One of the first columns I wrote was about my husband and his love of kitchen gadgets. He hasn’t changed his ways.
For the cabin he bought a miniature popcorn machine. It looks like an old fashioned popcorn popper that were in five-and-dime stores. It is red and has ornate legs and stands about four feet high. He said he bought it for the grandchildren. I’m not sure how it pops the corn as I have never seen it in use and to my knowledge it has never been used. For popcorn anyway. It does serve as storage for his fish food.
Also for the cabin he asked for and received for Father’s Day a hot dog steamer. Two feet square and maybe three feet tall, and again bright red. You put water in the bottom, plug it up and steam the hot dogs. You can also put buns in the top compartment and steam them as well.
I am not very fond of the hot dog steamer. One of my vices, as far as food goes, is a hot dog blackened on the grill. I say vice because I am sure a charred hot dog is bad for me in many ways. First, it is a hot dog and then I am eating essentially ashes as well. I also like my hot dog buns heated on the grill and slightly crisp. Top the whole thing off with mustard and sweet relish, maybe onions, and I am in food heaven (no ketchup, please).
He also purchased, right before Christmas, an electric griddle. (I am puzzled as to why he buys things that simply substitute for a stove burner. We do have a stove.) He said he wanted to make pan cakes for the grandchildren during Christmas when everyone was here. He did and they enjoyed them. But I don’t think he knew how many pan cakes one box of pan cake mix makes. I found several boxes when I was cleaning my kitchen cabinets. We are ready for next Christmas.
His latest purchase was, it’s hard to describe, a plug in pressure cooker. It’s black and about the size of a tall, round crock pot.
According to my husband, it will cook a whole fryer (up to five pounds) in 17 minutes. It will cook an ear of corn in three minutes. He has cooked spare ribs and chicken quarters in it for me. He has also used it to make grits.
The thing is programmable (all the more irresistible to my husband), and you can set it for what you want and when whatever you are cooking is done, it will automatically switch to a setting that just keeps the food warm. Apparently, it is so smart (So he says; I have never tried it.), you can just throw things in the pot, turn the dial to stew (or whatever you are cooking) and just turn it on and go away.
Now closing it up and opening it up is somewhat of a puzzle. I think it has three systems you have to lock and unlock. And, of course, you have to wait for the pressure to abate sufficiently before you can open it. It does have a system of letting off steam, but you have to be careful. He did scald himself the first time he tried it.
He says it can also be used for canning. He might be hinting to me with that comment.
I don’t trust pressure cookers. Even newfangled ones. I have never gotten over the turnip greens on my ceiling when a pressure cooker he was using exploded. I don’t see me using his new toy any time soon.
One thing which he has purchased recently I really like. (Again, I don’t use it, but I like the results when he uses it.) A Big Green Egg.
It cooks great and we have gotten into the habit of using it on Sunday and cooking two meats on it. One we eat and the other we wrap up and put in the refrigerator to heat up for another meal. Two meats with nothing to clean up in the kitchen. That’s my kind of cooking.
Paula Travis is a retired teacher from the Newton County School System. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.