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Thursday, 12 April 2018 06:44

Appliances are nothing to get sentimental over

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The last few months have been tough ones for my kitchen appliances. So tough, in fact, that it seems they made a suicide pact.

One by one, they have frappéd, ground, toasted, kneaded and refrigerated their last.
Then, one by one, they performed the mechanized equivalent of lemmings diving off a cliff. The blender, however, might’ve been pushed.
 In hindsight, though, I understand now that this is what’s to be expected when all your warranty cards expire at once. Without insurance, what, after all, is to prevent a toaster from choking on bread crumbs and bursting into flames? Or a bread maker from dribbling lube oil into the pumpkin loaf?
But it didn’t start there.
Instead, it began when the blender committed seppuku by throwing itself on its blades like a Samurai about to fall into enemy hands.
The enemy in question, however, was merely vanilla yogurt, 1% milk, and a handful of frozen mangoes.
Hardly so formidable a foe as to warrant such extreme action on its part. Yet, inferior an appliance as the thing ever was, it received a far better send-off -- a ride down the garbage chute -- than it deserved.
I guess I’m just sentimental that way.
But it’s hard not to have sore feelings when an entire carton of butter tart ice cream becomes the innocent victim in a vicious case of freezer meltdown.
Nor is it easy to feel un-maligned when the coffee grinder grinds its gears mid-way towards the morning’s first cup of grounds.
All in all, with no bread (on account of the breadmaker), no toast (on account of the toaster) and no coffee, I think I'm coping better than can be expected.
On the other hand, now that I’ve started an appliance graveyard, I suddenly have all this new-found space in my kitchen cabinets. And I’ve discovered a few things, too.
For one, I own a Starfrit Rotato: a Susie-homemaker thingamabob that, so far as I can tell, does nothing else but peel things and take up more than it's worth in space. Although maybe, just maybe, it could be coaxed into spinning some really skinny curly fries.
The problem is, I can’t, for my life, think where my Rotato came from.  I know I didn't buy it. Not when it takes up more space than a two pound bag of Starbucks and is still wearing its $21 price tag. Not when I have a perfectly good potato peeler that fits neatly in my utensil drawer.
Yet, there it is. And there it’s been, hiding behind the blender, presumably for years.
So today I'm taking it for a test drive for the sake of a pot of potato-based soup. But after that, you can probably expect to find it at a Value Village near you.
Curried Potato and Cauliflower Soup with Dumplings
1/4 cup butter
1 large white onion, chopped
4 cups peeled and diced baker potatoes
3 cups chopped cauliflower florets
8 cups chicken stock
1 Tbs mild curry paste
kosher salt/fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup sour cream
Melt butter in a stock pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook until translucent.
Add curry powder and cook 1 minute.
Add remaining ingredients, reserving 1 cup of the cauliflower, and bring to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are tender. Puree with a handheld blender. Season to taste. Add remaining cauliflower and return to heat.
For the dumplings:
In a small pot, bring 1 cup water, 2 tbs butter and 1 tsp salt to a boil. Remove from heat. Thoroughly stir in 1 1/3 cups flour. Let cool. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in two eggs, 1/2 cups chopped parsley or cilantro, 1 tsp ground coriander and 1 tsp pepper.
Drop dumpling batter by teaspoonfuls into simmering soup. Close lid tightly (no peeking!) and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.

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