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Triumphing over electricity, in the kitchen at least

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One of my quirks is that I hate electrical appliances in the kitchen. I think this might have started with my mother, who was afraid I would lose a finger if I used the electric can opener. During my ban, I figured out that it was easier and quicker to use a hand can opener and this eventually carried over into other kitchen needs. For instance, I don’t have a coffee machine, but rather a coffee press. I hand whip my cream. I use a sharp carving knife instead of an electric one. In fact, there are only two electrical appliances I think are necessary in the kitchen (not including the dishwasher and fridge, but I have mixed feelings about some dishwashers).

For one, we cannot survive in our house without an electric kettle. Once, one of our kettles died mid-boil, and we all stared at it, dumbfounded that we would actually have to boil water in a pot. Then, when my husband started to replace our electric goods after our move to London, the kettle was the first thing he bought. So, for us, a kettle is necessary and sees multiple daily use.

Second, I cannot live without a hand blender (or immersion blender). I’ve tried, since I tend to burn one out at least once a year. However, I just can’t stand mushing vegetables through a sieve for soup puree, like pea soup. I can get by hand mashing potatoes, but I just don’t like sieving vegetables. If you’re lucky enough to have one with a whip attachment, then that is useful too, but handwhipping cream doesn’t take much longer than by appliance, after some practice at least.

To be honest, we also have a stand mixer and a Waring blender, but neither of these actually works on 220 because of the motor. We’ve had microwaves and other things, but I don’t miss those. A waffle iron would be nice, but they don’t have them over here, so we happily eat pancakes instead. Being GF and having lived with and without a toaster, I’ve come to the conclusion that using the grill/broiler is a better option. Unless you have two toasters, you can never be sure that there aren’t crumbs floating about waiting to contaminate your GF toast. I know that using the grill is more wasteful in energy terms, but I can fit in four slices of regular bread at a time and don’t have the gas on unless something is actually in there. GF bread just goes on a tray, giving a nice, metal layer between my bread and those nasty crumbs.

The real reason I started this post though is because I wanted to share a small triumph with you. I finally found an affordable old-fashioned coffee grinder, the one with the handle and the little drawer. It works fine for medium and coarse grinds, which is what we use in the press, and now I never have to worry again about whether my coffee grinder will work on 110 or 220. Since I found it on sale, it was actually cheaper than buying an electric one too. So I have one less appliance that I need and one more triumph over electricity.


About Kara

I am what happens when you combine a WWII enthusiast, an environmentalist and a frugal celiac/coeliac.

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