Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Small Appliances

My mother was the queen of having exciting small appliances that turned out to be fairly useless. Some of them would eventually get handed down to me and then eventually passed along to someone else (or Goodwill). She did get to where she found what really worked. I've really been wanting to pare back my small appliance collection. Here are the appliances that I currently own:

I used to have a fancier (more buttons) blender, but thought this one was gorgeous and had it on my wish list. Someone got it for me so I got rid of the other one. Honestly... the other one was better. That said, I think I'd like to switch entirely over to an immersion blender. I've had one before and they're handy. It would replace the regular blender, take up way less space (great for travel trailer!), is easy to clean, and I could blend hot stuff right in the pot instead of always having to dirty that entire pitcher! I've put this one on my wish list now.

I've had 2-3 similar cookie presses before I wound up with this one. I had one (on loan) that had a piece melt in the dishwasher. The rest was garbage without it, though I think I kept the cookie discs for a while. My #1 actual use for this? Making deviled eggs that look gorgeous! You know how long its been since I made deviled eggs that needed to look nice? Yeah, I'm not sure, either. It actually has been within the last year, but I'm fairly certain my eggs would have been eaten regardless of how nice they looked. Also, you can get pretty similar results with a baggie and maybe an icing tip. So I'm suddenly thinking I should sell this sucker!

This is the mixer I got when I moved into my own place a few years ago. It seems nifty the way it will hold the parts in the bottom, except... yeah, you know I've never gotten them all back in there! It just holds the danged cord which at least has a little leash to hold it all together. I can get the regular mixer blades in there, too, but not the other two attachments. I only ever use the mixer blades. I wonder if the immersion blender could also replace this appliance. I'm sure it could!

I don't use my steamer terribly often, but it amazingly versatile and handy! I've used it to cook rice and I've used it to steam vegetables. It even has a little screen where you can place herbs to flavor your veggies. Mostly, though, I've cooked carrots (with raising and cinnamon & sugar), zucchini, and... rice. I think that is about it. I should possibly consider ditching (selling or donating) this one, too, but... I'm not sure if I'd go to the trouble of cooking veggies in a pot, especially when I've got other pots going already.

One Giftmas, my dad and his wife gave Quesadilla Makers to each of the (adult) kids. We also received a gallon baggie containing a package of pre-cooked fajita meat, shredded cheese, sour cream, and salsa! I thought it was a really cool gift idea and there have been a few times in my life when I have used it often.

Still, it takes up space and I can make quesadillas in a skillet just fine. I've done it. This thing... for sale! By the way, it's pretty easy to clean. Between dry tortillas and oily cheese, you just wipe it out.

I know a lot of people swear by crock pots. I, however, almost never use this thing. I've tried to motivate myself to get into it several times. My mom bought and loaned me cookbooks with "5 ingredients" and other easy stuff... but mostly, I just don't use it. I'm not sure exactly why, except that the men in my life don't like the kinds of dishes you get out of a crock pot (lots of ingredients, all one flavor). Especially if you consider that my husband does not eat vegetables. Seriously. None. Except corn. I just can't justify the space. For sale!

I'm kind of torn about the iron. I got it for my birthday a couple of years ago. (I requested one.) I needed it for attaching badges to my daughter's Girl Scout vest. I've also used it for occasional sewing projects. I really, really don't use it very often. For sale?

We also have a KRUPS digital 2-slice toaster. (I can't find a single photo of one online and mine looks filthy.) I actually received 2 or 3 toasters and this thing is awesome. This one counts down how long you've told it to toast with one little digital screen. Otherwise, it looks like a basic, cheap, plastic toaster. We use it fairly often for waffles and toast. It gets used almost daily! So... its a keeper. I have, however, occasionally wondered if a toaster oven might do the job and add some other versatility. Like, maybe avoid using the oven... I don't know. I've never owned a toaster oven.

I do not drink coffee. I have never liked it at all. Still, Elmo had this 4-cup coffee maker when I met him and I've seen him occasionally drink a cup. Mostly, we keep it for guests. That wouldn't seem like reason enough to keep it around, but our summer helper drank coffee every morning (and then some). Plus my dear friend that visits from Colorado enjoys coffee. (She stays with us whenever she is in town.) So... I think the coffee maker, rare as we generally use it, is a keeper.

I bet, if you really think about it, you have some unnecessary appliances as well. Which ones do you think you could pass along to someone else that thinks they have too much space and not enough stuff?

Note: All of those Amazon links are affiliate links. Any proceeds will serve to help my family get on the road!

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