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My Top Kitchen Gadgets

I thought it might be fun to write about my most used kitchen gadgets.   I’ve already written about my close relationship to the soda stream (here).

Favourite gadgets are not always the things you think they are going to be when you buy them.  Pre children I had loads of things that were tucked away at the back of a cupboard, never to be used, and were eventually ebayed or thrown out.

Now I find myself buying some of the same gadgets that I threw out.  Having 6 people in the house means that having enough of any one thing to go around everyone can be difficult if you are buying from supermarkets, as you need to buy multiples of everything.

If you buy a standard large pie from a supermarket for a family of 4, thats one thing, but you need two pies for a family of 5 or 6, or someone has to do without and have something else.  Having to make two different meals is irritating for me.  I like one lot of cooking, and everyone eats the same things.

Yes, I might have one child who only eats the potatoes with cheese on top if its red meat, but basically I like one lot of cooking, and people can work around what is on offer.   Things like bread, cakes, scones, pizza, quiche etc etc are easily sorted at home and will be future gadget blogs. 

I love my Panasonic Breadmaker, my budget price Slowcooker (19.99 from Aldi), Kenwood Mixer, and DeLonghi coffee maker.

I have an electric hand blender, and it comes quite close to my now must have gadgets, but I would happily live without it.

The five must have’s are the ones I would now go out and urgently replace if they broke / wore out.    I am going to do individual reviews on each one over time, but at the moment, I would love to find out which gadgets other people think of as their “Must haves”.

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How a Soda Stream broke my addiction.

One of the things I used to do regularly was buy diet drinks.  I was totally addicted to them.  I would have a raging headache if I didn’t have any, so it was not good.  Last year, I decided that I needed to stop the ridiculous cost that I was spending monthly on drinks if I wanted any money to spend on anything else.

I was drinking up to 4 litres and sometimes more a day, and nothing else if I could help it.  Drinks also had to be super cold to be totally enjoyable, and give the breath taking feeling in the back of the throat when drinking.    All that caffeine and artificial sweetener was not doing me any good.  I had tried to stop a few times, but always gave in with the headaches and went back to my old habits.

The brand I liked, I won’t mention, but it was not easy to stop.   I had terrible headaches for about a week, and a sore throat.  I decided to stick it out, and had one or two cups of coffee a day to try and alleviate the caffeine withdrawal symptoms from such a long term caffeine habit.  Using the coffee did help, and I saved one for bedtime so that the headache would go down a little for trying to get to sleep.

I tried drinking water, which is just yeuch to me.  Ok, I know people like it, and it’s the lifegiving nectar, but I just don’t like it.  If I have to drink it, I will, but I’d rather have something flavoured.  I began to use cordials and got fed up of how boring it was.   Then I bought some bottled fizzy water and that was great with the cordials.

Carrying around lots of bottles again, nearly had me revert to picking up the brand I so desired, and on a whim, the next step was to buy a soda stream (just to try it, as you do).  I bought it when we were on holiday and it was reduced in price, so it was a bargain.

I didn’t really expect very much from it, and at first I thought it would be a flash in the pan, and believed I wouldn’t bother with it once the gas bottle ran out.  I didn’t bother with the soda stream syrups, and use the fizzy water it makes to add to lime juice and cordials.  I have even fizzed up some boring wine to make it more fun to drink.

I order enough CO2 bottles to last a few months at a time from Lakeland, and they cover the returns cost so it works out pretty cheaply now to have fizzy water on tap all the time.  The kids and Mr Scottish also use it a lot, and the buzzing is a frequently heard noise in this house.

I’ve kicked the caffeine and now use decaffeinated coffee, and I can have a caffeinated drink now and again without stressing about it any more.  Freedom from 20 years chained to a brand of diet drink may seem silly to some, but it was a big deal for me.

I love my soda stream, and it is THE most used kitchen gadget in our house next to the kettle, but shhhhhh, I would never admit that in RL.

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