My hus­band’s end­less love of kitchen gad­gets

The Covington News - - LIFESTYLE - Paula Travis is a re­tired teacher from the New­ton County School Sys­tem. She can be con­tacted at pnbtravis@att.net.

One of the first col­umns I wrote was about my hus­band and his love of kitchen gad­gets. He hasn’t changed his ways.

For the cabin he bought a minia­ture pop­corn ma­chine. It looks like an old fash­ioned pop­corn pop­per that were in five-and-dime stores. It is red and has or­nate legs and stands about four feet high. He said he bought it for the grand­chil­dren. I’m not sure how it pops the corn as I have never seen it in use and to my knowl­edge it has never been used. For pop­corn any­way. It does serve as stor­age for his fish food.

Also for the cabin he asked for and re­ceived for Fa­ther’s Day a hot dog steamer. Two feet square and maybe three feet tall, and again bright red. You put wa­ter in the bot­tom, plug it up and steam the hot dogs. You can also put buns in the top com­part­ment and steam them as well.

I am not very fond of the hot dog steamer. One of my vices, as far as food goes, is a hot dog black­ened on the grill. I say vice be­cause I am sure a charred hot dog is bad for me in many ways. First, it is a hot dog and then I am eat­ing es­sen­tially ashes as well. I also like my hot dog buns heated on the grill and slightly crisp. Top the whole thing off with mus­tard and sweet rel­ish, maybe onions, and I am in food heaven (no ketchup, please).

He also pur­chased, right be­fore Christ­mas, an elec­tric grid­dle. (I am puz­zled as to why he buys things that sim­ply sub­sti­tute for a stove burner. We do have a stove.) He said he wanted to make pan cakes for the grand­chil­dren dur­ing Christ­mas when ev­ery­one was here. He did and they en­joyed them. But I don’t think he knew how many pan cakes one box of pan cake mix makes. I found sev­eral boxes when I was clean­ing my kitchen cab­i­nets. We are ready for next Christ­mas.

His lat­est pur­chase was, it’s hard to de­scribe, a plug in pres­sure cooker. It’s black and about the size of a tall, round crock pot.

Ac­cord­ing to my hus­band, it will cook a whole fryer (up to five pounds) in 17 min­utes. It will cook an ear of corn in three min­utes. He has cooked spare ribs and chicken quarters in it for me. He has also used it to make grits.

The thing is pro­gram­mable (all the more ir­re­sistible to my hus­band), and you can set it for what you want and when what­ever you are cook­ing is done, it will au­to­mat­i­cally switch to a set­ting that just keeps the food warm. Ap­par­ently, it is so smart (So he says; I have never tried it.), you can just throw things in the pot, turn the dial to stew (or what­ever you are cook­ing) and just turn it on and go away.

Now clos­ing it up and open­ing it up is some­what of a puz­zle. I think it has three sys­tems you have to lock and un­lock. And, of course, you have to wait for the pres­sure to abate suf­fi­ciently be­fore you can open it. It does have a sys­tem of let­ting off steam, but you have to be care­ful. He did scald him­self the first time he tried it.

He says it can also be used for can­ning. He might be hint­ing to me with that com­ment.

I don’t trust pres­sure cook­ers. Even new­fan­gled ones. I have never got­ten over the turnip greens on my ceil­ing when a pres­sure cooker he was us­ing ex­ploded. I don’t see me us­ing his new toy any time soon.

One thing which he has pur­chased re­cently I re­ally like. (Again, I don’t use it, but I like the re­sults when he uses it.) A Big Green Egg.

It cooks great and we have got­ten into the habit of us­ing it on Sun­day and cook­ing two meats on it. One we eat and the other we wrap up and put in the re­frig­er­a­tor to heat up for another meal. Two meats with noth­ing to clean up in the kitchen. That’s my kind of cook­ing.

PAULA TRAVIS

COLUM­NIST

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