Published on June 10th, 2013 | by Ann Rickard1
Ann’s Gadget Fix
I’m banning myself from watching infomercials.
It’s not that I have a shopping problem. Actually, I’m not keen on shopping at all. It’s just that I’m a sucker for a gadget.
“I could happily go all the way back to California to find the Placerville Hardware store again”
When I see the benefits of a kitchen gadget or appliance being so gloriously extolled on an infomercial, I simply have no resistance.
You could sell me anything for the kitchen.
I watched a homely American woman on one infomercial recently who showed me how genuinely non-stick her gemstone range of cooking pots was. Homely she might have been but when she told me I could cook without oil and just clean the pans with a paper towel, she reeled me right in.
It didn’t matter that she cooked terrible food (a ghastly looking lasagne) or that she demonstrated the remarkable non-stick claims by melting a big piece of plastic in a frypan and then peeling it cleanly off, it’s just that she convinced me my life couldn’t function smoothly unless I owned this range.
Most of my infomercial purchases let me down but these pots did not. (Although I have yet to test them with a big piece of melted plastic. Something fun to look forward to).
My kitchen cupboards and drawers are full of useless gadgets. The few that could be of some use I can’t find for all the other junk crammed around them.
Take the potato masher I bought recently.
It was different to the four I already had in that it did a bouncy action when you pressed it, much like a pogo stick. It promised me – no, it guaranteed me – lump-free potatoes. It lied.
I have an avocado slicer I’ve used once (so much easier to slice by hand), a lettuce spinner that is never used (never wash lettuce) and a pair of scissors with a dozen blades to chop herbs in a cup (as if).
One especially useless gadget I have is a plastic hook you insert in a prawn to efficiently remove the little gunky vein in one swift, clean movement. All it removed was my fingernail.
Several years ago, in a small town called Placerville in California (yes, I know nobody has heard of Placerville) I came across a fascinating old-fashioned hardware store. It was 150 years old and had creaky wooden floors and rolling ladders attached to the ceiling to reach high stock.
It was chock-full from floor to ceiling with up-to-the-minute gadgets and – this was the really quirky bit – they were all over the store in ad hoc fashion next to feather boas, diamond rings and toilet brushes. You don’t believe me but it’s true.
I spent a happy few hours in the Placerville Hardware store buying a cherry stoner that doubled as an olive pitter, a long thin skewer to prick an eggshell during boiling to test if it was done to your liking, an implement that could brush, wash and peel a potato all in one fast motion, and a scary looking device that mashed a banana and grated chocolate at the same time.
I could happily go all the way back to California to find the Placerville Hardware store again if I hadn’t vowed to fight and conquer my gadget addiction.
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