Friday, October 21, 2011
A woman I work with, a true home cook, confessed to me two nights ago that she has a KitchenAid mixer she has never used. It sits on her counter looking expensive and purposeful, but is really unemployed. And I wondered when I heard this how many appliances spend their time holding down the counter tops.
Or taking up space in kitchen cabinets. I will wager some of them- the bread makers and the waffle presses and the rice cookers - came from wedding well-wishers or from a new apartment christening. Perhaps they are used once or twice. Until the waffles stick. Until one decides one prefers Pepperidge Farm to home made bread. "Too much work", someone sighs, trying to scrape off yesterday's dried on batter. And then the lazy put them back into their box. Under the cupboard they go again or into a closet. People with more energy pack them up and send them to Goodwill, so they can go and live forgotten in someone else's house.
Does a $300.00 mixer deserve this? I admit that mine sat for ten years, untouched. Until I found James Beard's "Bread" at an estate sale and began to make my own loaves. Until I started to make batter for breading poblanos for Chiles Rellenos and for frying oysters. How I love to beat eggs until they are yellow and foamy and can be folded into a puree of avocados and tomatoes to make a Guacamole Puff- my version of a semi-souffle made with egg yolks. I am not such a culinary purist that I feel I need to strain my elbows beating away at a job a machine can do-
And can do better. Imagine the work if we did not have food processors to julienne zucchini. People blessed enough to be able to stay home all day may not mind doing this. But I work twelve hour shifts three nights a week. That twelve stretches when I count time lost hitting every red light on West End Avenue on my way in and the horrors of ten mile an hour school zones and the gridlock near Aquinas College and The Overbrook School on my way home. There are any number of ways we helplessly fritter away our time. It behooves us to grab that time back with some friendly, helpful machine. Especially if it is a kitchen aristocrat such as a KitchenAid mixer.
Let us get our money's worth.
But one question remains- my rice cooker is wasting prime kitchen space. I need that space.
What to do do? Well, the bowl comes out. A nice little metal bowl. It would make a good water dish for Popette and Dippitty Dog. Problem solved. And now I am free to get ready to go over to River Plantation to a moving sale to buy and bring something else home I don't need.