Monday, February 15, 2010

My Name Is Shrinky, And I Am An Addict

So, guess who got a deep-fat-frier for Valentine's day?

And who says romance is dead?


(Never mind, I got him a scuba-diving lesson in the Irish sea - and well, we all know how treacherous the currents in there can get, now don't we? Cue evil cackle..)

Oh, never mind me, the truth is we both got what we asked for, and after over twenty years of celebrating this day together, I say sod the hearts and flowers, give me something more practical any day. 'Sides, we did still manage a walk on the beach (as witnessed by my wind-blown image up there) AND an evening meal out on our own, which is not so very a common event for the pair of us, and very nice it was too.

Mind, I am non too impressed with this new gizmo of mine, so far me onion rings and straw chips are far too limp and soggy, maybe it's the oil, the temperature, my batter, or I'm using the wrong darn quantities - who knows? All I can say is my time tested and trusted old method of deep-frying (in a pan with a lid), has never played me up anywhere near as much as this sleek up-grade is currently doing.

Which kind of brings me to beg the question of, if it ain't broke, why must I always have to go and fix it? Not the fat-frier you understand (which may very well be defective) but my old, perfectly sound, no-fuss, and far more reliable, place-on-the-stove-and-heat-up-chip-pan, the one which has trustfully served me for so long and so well?

I'll tell you why.

I'm a sucker for kitchen-appliance envy.

There, I've said it.

Take my meat-grinder/mincer debacle of only a few months back. I've been using my dear-departed mother's ancient old cast-iron, clamp to the table, hand-crank mincer for more years than I can even care to recall. It's simple, effective, in fine working order, and never, ever lets me down. So naturally, I have to go and seek out an up-grade to a full bell-and-whistles, super-de-luxe, electric meat grinding dream version, don't I?

Why, I hear you ask?

Because I'm never darn-well satisfied with what I've already got, that's why.

See, this one promised to make sausages (be still, my beating heart)! I saw it on E-bay, read the blurb, and wanted it with a passion. This, I felt sure, given some skins and a meat-cleaver, would provide simply hours of happy fun for my unusual and warped entertainment. I could hardly wait for it to arrive.

Admittedly, it wasn't the model I'd originally ordered, that had been mistakenly sent out to some other hapless house-wife in Italy. I, in turn, got hers, followed by a panic-stricken long-distance phone-call from Germany, explaining the mix-up.

Long story short, I agreed to keep what was sent, and to pay the additional costs. 'Cept soon as I did, the bloomin' thing conked out on me. Numerous emails and exchanged telephone conversations later, it was agreed we'd split the cost of postage so I could send the monster back to whence it came. But, despite the full refund, I still found myself over twenty pounds out of pocket. Mind you, I did get a lovely Christmas card, and his broken-English emails are still arriving fast and thick, though I do rather question if the photo's he claims of himself are actually honest..

Oh, and don't even talk to me about the latest Chef/Cook books in the shops. No matter how many I get, it's still my decades old "Delia's Complete Cookery Course" I end up turning to in moments of self-doubt, most of the others are lucky if they ever get called upon even once before they start to gather dust upon the shelf.

I have drawers and cupboards full of those all-purpose-slicers, corer's, peelers, zesters and dicers that are forever appearing on the telly. Non I actually ever use. I'm just an advertiser's dream.

I have THREE electric whizzy-rounders, as well as a double hand whisk. Two are virtually useless, it's the one my parents-in-law gave us for our first wedding anniversary that I still fall back on.

With some women it's shoes, for others it's handbags. Me? I can't pass a kitchen shop without being sucked in for hours.. I came out from one clutching a brand new jamming pail the other day, despite already having a perfectly serviceable (and barely used) one sitting at home. Sad, or what?

And knives - OMG, I loooove knives! I can't get enough, the bigger and sharper, the better. The shop assistant at my local store is beginning to eye me warily these days, I fear I might be getting a bit of a bad rep with her.


I wonder if there is any rehab available for this rather twisted addiction of mine?


She Writes said...

This used to me. But, lately, I crave shoes :).

Mushy said...

Thank God I no longer bid on Hotwheels on eBay! Had a mother-in-law once that filled her basement with junk from Home Shopping Network.

BTW...coming to visit you in November! Well, really we're coming to do a tour of Ireland then, but I'll be closer!

BRUNO said...

My Mom & Dad had one of those hand/arm/back-powered #2 Keen-Kutter grinders. I was it's "motor".

At ten-years of age, I was startin' to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger...!

PRH....... said...

