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Published November 1st 2012
Think twice, do you really, really need it?
I've made some pretty stupid decisions in my time. Most of these are around stuff I see advertised and come to believe I can't do without. I follow their logic like lamb to the slaughter and eventually find myself sadder, poorer and wiser till the next shiny object shows its pointy head. Read my litany of woes and save yourselves, if it's not too late that is.
OMG, it's so cute! That was my first thought on seeing this pretty piece of work. No, I didn't just fall for the looks. I saw the nicely shredded, sliced, and chopped vegetables fall neatly into magical prisms before I decided this is just what I needed to take the drudgery out of routine kitchen duty. So, notwithstanding the fact that I already possessed an old faithful chopper that could do all of this, I went ahead and replaced it with this colourful contraption from hell.
What I know now: It's not that easy to set up. You have to choose from a range of dwarf sized attachments depending on how you want your vegetable cut. They are not easy to handle. They cut very small amounts and if you try to put in a bit more, it simply can't cope. Suitable for kids' kitchen games but not when grown-ups in a hurry want to get on with it.
Hair Epilator This stylish little equipment was supposed to take my body hair away while I was precariously perched at the edge of the bath tub with a silly grin on my face. They swore my boyfriend would have the same brainless smirk when he saw the results. Away I went to get my own hair epilator, paid a small fortune, and couldn't wait to get my legs all silky like they promised. On attempting to use it however, I snarled with pain and threw the evil contraption across the room in sheer terror. Even now I react with fright when I see this weapon of torture masquerading as a beauty aid and given pride of place in store shelves.
What I know now: Epilator hair removal is without exception the most painful way of achieving hairlessness. It is also expensive and inhuman.
All I wanted was home made French fries. Deep fryers were supposed to make that happen without any fuss. It was also touted to be the healthy option. Did someone say health? I was out the door and back with this piece of scientific genius that would take the pain and ill-health out of sitting down to glorious golden French fries. But they didn't warn me about the humongous amounts of oil that was required to fry a handful of chips. Nobody told me it would eat up electricity like a hungry lion goes through a poor deer's innards.
What I know now: The electric deep fryer requires you to use huge quantities of oil even to fry small quantities. This leaves you with a huge deep fryer oil disposal problem. It also does not heat the oil high enough to give you crisp fries, especially in the cooler months.
Hair Curler The wavy hair curler is yet another piece of junk I fell for because of advertisement. The model just ran it through her hair and came out with beautiful loose curls that I normally would have to go get at the salon. It looked as easy as 4, 3, 2 and so I decided I'd bite.
What I know now: Call me clumsy; I just couldn't do it. I could do the hair on either side of my face to some extent, but that was it. My friend said the back of my head looked like Federation Square.
Food Warmer The food warmer tray seemed a fantastic idea when I saw it in the department store. I hadn't seen any advertisement or even heard about it. It seemed brilliant to be able to leave your plate of food on it and keep it warm till you were ready to eat.
What I know now: Brilliant, yes, but rising electricity costs made me rethink the wisdom of leaving the food warmer tray turned on indefinitely. So, since it's a luxury rather than an absolute necessity I don't use it anymore.
Cast Iron Cookware It is a fact that Le Creuset cookware is a healthier option than Teflon-coated utensils. For this one reason I decided I was going to get me a couple of these even though I knew it was made of cast iron. I'm not denying that its stylish contours and colours added considerably to the temptation. But alas! I'm no heavy-duty Cinderella-type and restrict my efforts in the kitchen to a strictly need-to-do basis.
What I know now: Creuset cookware is very, very heavy. If you don't pay close attention, food may burn and stick to the bottom of the pan. Have to clean by hand as it does not fit into the dishwasher. However, if you have the muscles Le Creuset is definitely a good idea.
