So here we go after a bit of an absence, thank you all for your patience whilst myself and Debs went through a really tough 6 months. The fantastic news is that we are now proud guardians of two of our grandchildren.
Onto this posts subject which is”gadgets”.
I just have to mention the word kitchen gadget and my wife goes pale and shaky! Yep you guessed it, I am a gadget freak. However, the gadgets I buy and most importantly use, are always considered purchases. That is, does it perform a kitchen task equally or better than I can do with what I have in my kitchen.
What is a kitchen gadget though? Any product that does a specific task easily and efficiently. That is a very wide brief however. In any high street you can find quite wonderful shops selling all kinds of kitchenalia, and their range covers the whole spectrum of gadgets . From a simple paring knife to indoor BBQs. I could devote the existence of this blog just to that subject matter. So what I will do is show you what I have in MY kitchen.
- Knives I have probably 25-30. From a tiny paring knifes to the most lethal fish blade (actually supposed for use on a commercial fishing craft) back to a simple but totally effective swivel peeler that seems to be in constant use.
- Food processor. I recently purchased a new machine as I wore the old one out. My last machine was a 2000 watt Kenwood device which lasted nearly 8 years so it seem right that I stuck with the Kenwood make. This time I slightly down graded my choice as I looked at all the attachments with my previous device, many of which I never used, and selected a 1000 watt device that did some simple operations (chop, grate, whisk and mix) This selection of functions saved me £30.
- Stand mixer This I purchased from Lidl,whose electrical items come under the Silver Crest brand name. Moving dough has never been easier and the finished results are of a professional level. It comes with three mixer attachments (paddle, dough hook and balloon whisk) and a liquidated that attaches to the top of the unit.
- Ice-cream machine. My first machine was a simple pre-freeze bowl unit. This cost £5 reduced though from Wicks department store (-10% from my students union discount card) this was great until I had no space in my freezer. No more luscious ice cream!! I put up with this for a while until I came across an advert, via Google search, for a Gaggia stand alone machine. This freezes the bowl in which the ice cream is mixed in less that 5 minutes and takes about 20 minutes to mix and create the most delicious ices. These machines cost in the region of £300!!! However I found mine, as I said earlier, on-line and was totally amazed at the price £99.99 a saving of £200. Oh happy days!! (And happy birthday to me!!)
- Vacuum sealer. I actually have two. The first I acquired when I was only just starting to get interested in sous vide cooking . The first was a nice cheap unit that did the job, albeit a little slow. The second is a Silvercrest brand which again was around £30. Beware the same model with different branding can cost upto £60!!! Really fast to remove the air from the bags containing whichever foods I am using. These are not just for sous vide though, they can keep your foods fresher for up to 5 times longer!! Save your food rather than binning it!!
- Sous vide machine. This is the daddy of my kitchen! This is used many times a week as it gives the best results of all. This machine is a true professional bit of kit and costs up to £400. I got mine via ebay for £65 for an ex-demo (after a bit of trouble with a previous machine that went wrong). This is so simple to use, set the temperature (a lot lower than other cooking methods ) wait for the beep and drop your vac packed foods in for a couple of hours and bosh! Lovely food every time!
- Induction hob. works using magnetism! Steel pans must be used to cook with. This heats the food really fast but uses a fraction of the energy! Again the cost can vary from £30 upwards. I use a single hob unit and this gets used almost every day. Set temperatures from 60º to 220º. I really don’t know why but the pans are easier to clean!!??
That is pretty much all my gadgets,well apart from the two cold smokers, sausage machine, the hot smoker, microplane, slow cooker, immersion blender (two) …..oh maybe I do have too many!!! NEVER!!!