Thursday, March 6, 2008

Buying Kitchen Gadgets (ooh ooh! grunt!)

As a husband and a father, there is one inescapable truth that my family, my friends and I, must deal with on a daily basis. It has been a part of my daily existence since I was born. My wife considers it to both a boon, and a bane. You see, I'm a man.

Males of the species have had certain obligations since the time of Adam. We're expected to hunt, kill wild beasts for food, and bring it back to the tribe. We're expected to know how to use and make tools and gadgets for our work. We are expected to care for our families.

Not much has changed in all those years. It's a typical stereotype that all men are into tools and gadgets, even today. Not many of us use clubs and flint knives anymore. When we think of tools and gadgets, we normally think of saws, hammers, axes, wrenches, screwdrivers and all of the fun toys that are associated with mechanics and handymen.

It's no different when it comes to the kitchen, though. Today's society has just made it easier. Instead of hunting in the forest, we go to the local grocer. Instead of wielding clubs and spears, we wield credit cards and cash.

And we still love tools! Watching a handyman drool and grunt over a new circular saw or cordless power drill has become a cliché. It's no different for men who love to cook. We love our tools. They just happen to take the form of skillets, chef's knives, stock pots, and blenders. It's just as dangerous for me, as a foodie, to go into a local kitchenwares store as it is for a handyman to go into a hardware store. Even if we go in “just to look,” chances are we're coming out with some new tool or gadget.

Women are not immune to the power of the kitchen gadget, either. They just don't grunt and make "ooh ooh" noises like men do.

When buying equipment for your kitchen, you need be careful. Frugality doesn't always mean spending less money. Sometimes, buying an inexpensive brand, just because it's inexpensive, creates a “false economy.” You might think you've saved money but, the item will have to be replaced more often. You'll end up spending more money in the long run than if you'd bought the better quality, more expensive, stuff in the beginning.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want you to break your bank account to buy kitchen equipment. Just buy the best you can afford. Good equipment will last a very long time, make food preparation easier, save you time, and make cooking more fun.

You don't need to buy a whole bunch of equipment all at once, either. If you're just starting out, keep your purchases to the bare minimum you need. Over time, you can collect more pieces as you need them. This helps you spread out the cost and prevents your cabinets and counter tops from becoming so cluttered with equipment you don't use that there's no room to cook!

Once you buy a new piece of kitchen equipment, use it! Make stuff with it! That's why you bought it in the first place, right? Get cooking! Where's the fun in having cool tools if you don't play with them ... um ... use them once in a while?

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