Yeah, apologies about the Sound of Music theme going on lately. Where did that come from?
So it was my birthday yesterday. Was thoroughly spoiled, but as I didn't expect to be and had made copious pleas not to be in light of the recent earthquake and general depressed mood of all Canterbury-residing folk of late, I thought I'd make just a wee purchase for myself **darty-eyed glance**
I splashed out and bought a cast iron casserole dish. A bit sad, and not even that expensive given the Farmers '60%-Off-So-Please-Get-Spending-Again-Canterbury-In-Case-We-Go-Bankrupt' sale, but very exciting for me and my sad little collection of disfunctional, un-matching and cracked cookware.
So it inspired me to make a list of my bestest favourite cooking stuff. I hasten to point out here that until very recently, my entire kitchen was stocked full of second and third-hand cast-offs from late grandmothers and the boys' flat that was our first home until I moved in.
We had an amazing collection of saucepans with handles that fell off if you didn't screw them back on after every use. Copious amounts of spatulas with melted handles, and measuring spoons with the unit rubbed off. And some ugly, ugly bakeware. Possibly so ugly that had I kept it for another decade it would be back in vogue.
Anyway, since acquiring a new house last year, I got a bit stroppy about upgrading a few items and actually buying something NEW that hadn't been thrashed and rejected by someone else. So here's my list of loves...
Old School Kenwood Mixer
I love this baby. She's a few decades older than me and runs like a dream. She actually was previously owned by a grandmother, but I'd sell my soul to buy one of these second hand if I didn't already have one. Seriously. The new Kenwood mixers (the trendy coloured Kitchen Aid rip-off kind) don't even come CLOSE to the functionality, reliability and general awesomeness of these machines, despite looking so groovy that I'd possibly be tempted to buy one for the looks factor alone. I use mine to knead bread, mix cakes and cookie dough, beat eggs, basically everything. Unfortunately the rest of NZ has also become aware of how fantastic they are, so the price of one on Trade Me can be pretty daunting for something so old. LOVE IT. Have I said that already? Buy one. Or better yet, steal your granny's.
90cm Smeg Freestanding Oven
Yeah, so I know I'm skiting! I have been coveting this piece of culinary creating perfection for a few years. When I saw a new one on Trade Me while we were building for almost half the retail price, I bought it. And then had to sort out shipping for a 100kg oven from Auckland to Christchurch **nervous twitch**
It bakes perfectly. It simmers perfectly. It brings water to a raging boil in moments. It lets fudge and sweet treats idle away without frying their nether regions to tar on the bottom of a broken-handled saucepan. It really is every bit as wonderful as I hoped it would be. It has ingenious racks that layer in the most incredible way to fill that 90cm of baking space to the max. I have actually managed to cook two trays of cookies, 3 cakes, a loaf of bread and a lasagne all at once. And the cookies didn't even taste like mince!
My one complaint? It doesn't have a colour change function on the LCD display, so it clashes with my splashback. Bahahaha!
Shiny new Kenwood MultiPro food processor
This was my birthday pressie from everyone else. Was a tad flummoxed as had selfishly purchased cast iron casserole dish for self earlier, and now had a present afterall. I guess there goes Christmas!
I've hardly used it, but have coveted one for some time. Of course I'd love a Magimix, but I live in the real world and our budget just doesn't stretch that far. So it chops heaps of stuff, has a million gadgets and gizmos that attach to do cool stuff, and its shiny and silver. And it beats the pants of my second-hand, non-brand plastic fantastic blender with a half-sized food processor bowl attachment. Am looking forward immensely to making soup and managing to whizz it in fewer than 4 batches. Heaven.
Beside it is my Sunbeam Bakehouse breadmaker. This was the first 'new' appliance I ever owned, and it was after we'd been married for about 6 years. I am of two minds as to whether I love it. I used to. And Steve uses it daily to make bog-standard loaves of bread, so it has certainly proven itself to be very reliable and far better than any of the other cast-off breadmakers I've owned. I am getting quite fond of making bread by hand though, so I'm finding that I use it less these days. Still very handy though, so I included its picture. Also because I couldn't be bothered shifting the MultiPro from its suctioned wee feet which meant I couldn't crop the breadmaker out ;-)
Imperia Pasta Maker
I have sung its praises before, so I shan't repeat myself. Love it though. Don't be fooled by cheaper imitations. Like I was.
And here is my Shiny New Cast Iron Casserole Dish
... capitalising because I can. And because it deserves it.
Love being able to use the same pan to brown meat on the hob and then just bung it in the oven after adding the saucy bits. And I don't mean rude things.
It weighs a tonne, and I look forward to foisting it upon ungrateful future grandchildren and daughters-in-law when I buy new stuff, because this sucker would survive a nuclear holocaust. Or another major earthquake.
Is that statement in bad taste??
I took a picture of my Tupperware digital scales, because I think I do love them today. The thing is, though, that I have a passionate love-hate relationship with Tupperware. I adore their gleaming, stackable, matching fabulousness, but the disgraceful prices and exploitation of my obliging nature at parties makes me twitch. I think I have a Tupperware problem, actually, and don't EVER invite me to one of your parties, because I WILL buy too much, I WILL regret it, and no amount of shiny matching containers that I can't even microwave without breaking the fecking lids (and no, that's not covered under the infamous lifetime warranty) will make it okay. Although I do really like the free stuff. And my scales. And the wee lunchbox containers. And...
Right, I've been writing for ages, and actually I'm boring myself to tears, so if you've managed to stay tuned for so long, well done. If it was a Tupperware party, you'd be getting free egg separator. At least I think that's what it is for.