to the bottom.  These machines are made for the taller folk of the current generation...not for those of us who were the regular height of women in the 40s and 50s. 

 

Enuff.  More than enuff I think.

 

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Oh this sounds familiar.  Many of these things have happened to us too.  We decided to moved into a condo with all new high end appliances with several pages of manuals about how the operations work.  Sheesh.  So much to learn.  So many options!  I had to make a chart for washing and drying our clothes and yes, the drum is so deep I almost need long tongs to reach the clothes out of the back of the drum.  

 

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This morning I woke up and and walked to the window. I looked out and saw that I was still looking at the grass shoots not grass roots. So begins count 1 of my blessings. Oh I should mention the 50 feet of oxygen tubing that allowed me to even walk to the window. Count 2 as I bless the engineers and scientist who developed the oxygen concentrator I need to do this. 

Then I made a coffee. The brilliant people at Keurig made it possible for me to do this even though I am visually impaired.  I can feel now which buttons to push to produce the coffe I enjoy. The count goes on. 

I wanted some toast so thanks to other brilliant engineers and scientists I have a compact but powerful flashlight  that allows me to see when my toast has reached the right degree of doness in my Breville Smart oven.  

With toast and coffee made I can now turn to my iPad to catch up on the news from around the world. With the help of the back lighting and the ability to increase the size of the text I can stay in contact with what is happening. I can also search for recipes, do some word games, keep up with the people on eGullet. 

Even with oxygen I can safely use my induction range to heat some soup or fry an egg at lunchtime. With my modified AirPods acting as hearing aids I can enjoy the sizzle of the egg as it hits the hot fat. 

I am running out of fingers on which to count my blessings. 

 

 

 

 

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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

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I've always been the Electronics Whisperer, so the increased complexity hasn't bothered me. And I love having options. (Myers-Briggs ENTP, if you must know). Pressure Cook! Steam! Porridge! Multigrain! Soup! I get chills up and down my spine just thinking about it.

 

In a couple of months, though, we'll be cutting the cable cord and switching to antenna + TiVo + Philo (inexpensive streaming service), so we'll see if the kid's still got it.

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"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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I do like the option on our Black and Decker coffee pot to have the coffee turn itself on at 6:15 am so that when I get up at 6:30 am the coffee is fresh...well, as fresh as it can be seeing as we don't grind beans and so on.  

 

So it's not all doom and gloom.  But then rants are not supposed to contain good news, are they?

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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14 minutes ago, Darienne said:

So it's not all doom and gloom.  But then rants are not supposed to contain good news, are they?

I see no harm in countering a rant with a rave. 

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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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I'll continue the rant 😬.

 

We moved to this old farm house about 20 years ago.  Brought our old washer and dryer with us.  They ended up shooting craps at about the same time.  I was sooooooo in love with those front load washers and dryers.  So new and shiny and pretty.  Bought both.  Even pulled a chair up the first time I ran them.  Watching the swishing in the washer the the drying in the dryer was mesmerizing.

 

Fast forward a month or so.  Problem after problem.  Very hard to get repair people out here as most of you know.  Washer spewed water down in the basement more times than I can way with no answer as to why.  Electronic boards went out.  Arrrgh.  Not to mention the UNMENTIONED secret drain that is hidden behind the bottom panel in the washer that you're supposed to clean out.  NOT ONCE in the manual did it say a thing about that.  Yes.  A repair person came out and finally told me about that little gem.  Opened it up (total pain in the ass) to find, of course, pet hair, coins...and bullets.  Sigh (before you start judging I told Ronnie years ago I was NOT reaching my hand into his days worn overalls/jeans ever again and if it ruined a washer then it's on him and I dare any of you to reach into his pockets. (((shudder)))

 

I now own a Speed Queen washer and dryer.  So far, really good.  NO electronic board.  Turn dials only.  Knock on wood they are really great.

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8 minutes ago, Shelby said:

'I now own a Speed Queen washer and dryer.  So far, really good.  NO electronic board.  Turn dials only.  Knock on wood they are really great.

