Something is happening to our baking, frying and dough shaping skills! :(
At least someone thinks so...
I think it's reached epidemic proportions because you can't turn around before another innovation in the field of bakeware, uuh, excuse me ... "Novelty Electrics" pops up!
Apparently, a slew of us no longer know how to pour cupcake batter into a muffin tin and place in an oven to bake, someone decided to make a gadget that bakes cupcakes. Phew!
Oh, and we can't cut dough into rounds that puff up when cooked, so we need a doughnut hole baking gadget. Seriously?
I learned that eggs need to be fried in circular molds in an Egg cooking gadget so they look like uniform flying saucers.
And dare you bake Brownies in anything but a pre-sliced and ready to serve sectioned pan? We've been convinced that 'edges' are tastier than the gooey center pieces, so apparently we need brownies that have 4 outer crust edges.
Finally, for the thousands of us who have tried and tried, but still can't manage to roll puff pastry around mini hotdogs to make pigs-in-a-blanket for the tailgater... FEAR NOT! -- the Perfect, Photogenic, Pesky, Personal Pigs-in-a-Blanket Baker has come to the rescue! (say that three times in a row...)
I don't mean to sound old-fashioned (when did that become an old-fashioned word?), BUT I likerolling dough with a wood rolling-pin that I've had for 15 years; I like shaping dough with my hands; I enjoy putting a tray full of dough thingies in my oven and having each creation be a tiny bit different from the one next to it.
I want my fried egg to be slightly asymmetrical, with fluted wings around the perfect golden center.
And if you don't like the gooey middle cuts of my Brownies...well, boo you!
I don't need a rice cooker because I AMa rice cooker! :D
The only 'gadgets' I own and use enough to warrant having them, are my Crock-pot (God Bless it's hard-working soul), and my new BOSS (I bow to its oil-less creations).
I own the perfectly acceptable and necessary kitchen electrics... a high quality mixer, a food processor, a toaster oven, a masticating juicer, waffle maker and a powerful blender.
And who has room for all those extra Novelty Baking doodads? Do they last more than 2 years before they fall apart? Are you really still cooking with Teflon coated cookware? I threw mine out 2 years ago, and that was rather belated.
I feel it's honoring the skills my mother taught me to knead, roll, cut, stuff and crimp dough. No one is going to rob me of the pleasure I get from doing so.
My son and his cousin were 14 when we sat around our kitchen table, and I taught them how to stuff grape leaves. They did a marvelous job. In 15 years if someone decides we need a grape-leaf-stuffing-and-rolling gadget, I hope those two refuse to buy it.
I hope they remember the day we sat together joking about the juices squirting all over as they rolled each leaf, and my telling stories about helping my mother make fabulous dishes that took 2 or 3 hours to complete. I hope they remember the pride they felt when I served our family the grape leaves at dinner, and praised the boys for a job well done.
And when they sit around their kitchen table teaching their children how to crimp a spinach pie or stuff grape leaves, maybe they'll have a story to tell about me.