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!