My favorite appliance repair guy - ya know the kind you trust w/o question - always says "Speed Queen" - what laundromats use. 

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34 minutes ago, heidih said:

My favorite appliance repair guy - ya know the kind you trust w/o question - always says "Speed Queen" - what laundromats use. 

Yes.  After researching a lot online that's what I decided.  Laundromats use them....then I will too.

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With all due respect to Anna N and her obviously heaven-sent electronic assistants, couldn't we have those AND

fridges/washers/microwaves without all the computer circuitry? 

 

Honestly 90% of the the electrics in our lives simply don't need all that digital frippery.  I'm convinced they've reconfigured them all not because they needed to, but because they could.

 

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I lived my business life relying on sensors, emergency back up systems and similar in construction management. I don't want to be in a hospital or high-rise without them. But in my kitchen KISS

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15 minutes ago, CookBot said:

With all due respect to Anna N and her obviously heaven-sent electronic assistants, couldn't we have those AND

fridges/washers/microwaves without all the computer circuitry? 

 

Honestly 90% of the the electrics in our lives simply don't need all that digital frippery.  I'm convinced they've reconfigured them all not because they needed to, but because they could.

 

 Engineers need to be suppressed sometimes. Marketers too.

 

Simple is good.

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I've been wanting to start a blog called Design Crimes. As if there isn't enough rage on the internet.

 

What bugs me is that often, a simple, well-designed option exists. But it's 3 times the price of the complex, terribly designed thing that was created by marketers for suckers. 

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Notes from the underbelly

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8 hours ago, paulraphael said:

I've been wanting to start a blog called Design Crimes. As if there isn't enough rage on the internet.

 

What bugs me is that often, a simple, well-designed option exists. But it's 3 times the price of the complex, terribly designed thing that was created by marketers for suckers. 

Exactly my sentiments, sir. 

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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My dad  was an engineer.  He was always scratching his head at pointless features.

 

"One more thing to go wrong" he'd say.

 

But at least once he was talking about power windows in cars.

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@Darienne, I feel like I could have written your initial post, except that I went with Samsung washer/dryer with the extra deep drum that you can barely reach and it plays music. I did figure out how to stop the music on the washer, but you can't turn it off on the dryer. I suppose if I were a techie person, I could probably find the darned chip or speaker in it and yank it out. I also had to get new stove and got Samsung. It beeps constantly. Drives me nuts. 

 

 

 

 

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Deb

Liberty, MO

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@Darienne — I feel your pain. When we moved to this house, the kitchen had just been redone. Brand new suite of Samsung appliances, all electronic, all the time. Took me two weeks to figure out how to turn the oven on. I have four appliances with clocks in the kitchen. Two of the clocks are close to the right time. Every day is an adventure, still!

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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11 hours ago, gfweb said:

 Engineers need to be suppressed sometimes. Marketers too.

 

From a comment on the NASA website: 

 

Quote

There is an old adage, "In every project there comes a time to shoot the engineers and start production."

 

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"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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32 minutes ago, Alex said:

 

From a comment on the NASA website: 

Terrifying article.  Things we never knew.  

Ed was once many, many years ago, along with a few other 'liberal arts' types, seconded to the engineering department of the Bell.  It proved to be quite an experience for all, needless to say with some unpleasantness at times.  

 

My Father was an aeronautical engineer, in part responsible for the invention and use of radar in WWII.  My fingers stopped typing here.  Least said...the better I guess.  

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I am Luddite poster child.   I loathe smart appliances.   I have been "housekeeping" for so long that I KNOW what I want to do and how to manage my appliances to accomplish it without interface.   KISS, indeed!   Or "On, off, and no static".     Our refrigerator, toaster, CSO, dryer and freezer all "talk" to us.   Add occasional reminders from smoke alarms, text messages, and we're always saying, "What's beeping?"  

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eGullet member #80.

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19 hours ago, Okanagancook said:

the drum is so deep I almost need long tongs to reach the clothes out of the back of the drum.  

And by the time I pull the last of the dried stuff from the depths of the dryer,  my back is screaming.

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eGullet member #80.

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