I fell in love with small electric appliances shortly after my wife and I received our first 2 speed Electric Mixer, a General Electric Model, as a wedding present. This was in 1964 and by mid-1965, I got the hang of moving the mixer around the edge of the bowl and began turning out cake batters and mashed potatoes by the bucket load. It gave me such satisfaction that I traded that unit in for a 3 speed model which allowed me to refine my mixing capabilities by several degrees of proficiency. As we added additional appliances, I became obsessed with the things, leading to the subject matter of this column written near the end of January, 2015.
Last Fall, when Susie and I were preparing to come to Florida for the winter, as we always do we had a discussion about what needed to go with us and what needed to stay home. There is not room for many things, including small appliances. I have spoken before about my affinity for small appliances; a kinship I’ve felt since the days of my grandmother’s toaster; a model with a frayed cord and 2 little doors that opened on the sides, requiring a pause midway through the toasting process and a careful flipping of the bread. One careless move and you had a burned finger or two.
As soon as I was old enough to begin accumulating my own appliances, I did. Even today, an electric skillet, a Crock pot, mixer, electric knife and can opener, coffee pot, electric griddle and a toaster that will also boil an egg are all still in their boxes and stored away for the day when we finally decide we’ve had enough of living in Fiona II’s 400 square feet of living space where there is no room for such luxuries.
Before you ask why I have not mentioned waffle irons it’s because I do not have a waffle iron. I just cannot abide waffles; all that syrup standing around in those little waffle pockets making me queasy. However, there is an electric ice cream maker in my stash of future appliances. It’s not in a box though because it’s not new. I bought it at a yard sale. Susie does not share my kinship with these little wired beauties. She thinks I’m nuts. Is this weird or what?
She threw a fit some months ago when I came home with the latest new crockpot.
“We already have a crockpot under the sink and one in a box in the attic.”
“I know. This one is for the future when the other new one breaks.” I told her. “These things do wear out, you know.”
I have tried to explain to her that my obsession is perfectly normal; even one of her closest friends is called ‘the gadget lady’ because her kitchen is filled with things that even I have no use for; food dehydrators and the Ronco instant glass froster to mention a couple. If it’s in a box is marked ‘as seen on TV’ , this lady has it. There is even an autographed 8 x 10 photo of Ron Popiel hanging above the battery operated lid of her stainless steel trash can.
Susie sees no problem with the gadget lady so that’s why I couldn’t understand when she objected to taking our toaster oven to Florida. I love that oven but she does not care for it. Something in her distant past, I suppose, although I can’t imagine what it might be.
“We don’t have room for that thing.”
“I’ll make room for it outside when we get to Florida. It will really come in handy. “
“Duh,” I said. “It’s Florida. We practically live outside anyway.”
It took some persuasion but I finally won that argument and now our toaster oven is perched on top of the dorm refrigerator that sits outside on the patio. I haven’t used the oven yet this winter but that’s only because I’m saving it for a special occasion. I don’t want to wear it out, you know.
That stance resulted in a discussion yesterday as I was preparing our lunch; two pot pies and a salad. I was busy lighting the oven in Fiona’s gas range; RV ovens are peculiar in that lighting them requires sticking your head in the oven and lighting the pilot light with a match. This is something that Susie refuses to do because this operation is a bit sketchy. The pilot light is stubborn and there is usually a small buildup of propane before it finally catches, resulting in a small ‘POOF’ as the gas ignites.
“Why don’t you use the toaster oven? It’s perfect for that and an added bonus is that you won’t blow us all to kingdom come with that stove.”
I mumbled something about making messes with bubbling over pot pies. In reality I couldn’t bring myself to use my oven, I believe General Electric has built-in only so many uses of that appliance and I didn’t want to waste one of them on a pot pie, for God’s sake.
Instead, I went on my lighting the gas oven and was eventually successful in my efforts, losing only a bit of my eyebrows. Not to worry, however. My eyebrows always grow back at an astounding rate. I ask you, ain’t Mother nature grand?
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Note from Susie: , I’m sorry to tell you folks that this guy is so full of it. I don’t mind that toaster oven. Just don’t ask me to use it.