A new gadget

I’ve  often said that I’m not a gadget person but when I take a look around my kitchen, it seems that I may have turned into one. For years I got by with my electric food steamer and a hand held electric whisk. Then things started to get out of hand! Last winter it was a soup maker (successfully used on many occasions) and now I have a cake/dough mixer.

In the past I’ve had trouble with carpal tunnel and RSI. Sometimes I need to wear a wrist splint though not very often since I stopped working full time. Nevertheless my wrist and fingers of my right hand are quite weak and I can struggle with dexterity. Added to this, I have a ganglion on my right index finger which can be painful. I saw a hand specialist last year who didn’t give me much hope of improvement without surgery and then said that it would probably re-form anyway so for now, I’m leaving things as they are.

Anyhow, the act of beating cakes and stirring thick mixtures (especially my oft made apple cake) became increasingly uncomfortable. As for making bread, I rarely do it now. Time to engage some help. I did a bit of research and, after setting a budget some way below the several hundreds of pounds(!) that some of them cost, decided on a Morphy Richards model. Retail cost  c£90 (though when does anyone ever pay the RRP on electricals?) but on Amazon £59.95. Two days after ordering it arrived.  It’s really sturdy and no more difficult to clean than a conventional bowl and wooden spoon. I’m hooked.


Its first job was to mix the ingredients for a polenta cake. This is a cake I’ve made several times before but never quite as described in the recipe. The instruction to cream the fat and sugar together for ten minutes was never adhered to as I’d get fed up of holding the whisk after five. Nevertheless it tasted fine.  Now I had a gadget (or is it? I’m sure some would refer to it as an essential piece of kitchen equipment), I thought I’d leave it whisking for the required time. It turned out to be the lightest version ever! Early days but it was looking good. Next task was a banana and ginger loaf and yes, I was happy with that too. Planned for the weekend – a marmite soda bread. Husband looked horrified when I mentioned it but I can’t wait to try it with some leek and potato soup (made in the soup maker, of course – goodness, I’m getting lazy)!

And then there’s the coffee machine. This may be seen as further evidence that I am turning into gadget girl. However, it’s only in temporary residence.  Daughter is staying with me for a while and where she goes, her DolceGusto  goes too. I’m not making too much use of it or I might just miss it when she takes off again!

It’s not only in the kitchen that gadgetry is appearing. I now have an iPhone. I was VERY happy with my eleven year old, ultra-basic Nokia but it gave up the ghost earlier in the year. I replaced it with a new ultra- basic version and from day one, hated it! It was user-UNfriendly with illogical functionality and the ridiculously tiny print on the buttons and on the screen frustrated me no end. People kept telling me to get myself an iPhone and I kept resisting on the grounds that I liked simple things and didn’t need to have access to emails and the Internet when out and about.  Then a kindly friend suggested that since I have an iPad I would find it very similar and that I was welcome to have her old iPhone.  I thanked her graciously but left it sitting on top of a chest of drawers for several weeks. Frustrated by my inaction (and continued moaning about the new Nokia) Husband took it upon himself to sort out the SIM card. Daughter and daughter-in-law showed me the ropes and in no time at all, I loved it!  They’d all said that I would and, though it pains me to admit to being so wrong, they were absolutely right. It is so easy to use, clear to read and has several useful features that I didn’t know I needed…….haha.   But as for being able to read my emails when out, well I still don’t bother!


  1. I had to drop by and have a look at your new mixer Eloise…..it looks fab and I am so glad that you are pleased with the results.
    I have to hold my hands up and say that I am a gadget girl (more than I care to admit to….lol) but the one thing I will not have is a mobile phone. I hate the flippin’ things and really don’t need one anyway with being at home all day with access to the landline.
    Enjoy your baking.


    • I really like my mobile if only because my children are more inclined to respond to a quick text several times a week than to have a chat on the phone. I was late coming to the idea of having one though. I always seem to be a bit behind in the world of technology. Loving the mixer. I keep wanting to try things out but have to restrain myself. There are only so many cakes we can eat!


  2. I inherited an iphone. It is way cleverer than me. (sigh) meaning that I still haven’t figured out how to properly use it. Your kitchen gadgets sound perfect for someone who loves to bake. It’s not even breakfast and my mouth is watering after reading about your polenta cake……


    • In Madeira a few years ago, a café was offering orange polenta cake with coffee for three euro. It was amazing and I kept meaning to make one. I finally bought some polenta this year and tried it. The one I made recently was lemon, but the Orange one is better.


  3. I don’t have many gadgets, either, Eloise. Elder son passed on his electric mixer and I made bread it in a few times, but it only has a dough hook, not the thing for mixing cakes, but I do love to make cakes by hand even though mixing them – as you have found – takes some strength and our wrists are weak. Well done on mastering an iPhone, too. I have a very old LG phone, almost ten years old and it doesn’t hold its charge well, so I can see I will have to replace it eventually. Husband’s phone is even older! Museum pieces, aren’t they!
    Margaret P


    • I keep my ‘museum piece’ in a drawer and occasionally look fondly at it! Had it not given up then I’m sure I’d still be perfectly happy with it!


  4. The mixer must make such a difference for you, Eloise. Kitchen gadgets can be a bit addictive. My friend’s kitchen is full of them but she hardly uses any! X


  5. Some gadgets are good as they make our lives easier. I’m glad your new mixer is helping you with cake and bread making. Especially at this time of the year, when there is sure to be lots of holiday baking going on. 🙂


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