Damn! At least I got my wife Roses...of course I sent her out to pick out the dozen she liked best....that way I knew she would be happy... I think? :}

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Your picture is gorgeous. Warm regards, Philip

Akelamalu said...

Love your photo!

I like kitchen appliances too and have some I've only used once and relegated to the back of the cupboard i.e. sandwich toaster!

Don't mention knives - MWM had a thing about kitchen knives and when he was working he'd quite often come home saying excitedly "I've bought you something!" only to pull a kitchen knife out of his briefcase! I started to get a bit worried to be honest, especially when he started talking about the film Psycho! LOL

Sandi McBride said...

I just bought a tabletop oven that will cook a 16 pound turkey from the frozen state in less than 1 1/2 hours...say wot??? Can't wait for it to get here, cause I went out and bought my sixteen pound turkey for just such an will sit next to the rotisserie and the kitchen aide food processor and the kitchen aid mixer, complete with food mincer and grinder, slicer and glad I'm not in this addiction alone...

Anonymous said...

er... when is your next cookery class? Don't forget to go to it!

Leslie: said...

I got lilies...and no appliances. For me that's a good thing since I don't really cook - I thaw or nuke. lol Maybe you could open your own "Good Home Cooking" Shoppe. ;)

Nancy said...

Well as soon as you find one, let me know. Not only do I love kitchen gadgets and cookware, now I adore All Clad cookware. It's not exactly in my budget these days, but it doesn't stop me from gazing adoringly in Williams Sonoma when I was just supposed to be passing by. Geeze

TechnoBabe said...

I've never used a deep fat fryer, but I do believe you have to get the oil to a high temp before you throw any food into it or it gets soggy. Sounds like you and your husband had a nice time together, a walk on the beach and out to dinner together. Alone. No kids. Glad you had the time together. The picture on the beach looks great. We all have our addictions. Mine is books. At least you do cook. I've seen some of the pictures of some things you cooked and I would call you a gourmet cook.

simon said...

hahahaha! I dont like Valentines day at all.. So we dont do anything on that day

SJ said...

No I think this is a hopeless condition. Now put that knife DOWN! We can settle this like gentlemen!

Kit Courteney said...

Fab pic.

Fab post.

As ever :0)

Mickle in NZ said...

Oh Shrinky, you've really got me laughing. My favourite shop in the town my Folks retired to is a glorious kitchen shop named Table Pride. I visit whenever I stay up there and always buy something (often multiple somethings) to bring home.

Best of wotsit with the deep fryer - Husband might need it coz the Irish Sea is bloody cold!

Huggles, Mickle and Zebbycat

Shrinky said...

Ah Amy, the last footwear I bought was a pair of bloomin' wellies (wistful sigh..)!

Guess we all have our little Pecadillo's, eh (grin)? Give me a wave from Ireland, I'll be watching..

Oh Bruno, this really makes me laugh, yeah, it can be quite a work out to operate one of these, can't it?

Pat, such a romantic you are, bet she was just thrilled to bits.. (shaking my head).

Hi Philip, thanks for stopping by.

Ake, that made me smile. Reminds me of a time when my brother (who is a chef) was working temporarilly in London for a few weeks, he carried his knives there and back with him. Travelling home late one night on the tube, a bunch of threating characters got on and sat on either side of him. He casually reached into his bag and cradled his butchers hatchet on his lap. Oddly enough, they exited at the next stop!

Oooh, it's comiong up, isn't it Chewy? Thanks for the reminder - wink!

Hahaha, oh Sandi, seems I've found myself a soul mate here (grin)!

Hi leslie, aw lillies? You really are a lucky girl. I don't know about a shop, but now the kids are older it's fun teaching them how to cook - my little sis' has got in on the action too - she now comes over every second Friday to learn a new "dish of the day", it's something I've come to really look forward to.

Oh Nancy, you sound a hopeless case, but I can deeply empathise. One day, when our ships come in, eh?

TechnoBabe, I assume you at least read the books you buy, which makes them a sound investment. I wish my family would stop buying me fiction, because I rarely get through to the end - I don't like to say it's such a personal choice to select, but it is, isn't it? Hope you and hubby had a lovely day together on Sunday.

Shame on you, Simon! (Slapping your wrists..)

SJ, who you calling a gentleman, here? (Wink)

Hi Kit, nice to see you back!

Michele, haha, love that sentiment about the Irish sea.. let's hope he finds a wet suit, eh? (Giggle)

mrsnesbitt said...

