There’s been a “piece of research” recently that says that we all lots of gadget appliances lying around our kitchens that either never have come out of the box, or have only been used once or twice. Things like toasted-sandwich makers, food processors, coffee makers, bread machines, ice-cream makers, etc.

In one sense I’m not too surprised, but we actually don’t have too much of this sort of stuff just lying around. The only complete diaster was a yoghurt maker, which never worked reliably, and even when it did left you with litres of yoghurt to eat within two days. We’ve got a toasted sandwich maker, which admittedly doesn’t get used very often (a few times a year), but when it does it’s because a toasted cheese sandwich is exactly what you want. To be fair, its crown is in danger from croque-monsieurs, which I discovered you can make by dry-frying a cheese and ham sandwich, and ends up absolutely delicious.

On the other hand, our bread maker has been a huge success; I make a loaf somewhere between once a week and once a fortnight, and it’s great. You can experiment with all sorts of stuff too – we’ve banana bread, chilli bread, rosemary bread, potato bread, carrot and coriander bread… all lovely! And the smell is just heaven… waking up to the smell of freshly baked bread. The only disaster I had is when I got the sugar and salt the wrong way round, and ended up with a salty brick! 🙂

The food processor and blender get plenty of use, although I would concede the latter was mainly used for a certain young man of the house, and now he has “grown-up” food it doesn’t get used nearly as much. It’s still great for smoothies and milkshakes, however. The food processor tends to only be used for soup now, although we did make parsley pesto a couple of weeks ago.

The coffee maker – H’mm, now that has had a lot of use in it’s time, but these days does just live in the cupboard. Its problem is two-fold; (1) It’s a pain to clean, and (2) cafetierres make equally nice coffee IMO. If you want to the whole frothy milk cappuccino thing, or indeed the expresso thing, then it’s top – but we hardly ever do. Maybe if we had room on the worktop for it, it would be used more?

And, I would admit, I’m sorely tempted by the prospect of an ice-cream maker… I’ve made ice-cream once or twice, and I’m a huge ice cream fan in any case. I got my sister one for Christmas, so I might have to see if was a good idea, or is just a white elephant…