My slow cooker died recently. I went to buy a new one, a task I thought would be relatively simple. But, no. Slow cookers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, apparently one size does not fit all. Once I had sorted out size and shape, I then had to choose from a variety of bulbous protuberances on the sides of the cookers which would allow me to program the amounts of time and start times.
I chose one with just a simple switch which allowed me to choose from off, low or high. My theory was the simpler the apparatus, the less there was to go wrong.
When I got home, my husband was disappointed with my choice. He wanted one with all the bells and whistles. He said it didn't even have a light on the side to tell you if it was on or not. I pointed out that you could feel the side of the appliance to see if it was working.
His disappointment reminded me of my husband's marriage-long love affair with kitchen appliances. I really don't understand his love affair because if the electricity goes off, I am the one who has to go around and reset all the clocks. And he does not go near my computer.
To the best of my knowledge, he has purchased for "me" at least three electric sandwich makers, three deep fryers of various sizes, an electric can opener which will also sharpen your knives (but never has) and a rice steamer. The rice steamer was never used.
Also never used was an attachment for my stand mixer which would grind meat and make spaghetti. The attachment has never been out of its box. I have no desire to make my own spaghetti or sausage.
He has bought an oven the size of small refrigerator and an electric hot plate. I do have a stove in my kitchen. Then there were the rotisserie, a wine refrigerator and a food processor. I actually do use the food processor occasionally.
My house is old and my kitchen cabinets are limited. So most of the stuff ends up dusty on the back porch.
When microwave ovens first appeared on the market, he bought "me" one for Christmas. On a Saturday morning in December, but before Christmas, he and his friend Sip Coffee brought the microwave in, unpacked it and set it up in my kitchen. I was still asleep.
My husband was so excited over his (or "my") new toy he decided to cook breakfast for my two children. He put toast in the toaster and two eggs, in the shell, in the microwave on high for five minutes. About two minutes into the cycle one of the eggs exploded and blew the door to the microwave open. That and the noise of the laughter of my husband and his friend woke me up.
One of the eggs had not exploded, and not wanting to admit defeat, my husband ran cold water from the faucet over it and carefully peeled the shell off the egg, not breaking its surface tension. He put the egg on one piece of toast and with a flourish put what he thought was breakfast in front of one of my children.
As soon as she broke the surface tension of the egg with a fork, that egg also exploded, as well as the laughter from the fellows. My poor daughter had egg in her hair and thought they were laughing at her, not at my husband's blunder. That was over 20 years ago, and I don't think my daughter has forgiven her father yet for that particular incident.
I remember a story about one of my brothers-in-law buying an ice crusher. His wife came home and found him in the kitchen with the ice crusher happily crushing all the ice in the refrigerator. Maybe the love of kitchen appliances runs in the family.
Paula Travis is a Newton County resident and retired schoolteacher. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.