I am with you on this! I have many of my nana's old cooking utensils, favourite being a green jug I remember nana making the gravy in. Spout is glued back on but I still use it! As you know I am currently big on the cooking front (just big, thanks to the cooking) lol! so love a good rummage in the cookery shops, yes love em!

Suldog said...

It's funny. I do most of the cooking, but MY WIFE loves to buy new gadgets and such for me to use. I'm perfectly happy to keep using what I have; I've never asked anyone to buy me anything. But, let George Foreman come out with a new, bigger grill, and MY WIFE is likely to buy it. And we'll use it a couple of times, then put it under the counter in the cabinet and never look at it again until we have to move.

Give me a frying pan, a stove, a couple of pots, A loaf pan, and maybe a roasting pan. That's all I need. Ever.

~Babs said...

Ooooh,I've been busy. The Boyfriend is out of town, and I've been digging out from the bottom of the cabinet.
Old Double Boiler, (about 1935)
2 George Foremans
3 heavy iron skillets
and various small appliances. These are going up to the attic, to join the several meat grinders, choppers,the garage sale finds of egg poachers, egg beaters, spatulas, and timers.
It's that time again. I have no cabinet room left for necessary cookware.
Does he cook? NEVER.
But he MIGHT,,,,

Jay said...

I have two kitchen gadgets which I love; my pressure cooker and my salad spinner. You can keep the rest, and just give me the basic stuff. I have a positive antipathy to gadgets, because they tend to need a darn sight more in the way of cleaning, maintenance and storage than the original hand-driven items.

But knives! Aaaaah, now you're talking! Though bigger isn't necessarily better, and some of my favourite (extremely sharp) objects of my affection are quite tiny.

You look great!

San said...

There's gotta be a Twelve Step program for such an insatiable craving, Shrinky. Then again, what if it's a chemical imbalance in the brain? Maybe you could take meds. Or better yet, enroll in the Twelve Step and get a prescription. Or you could just take the simple approach--go out and buy a new garlic press. Garlic is curative. And garlic presses even more so. Gadgets will cure what ails you. It's a vicious circle, lass. Pulverize your sorrows in a new juicer. Or a blender. And add some vodka.

gaelikaa said...

Well, you know, they say the old fashioned ranges (with coal) are still the best for cooking. Not exactly eco-friendly, but there you are.

Great post as always, Shrinky.

Shrinky said...

Hi Denise, love that thought of the green mended jug, it's the things passed down tous that holds the most value, isn't it?

Jim, you seem to have got it sussed, maybe I should take a leaf out of your book?

Hahaha, Bab's, hubby did the same thing to me when I went to the States last year, I came back to find all my cupboards cleared and pristine - it broke my heart!!

Jay, how does it not surprise me you have a knife fetish, too? (Giggle)

San, your name is short for sanity, isn't it? Such perfect sense you make (grin), thank you my friend.

Gaelikka, I still recall my grandmother's old fire range, she always kept it polished and gleaming, not only did she cook on it, it also provided a ready supply of hot water, too!

piktor said...

Dear Shrinky,

If it is of any help, Julia Child was asked what her favorite dish was and she answered "Baked potato with butter".

I have a new post

FHB said...

Nothin' wrong with good cutlery. Mom swears by a little frydaddy cooker. Not too big. Not too small.

I've never had a huge thing for ebay, but there's a few web sites that have made money from me with gun parts. One in England too.

Anna said...

Shrinky, OMG you are real addict, lol, but hey it can be cured. And you love knives, just like my husband. Or may be he likes the so much, because I never let him buy a good set. Sometimes it makes me laugh looking at him, when he looks at the knife sets, lol, its like being in love again. Oh Shrinky you are just too much....Anna :)

imbeingheldhostage said...

I'm laughing over here-- probably because I so get the appliance fetish. I got number plates for Vday-- thrilled to bits. and you thought you had romance all locked up ;-)

secret agent woman said...

I have a mild pull toward electronic gadgetry - iPhone, tiny travel laptops, cameras. But I think I've got it mostly under control. I've never cared about shoes until this year and suddenly I want to spend too much time in shoe stores.

Snooty Primadona said...

My name is.... never mind. I, being of the age of 57, can guarantee you that I have at least one weird addiction for all 57 years. Thankfully, I don't have to roam the streets with a shopping cart. Yet. I am in a recovery program, but so far it just pisses me off... Those people are entirely too happy.

Mr. Snooty once again brought me the flowers he KNOWS I hate. He was lucky to make it through that night with his dignity in tact, much less anything else. 32 years of marriage & he still hasn't figured it out, LOL! I'm in therapy but he isn't. What's wrong with this picture?

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