There’s power in power tools

I am the queen of household appliances. If there is a device that does something really cool to food, I probably own it. Or I’ve tried it and dismissed it with a flick of my stirring spoon as non-functional and basically not worth my time.

Even more than the thought of owning an appliance that is money-back-guaranteed to make my work in the kitchen easier, I absolutely live for the moment when I realize that the appliance actually lives up to its informercial’s outrageous claims.

Exhibit A: The Keurig Coffeemaker
Before I ever tried a cup of coffee from this machine, I dismissed it as the ultimate in yuppiedom. The thought of paying almost fifty cents per cup of coffee in my own home was deplorable. Paying three dollars for the barista to make it at an unnammed nationwide coffee chain that rhymes with Blarphux is somehow reasonable, but doing the work at home had better amount to nothing more than a $4 bucket of pre-ground Folgers.

Then I received one as a Christmas gift and had to try it. I originally decided that since I rarely drink more than one cup of coffee per day, it wouldn’t be that big an expense. And I loved it! My whole reason for getting out of bed each morning, other than the love of my devoted family of course, revolves around pressing the button and letting the water heat up while I stand with my mug and coffee pod at the ready. I’m working on teaching the dog to press the button so the water will already be hot when I come downstairs, but so far he’s fighting me on teaching him to brush his own teeth so he can place the pod in the machine with his mouth before getting my mug out of the cabinet for me.

When I decided the coffee was actually bordering on life-altering and amazing, I started having a second cup but justified it by reusing the pod from my first cup. After all, they are one-time-use pods and are just going to waste, so running the water through it again isn’t any more expensive. But the alarmingly awesome taste just wasn’t there the second time so I justified the second pod by likening it to a crack addiction. If I were on drugs it would be a whole lot more expensive and bad for my health. I’m actually saving my family money by having a second coffee pod instead of buying drugs. And they just don’t appreciate it.

Exhibit B: The Soda Stream Club Soda Maker
Okay, this one was completely for my husband. He buys cases of club soda at a time because that’s his favorite drink but it’s sometimes very hard to find in our small town. That dilemma, coupled with the fact that he is impossible to buy Christmas presents for, led me to purchase the Soda Stream. And it’s wonderful! Imagine, who knew that putting carbon dioxide in water made it bubbly? Is this some trade secret that only soda factories knew about? Well, cue the evil laughter, the secret is out and now anyone can have fresh soda at the touch of a button by carbonating ordinary tap water at any time of the day or night. Mwah ha ha ha!

Exhibit C: The Corn Dog Maker
Yes, there’s a sucker born every minute. Fortunately, this device actually works so I can claim I am no sucker. The concept of this doodad is that you can have baked corn dogs that contain far less fat than regular corn dogs. First, the inventors of this product forgot that the dog part of the corn dog already contains almost 20 grams of fat. What further harm can deep frying it do? Apparently, lots, because thanks to this little device that looks like a George Foreman Grill (which I own, by the way) you can reduce the fat in a corn dog from Instantaneous Heart Attack down to Kills You Slowly levels. The great thing about this is you can use it to cook other things—I despise a culinary one-trick-pony—like pancake on a stick with the sausage in the middle, reduced fat jalapeno poppers, and my personal favorite, Buffalo Turds. Google it.

And finally, Exhibit D: The Egg Genie
I have been on a quest ever since watching the movie Julie and Julia to make the perfect poached egg. Since I am not a moron, the egg poaching part was easy and I mastered it in no time. What I have not figured out is how to make poached eggs for three people every single morning without having lots of clean-up to do. While at the overpriced every-gadget-in-the-world megachain that rhymes with Fred, Math, and Bee Pond, I bumped into (literally) a display for a new as-seen-on-TV gadget that claims to cook soft/medium/hard boiled or poached eggs by simply filling the resevoir to the correct level with water, plugging it in, and walking away. I’m a sucker for all things that let me walk away, so I bought one. Plus, it was the exact same price as the non-stick pan that only poaches eggs, so already this gadget was a workhorse by the simple fact that it can do the boiling thing too. And it works! Beautifully! We’re now eating boiled eggs three meals a day and at snack times! We’re going to have to invest in a high-yield chicken! Cue the applause.

While I reign magnanimously over my kitchen with my wooden spoon sceptor, it is a good thing to watch various devices do my bidding from across the tiled floor. The Roomba vacuums the house, the Flowbee cuts my husband’s hair (okay, we don’t own that one, he’s bald), and the Egg Genie prepares our dinner. Life is good.

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