I recently saw the film High Fidelity, again. I have previously read the novel (back in my childless days when I actually read…sigh….) and really enjoyed it. For those of you who haven’t read or seen it the main character is a lover of lists. You know the sort of thing; Top 10 favourite gigs of all time, Top 10 actresses with moles on their left thigh and so on (actually I made these up – I can’t remember what the lists were precisely, only that there were lists – lots of them, which is the salient point here anyway.) Like the characters in High Fidelity I too like lists (fortunately I don’t share too many of their other attributes although I suspect we are all nerds….) and so in honour of Nick Hornby’s novel I am embarking on a series of posts called Tuesday’s Top 5. Every Tuesday I plan on posting a Kitchen/Gardening related Top 5.
To kick things off I bring you my first Top 5 for 2012:
Gadgets I think I may need for my kitchen
When Dancing with Frogs mentioned her Thermomix I had to look up what it was. As soon as I did I knew I had to have one. How could you not desire a product which according to its own website: “is the most advanced kitchen appliance on the market today and is without rival. The product of more than 40 years of German design and innovation, Thermomix unites the functions of over 10 appliances in one compact unit. Thermomix will amaze you with its ability to chop, beat, mix, whip, grind, knead, mince, grate, juice, blend, heat, stir, steam and weigh food.” I don’t know about you but I generally enjoy being amazed by a product’s functionality – all too often I am amazed by my own stupidity in yet again purchasing a piece of crap that falls apart after being used twice (or sits in the cupboard for 10 years after being used once). Could this be different?
A Salad Spinner – I don’t own a salad spinner and I often have wet lettuce as a result. This largely due to my habit of deciding to have salad the moment before actually making it. My leaves always seem to need washing – if they aren’t mud splattered then I have just given them a dose of seaweed fertiliser and if I’ve learnt one thing growing vegetables it is: always wash your lettuce after giving it seaweed emulsion!
A Coffee Grinder & Coffee Machine I actually already own a coffee grinder but I use it for spices and although I enjoy Chai Latte I’m not sure it works as well with coffee as it does with tea…..Surely every good Suburbanite should be grinding their own coffee, and embarrassingly I don’t. I either buy it ground or better yet go out for coffee. Neither of these help that much when one is in the presence of discerning guests (actually this rarely happens – most of my guests are of the more laid back variety which is fortunate given the state of my floors – but someday they may be less obliging.) I make the coffee I drink at home in a plunger with milk heated in the microwave (this is probably why I enjoy going out for coffee so much). Over Christmas I finally worked out how to use my parents coffee machine and I have to say it was good, not as good as the O’Hea St Bakery’s, but pretty good – I think steaming the milk rather than nuking it helps considerably…..
A Microplane -I got fairly addicted to the Australian Masterchef TV show- particularly the first two series – this years got a bit tedious (although it was still loved by my 5 year old). During those first two series (and possibly the latest one) the chefs seemed to be reaching for their microplanes every other minute. Yes I know its product placement but I am a sucker for advertising (as you will have already realised from Number 1 of this Top 5) and they did seem really useful……. I should point out that I do possess a perfectly functional grater so can I really justify the additional use of the earths resources?
Preserving Jars – In the early 80’s my parents moved us from Melbourne to the country (although still within easy reach of the metropolis) and embarked on an quasi attempt at self sufficiency. Other than dying wool with Eucalyptus leaves before spinning it, this self sufficiency seemed (through the eyes of a 10 year old) to mostly revolve around preserving things in Fowlers Jars. Unfortunately my mother got rid of her Fowlers jars before I saw the ‘need to preserve’ light (incidently I think she would secretly like them back) and I am now left to put my jam in old jam jars and bottle my tomato passata in stubbies (375ml beer bottles). This is all very good and recycling oriented of me but I can’t help but envy all those beautiful Mason jars I see on the US blogs.
Do you own any of the above devices? I would love to hear about how fabulous/essential you think they are! What are the most essential devices in your kitchen? Are they more things I should be covetting. Alternatively if you too would like to vent your inner nerd then please feel free to join me with a Tuesday Top 5 post. If you write one then let me know and I will put a link to it in next weeks post.