RHYS: As I said in an earlier post this week, I have been weeding out unused and unwanted items. Among the things I found stored in my garage was a big box of kitchen stuff, including these three attractive molds. They date back to the good old days when I served ham and asparagus in aspic with the asparagus arranged like spokes of a wheel, or when I made, gulp, jello salad with fruit in it. It has been many years since I made jello anything, except for after upset stomachs. When I was first married the older housewives gave me recipes that included either jello, cream of chicken soup or cool whip.
So how about you, Reds and readers? Which items around your house have become obsolete? Has your style of cooking changed dramatically over the years? Do you ever use jello, cream soup or cool whip?
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Not obsolete, but I've gotten rid of a number of cooking items my dearly-missed late father-in-law gave us. He liked my cooking, and somehow that translated in his head to me wanting gadgets - usually ones that implied I would be making convenience food from scratch. Thus: a pizza stone, an enormous stand-alone rotisserie, a pasta cutting machine (for those times I, a working mother of three, wanted to toss together some home-made pasta for my family,) a large plastic rolling pin that could be filled with ice... the list goes on. I would always thank him profusely, jam the latest item in the back of the walk-in pantry, and try to remember to get it out when he visited. I don't believe I dared actually give the various things away until after he had died.
As to obsolete ingredients, we use spray "whipped cream" out of a can, unless it's a very fancy dessert for guests. I do still use Cream of ----- soup in several favorite recipes, including He Man Tuna Noodle Ding Dong and Mom's 1960's Pot Roast. My concession to modernity is to buy the low-sodium versions. Finally, I don't make Jello anymore, although it was a huge favorite when my kids were young. One cooking item I got rid of that I regret was an amazing Jello brain mold, (that would be a plastic mold, that when filled with pink Jello, creates a facsimile of the human brain, not some neurological fungal disease) purchased at the Jello Museum itself, in Le Roy, NY. I didn't use it and didn't use it.... and the year after I gave it away Youngest came looking for it for a science presentation. Sigh.
HALLIE EPHRON: Isn't that always the way it is? You don't need it until you throw it away.
My 'don't need' is a meat grinder. The kind that you attach to the counter. I've used it to make pate (layers of duck, veal, pork) but not for years. I really should throw it away but it was my mother's. Also a green porcelain standing milkshake machine which makes the world's greatest milkshakes, but do you know how many calories are in one of those babies? Still, I'm keeping it because it's swell looking.
And weirdly I've been acquiring cast iron frying pans, now that I get the hang of how to use them and why they are so extolled by cooks, and getting rid of teflon or circulon or whatever coated frying pans that really are junk.
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Ah. The bread machine. GONE. I used it a couple of times, and it did make a lovely fragrance, and delicious bread, but yeesh, it took up counter space, and eventually, (soon, actually), I realized it was a space-eating carb-creating waste. It's in the basement. I think.
Don't sneer (not that you'd sneer!), but I dumped my coffee grinder. Messy and unnecessary. Blender, well, I hardly ever use it, so it's in a cupboard. With the Cuisinart, which for years was a big staple.
My mom always said "You'll never use anything you had to take out of cabinet." And she was right. And since I am trying to de-clutter my countertops, that means--it all goes. And now, the proliferation of carry-out containers. Right? But that's another blog.
Fondue will come back.
LUCY BURDETTE: Julia, I desperately want the pizza stone, the pasta maker, AND the rotisserie. I would have loved Ross's dad I think! And what a compliment that he loved your cooking. Hallie, your milkshake machine is a beauty. you could make smoothies (I'm thinking mango), fewer calories than the shakes. And Hank's mom, as usual, was right. that's why when I replaced my broken Cuisinart with a monstrous machine that is supposed to do everything, I decided to leave it out. Besides, it might be too heavy to pick up:). You notice I'm not offering to give anything up--though I'm not sure you're on target with the fondue Hank, but I'm ready.
RHYS: So what are you ready to discard? What is cluttering up your kitchen? And who still makes things with jello, Cool Whip and cream of chicken soup????
And Hannah Dennison has picked Susan D and Betty Jo English as her favourite comments. Contact Hannah at Hannah@HannahDennison.com to arrange for a copy of Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall