More Kitchen Love!

So many sad things happening in the world, and I seem to be coping by not turning the news on, ever, and closing my eyes when I see any link on social media that isn’t a picture of a baby animal or a recipe. It’s maybe not the best coping strategy, but it seems to be working for me.


We interrupt this program to bring you a picture of Barkley.


And also a cute pineapple named Piney.

 Also I’m having a lot of solo kitchen dance parties and karaoke parties. I’m blaming it all…on the nights on Broadway! I’m in week two of the Kitchn Cure, and this week was all about appliances. One of the specific tasks was to clean the oven, and to be honest, I think I’ve only cleaned my oven two or three times in my whole life. Not too long ago, I used the self-cleaning function, which was a huge mistake. I spent the hours terrified that the oven would somehow blow up due to excessive heat, and I also did not have the foresight to do this job in the summer, so the entire house was filled with a terrible, choking smell. After the whole process, I expected the oven to be a glossy shrine, but it didn’t look that much different, to be honest. It was no fridge cleaning experience, let me tell you.

Still. I signed up for the Kitchn Cure and the Kitchn Cure I will do, dammit. I bought a fume-free, probably carcinogenic oven cleaning product, followed the directions, and…it looks marginally better. AT LEAST I CAN SAY I CLEANED MY OVEN. I also cleaned the stovetop and hood fan, but you really can’t tell all that much.


Maybe it was clean enough before.

This week’s assignments were also to clean and evaluate all small appliances, and then BUY  small appliance if needed. I haven’t bought one yet but I am planning to purchase a crockpot in the near future. I know what you’re thinking, you don’t already have one?, and the answer is no, I do not. I know! Just when you thought I had every small appliance in the world except an electric can opener.

Digression: is an electric can opener not the most ridiculous invention ever? How many cans are we opening here, people, to necessitate an electronic process?

In any case, at some point I will be looking for a crockpot, so any advice on what to look for is greatly appreciated. Because talking about cleaning appliances is the most boring thing ever – I’m putting myself to sleep just typing this – I am going to just talk about my favourite small appliances. First, to the left of the stove is my stand mixer, which is a wonderful piece of equipment. What I did without it I do not know. It’s a thing of beauty, and it even has a timer for those recipes that are weirdly exact (“Beat at medium for 3 minutes.”).


Coffee maker and toaster; I don’t think I need to tell you why they are favourite appliances.


Food processor and Vitamix.

A few people have asked me if the Vitamix is a worthwhile investment, and my answer is that it depends. For me, it is, because I’m always making weird things like cashew cheese or nut butters or green smoothies that really require a high powered blender. It’s great for soups and sauces as well. However! It is NOT interchangeable with a food processor. If I’m making something thick, like a hummus or a tahini ball or a mousse pie, then I only use the food processor. I just don’t find that the Vitamix does as good of a job getting the consistency right, and also it is a bitch to get thick stuff out of the bottom, around the blade. It’s worthwhile to me to have both because it’s used for 10 smoothies a week, plus a food processor just does not do a good job pulverizing cashews or almonds for creams or cheeses, which is a big thing for me. Before you buy, really evaluate what you want it for, because a blender with less power might work just fine, or a food processor might be a better bet.

The other two appliances that I like, but don’t use enough to justify counter space are my dehydrator and my juicer. They live in my pantry downstairs, and the dehydrator is set up so that I never have to move it. It’s almost that time of the year again, when Concord grapes are in season and my mother-in-law will inevitably gift me with forty pounds worth. Homemade grape fruit leather is pretty much snack ever, and I’m looking forward to that.

Thus ends my discussion of small appliances. So, tell me, what kind of crockpot should I look for? What are your favourite small appliances? How often do YOU clean your oven (i.e., am I disgusting and lazy for almost never doing it?).


  1. I mentioned this on twitter, but I rarely use our crockpot because I work outside the home and I swear to god, every recipe I think my family might enjoy says to cook for between 4 and 6 hours. I’m out of the house for 9 hours on work days and don’t like the idea of leaving meat unrefrigerated in the crock pot for 3-5 hours until a timer starts the crockpot (I’m old school like that).

    My most favorite appliances are definitely my stand mixer and stick blender. I pink puffy heart my stand mixer and I don’t even bake nearly as often as you do. Also during winter months the stick blender is my BFF for two reasons: broccoli/cauliflower/other thick soups from scratch and spaghetti sauce. I love that appliance so much from November to May I’d marry it.

  2. I use my crockpot almost entirely for spaghetti sauce with either chicken or already-cooked sausage so when I get home I just have to cook noodles and I have a nice meal. (In my world “nice meal” means anything that I can drink wine with and not feel foolish!) As a non-cook I wouldn’t have a real preference for a specific crockpot but might suggest that if you live somewhere that you lose power often (like me) that you should not get a digital one as it won’t come back on when the power does.
    I’ve also found that the ones I’ve had I’ve been able to turn on in the morning to the “Keep warm” setting and when I get home things are just perfectly cooked, rather than the timer with the uncooked chicken.

  3. I had a man in to do mine. It was the best £68 I have EVER spent. I’m now currently saving £1.35 a week to get the man back next year. My oven is showroom sparkling fresh again! I don’t want to cook in it!

  4. Um. Had a man in to clean my oven!!! My slow cooker was £7 from Asda ( Walmart ) it has a high and a low setting and it was the best seven quid ever! I wouldn’t go for a branded crockpot one unless they are in the sale either! Baked potatoes in the slow cooker are divine!

  5. Heather Hultgren says

    I prefer a medium/small (circular) crock pot. I have a ‘top of the line’ stainless steel gigantic (oval) crock pot that is absolutely useless. The heating element is too hot, so things cook far too quickly. And to fill that sucker would require more food than our family of 5 could eat.
    My older, blue and white ceramic crock pot was smaller (I could cook a small roast and it would be so tender and done to perfection) but I could only fit a small roast in, therefore I thought I needed something bigger. Should have kept the old one.

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