Remember when all the rage was a wok? I got one those many years ago because I thought it was a standard kitchen tool. NOT! It's mildly useful, but thankfully fits in the back of the pots and pans cabinet.
Smart happy (frugal) homes have mostly clear kitchen counters. You know the rule: keep it simple. One good set of knives is incredibly more useful and versatile than any chopping/slicing gadget. Or: don't clutter up your life with, and sink money into, things that become dinosaurs.
Easier said than done. It's hard to resist little electric 'helpers', right? In the early days of homeownership, and early days of marriage (with little kids) I made conscious effort NOT to buy most appliances. Some of the things I passed on or that have passed through my home?
Passed On: food processors. Ugh, too many little parts, not at all practical anyway. Never went there.
Passed Through: electric knife. Way back then, a grandma gave me an electric knife, but we only used it once a year and my husband laughed at how ridiculous such a item was (he preferred a basic DO IT YOURSELF knife).
Passed Through: Yogurt maker. Instead of buying all those little $$ containers, I went the homemade route for awhile with one of those little incubator things. The catch? Buying 'yogurt starter' or at least some yogurt from a serious health food store with live culture. Folks, there weren't those kind of health food stores 20 years ago closer than 200 miles apart. Saving starter for the next batch (like sourdough) wasn't always successful and you'd have to buy some more again.
As the family grew, so did the appliance count. Hmph!
Not Active: ice cream maker. That stuff is a staple in my husbands life (not mine!). And you know how good (and simple and sort of less expensive) homemade ice cream is compared to store bought. A few years ago I got him an ice cream maker to encourage going the pure route. It was second hand from Craigs List, an electric wood tub one. He was happy, the kids were happy, but it makes SO MUCH we don't use it often. (It's in the garage).
Not Active: bread machine. Ohhhh, this one I was dedicated to for 5+ years. I was kind of mad when a good loaf of bread (not white bread) went way over $1 a loaf. So I made bread often and wore out my first machine in a couple years. We used it weekly to make pizza dough (with our 'Pampered Chef' pizza stones, of course!!) Anyway, we finally seem to have tired of this phase and the bread machine is not being used much this past year (it is in the pantry).
Do you suppose this is why counters are getting bigger in kitchens? My counters are small, 4 separate small areas of white tile. Thereupon lay the following...
Still Out after all these years: Toaster Oven. So this is a workhorse. Used often for little meals (to bake chix nuggets, taquitos, cheese toast, etc.). The issue? It wears out too fast and needs replacing! Is there a better quality, not necessarily bigger toaster oven out there that will last more than 5 years. Anyone?
Still Out after all these years: Toaster. This little classic will never get stuck in the cabinet. We have a great little one that wasn't more than $20 and it's going strong.
Still Out after all these years: Blender. We don't do cocktails, we do smoothies. With protein powder. Excellent nutrition. And hummus. And occasionally cream soup. An oldie Oster.
Out new this year: Large slow cooker. It bumped the bread machine away. For soups, stews, beans. And lasagna! Since I work a longer day, am giving it a priority place out on the counter this year.
Heaven help me I am considering buying another appliance as a gift to my husband this year!!
To get or not to get: Dehydrator. Better to prepare our backyard produce? We have been canning applesauce and tomato sauce, dry herbs in the oven, and pickle peppers. Maybe we should make our own dried fruits?
Let me leave with a geek joke I saw on FB:
A physicist, a mathematician and an engineer were each asked to establish the volume of a red rubber ball.
The physicist immersed the ball in a beaker full of water and measured the volume of the displaced fluid. The mathematician measured the diameter and calculated a triple integral. The engineer looked it up in his Red Rubber Ball Volume Table.
And lastly a peek at some new jewelry I have been making...
Silver and Blue Lapis Necklace
A classic color combination, and a contrast in shapes and lines. Gentle curves meet stone angles on a modern yet feminine necklace design. Lapis is a semi-precious stone, I obtained a supply at wholesale prices and pass the savings on to you. See it all here
Red Crystal Briolette Hoop Earrings
Small details make all the difference in a pair of pure copper wire weave earrings. These are intended as part of a set with a fantastic matching necklace but can be purchased separately.
See details here for Earrings
See details here for Matching Necklace
Thank you and comments welcome below.