And while that is certainly not a comprehensive list of my not-so-bright impulses, the idea behind this review is that none of these appliances helped improve my life in any way. On the other hand, I lost money, self-esteem, and quite a bit of my wide-eyed naivete where consumerism is concerned.
I'll happily take the Silk Epil off yr hands!
Once bought an expensive Juicer machine but I don't drink enough juice to make it worthwhile (single!). Used it twice and it is boxed in cupboard now. These things shd have warning like "Only for families" on them.
Love it - ohhhh my god the epilator. Just like you I thought it was an amazing piece of technology when it first came out all those years ago - couldn't wait to get my hands on one. That is until I actually tried to use it - this thing could be used as a modern day torture device. It was cruel!!!
The other item I would add to the list would be a juicer - great idea, but hell to clean and you have to go into a second mortgage to buy enough fruit to get one small glass of juice.Thank goodness I brought mine second hand because I only used it once!
The best thing I have ever purchased for the kitchen was pizza stones - I use them all the time and they make the best, crispiest pizza's ever.
Great tongue in cheek article. Hilarious. This one was worthy of reading out loud, I thought. One, because I'd considered buying the Tefal mini food processor, but now you've shown me it only processed enough food for ONE of the seven dwarves, well, I'll give that one a miss, eh! The epilator, well, funny story about that one - my daughter bought a couple - good lurk that one, you need a different one for every area of your body!!! My daughter likes it fine; but not sure yet whether I'm up for forking out for another two (at least) for upcoming daughter who will also need the bloody lawnmowers, soon! Juicer - we get heaps of use out of - in the season. Need I go on: there's the ice cream maker (we were going to make all sorts of gourmet icecreams, thereby saving ourselves a fortune!) the poffertjes maker (mini pancakes) - once so far. But I agree, the pizza stone or pizza oven often gets used on a weekly basis. In the end, you can generally find your way around alot of what these inventions do, and they actually claim you can't do without them. You can. Simple. They're just so new and SHINY!
Hilarious because it's all sooo true.
Add to the list anything made by JML; I've been suckered into several of their products and not one has been capable of its blurb.
Vegetable spaghetti maker, what a joke - requires a whole carrot but only uses half. Enormous mess, enormous waste, enormously useless.
Rough skin remover, runs on batteries which expire very quickly. Advert shows soft skin in seconds, ha! Half hour later still rough, air thick with skin , mess , anger, leg cramp from holding weird positions to use it, throw across room in frustration and return to trusty pumice stone.
Who HASN'T bought stuff they regret as soon as they unpack them!? I was one of theose suckers who bought the Ab Circle Pro from the Morning Show determined that THIS was the answer to all my flabby bits! I probably used it half a dozen times before having all my body weight on my knees for half an hour almost crippled me!! It cost me just as much in postage to return the bloody thing as it did to "try it out"! I they say it's "free" to try - DON'T BELIEVE THEM!!!!! Nothing in life is free. I probably did this act of stupidity over a year ago now and my husband STILL reminds me of it!!! They (partners) never seem to remember THEIR crap buys, do they?
Great story, really made me laugh. I have a blender with a nozzle thingy at the front that I bought to make cocktails. There was more liquid on the floor than in my glass when it was first used. Now it just fills a corner in the cupboard. Hmmm...cocktails...maybe I should try again.
1) You use the oil in the deep fryer more one than once. But yes, you do have to heat all the oil to fry the food therein. I would have thought that was pretty obvious. And getting crisp fries involves using the right type of potato, not just the temperature of the oil. Some varieties of potato simply do not make crisp fries, period. Plus the chipped potatoes need to be dry before plunging into the hot oil.
2) Is your Le Cruset volcanic in colour (orange with red highlight)? If so, and as you have no use for them, I'll take them off your hands and put them to good use.
We won a hot dog maker once. It had a spike for bun warming and a container for heating the frankfurts. We used it once and were glad that we hadn't paid a cent for it! An absolute waste of kitchen cupboard space and cleaning time.