Monday, December 19, 2011

The Regifting Party

JAN BROGAN - My tennis friends throw an annual party in January, at which you must bring a present that is something you already own and are re-gifting. I only went once, but it was a riot. The more outlandish the gift the better. There was a Yankee swap and after a few glasses of wine, it was amusing to see the great lengths we would all go to in order to unload the re-gifts we had just been gifted. It was more fun getting gifts we didn't want than it would have been getting gifts we could use.

But this made me think about the many commercial items that we've either wanted or accrued over the years that are now sitting on our basement shelves or up in our attics. Which of these gifts makes you laugh or cry the most?

I'll start: JUICER.
Impressed with and maybe even a little high from a beet/carrot juice concoction I drank at a party in Somerville, I asked for and got a JUICER. This thing didn't just squeeze oranges, it could extract liquid out of turnips. For a while we made orange/banana/pineapple drinks for dessert and tried our own carrot/beet juice just for excitement. This went on for about a month until I realized that it took nearly a half hour to clean all the fiber out of the juicer's grates. And as time went by, we noticed that after we drank certain juices we sometimes writhed in pain from serious gastrointestinal distress. I have not yet thrown the juicer away, but every time I open the closet in the basement and get a look at it, I roll my eyes. Then I sort of cramp up before I close the door.

What's yours?

HALLIE EPHRON: I lusted after a LAWN EDGER. One of those gizmos that you use to neaten the edges of the lawn that the mower can't reach. I can't imagine what I was smoking that day, because I am the world's most casual gardener. Maybe Martha Stewart was on TV that morning.

I have it. I never use it. And it's too big to stuff in with a bag of clothes for Good Will.

Oh, and a copy of the "The Essential New York Times Cookbook" -- the doorstop-sized volume with supposedly everyone's favorite recipes from the paper and the books. I tried to read it in bed and ended up giving myself a concussion

ROSEMARY HARRIS: For some reason I thought I wanted a PORTABLE DVD PLAYER- never been used. The cappuccino maker? Gave it away.. The slow cooker? Used twice to make spiced nuts. Most embarrassing one for me to admit to? The rain barrel. I was going to be so green. All it does it sit there and grow mosquitoes.
I'll swap you one slow cooker for a lawn edger...

RHYS BOWEN: My husband John is the gadget king of our house. Juicer, bread machine, slow cooker, sausage maker... we have them all in the closet of dead appliances. I have never, ever asked for a household appliance for a present. Presents have to be for me! So I'm trying to think what gifts I would willingly trade and the only thing that comes to mind is a SOAP DISH (or candy dish) IN THE SHAPE OF A SWAN and it closes its silver wings over the soap (or candy). Oh, I didfor a bike once... and used it once. Now I'd like one of those folding bikes and realize I'd use that one once too.

JAN: RHYS, I'll take the soap dish. I'm trying to think of what I can trade you for since already have the juicer....

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Oh, does the BREAD MAKER count? I did make bread, a couple of times and it smelled wonderful. But now it's gathering dust in the basement. (The machine, not the bread.) With the Cuisinart, I know, it's awful, and I used to adore it but it's big and clunky and generally doesn't seem worth it.
And oh, a very cool sweater dryer, mesh and pvc plastic. So silly! Why would I wash a sweater?
It's kind of fascinating to see the time-saving gadget theme emerging here.

LUCY BURDETTE: I'm dying for a bread machine...could I trade you for a barely used MONITOR that I had to have but could never get to work?

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: And I do wash my own sweaters, so I'd use a dryer. But only if it didn't take up too much room. That's the problem with most "gadgets" - they just take up too much space compared to their utility. Like juicers. Easier to store a couple of bottles of Odwalla in the frig.

DEBORAH CROMBIE: What is it with the juicer thing? I've never had a heavy-duty juicer, but a few years ago I bought a CUISINART CITRUS JUICER. Totally useless. It has a tiny little lip, and there's no way you can make a container to catch the juice stay under it! But it's still sitting in my cabinet... (When are we having this party?)

Rhys, I LOVE the Closet of Dead Appliances!

When we remodeled our kitchen four (gosh, almost five) years ago, I got rid of all of the old things (remember the Corningware crockpot with the little blue flowers?), but I kept the twenty-year-old bread machine, which I do occasionally use. And my, um, THIRTY-year-old Cuisinart. It is big and heavy and clunky and it would be nice to have a new one, but it still works. Just don't ask me how often I used my much-coveted Kitchen Aid mixer...

JULIA: I got Ross a gleaming KITCHEN AID MIXER because he likes to bake. It languishes on the floor of the pantry while he stirs batters with a $2.99 stainless steel whip.
Most of my regifted kitchen appliances came from my late father-in-law, who was a darling man but was apparently under the delusion that I was the Homemaking Queen of the Kitchen. He noticed Ross and I cooked a lot of pasta (i.e., dinner in seven minutes,) so he got us a machine to make and cut pasta. By hand. We would pick up a rotisserie chicken and a bag o' salad from the supermarket - so he bought us a rotisserie and a salad spinner. The former was the size of a mini Cooper and required one to start the chicken two hours before dinnertime. The latter was the clunky basin of whirling plastic. The kids (then very small) liked to pull out of the cupboard and throw small blocks, Legos, etc. into it. One or two good cranks and they could scatter toys across the entire kitchen floor. It was, for them, a real labor-saving device.

JAN: Your father-in-laws misinterpretation is a riot, Julia. Although I have say, I do love my Kitchen Aid Mixer. Debs, I say we start the party right now. I've got my eye on Rhys soap dish in the shape of a swan. Who wants my juicer?

And who else out there wants to join in on our regifting party, and what dead appliance or ridiculous knick knack do you have to offer?


  1. Crepe maker. Mini quiche maker. Fondue set. Wok. Pressure cooker. Meat grinder--inherited from grandmother, but who grinds their own meat?

    What I *want* is a little hand-held blow torch, to make my own creme brulee. If someone gave me one of those, I promise I'd use it every day.

  2. Ramona, no, no, you would use that blowtorch only once, guaranteed.

    But now I'm dying for the Kitchenaide mixer on Julia's pantry floor. Would you take a wild Australian shepherd in exchange?

    JK, I'll find a real treasure...

  3. Roberta-of COURSE you can have the bred machine. ANd in return--I want NOTHING. (That's the point, right?) In fact, you can come into the basement and take anything you want.

    Except my records. I need them, even though we don't have a record player anymore. Now THAT was a good invention.

  4. I also love my cobalt blue KitchenAid mixer. I use it all the time. And the salad spinner!

    I think the heart-shaped fondue set has been used only once (and not by me), so I'll trade somebody that for a slow cooker or a crock pot.


  5. I'll take the meat grinder Ramona, can I interest you in a juicer?


  6. Let's see...I do have the red KitchenAid mixer and love it (for that matter, I still have my mother's, which is almost as old as I am). I have a working meat grinder attachment for it (and have used it), and I'm told you can get a pasta maker accessory too. I've also had a juicer since before my daughter was born, and my husband uses it for one particular poached fish recipe, maybe once a month.

    My daughter was given a food blow-torch a year ago and has used it--exactly once.

    I think my (booby)prize is a rice cooker that can't hold more than two cups--and the directions are in Japanese. It was a gift, but needless to say, it's still in its box.

  7. I have a water oxygenating machine (at least I think that's what it is) that my brother gave us for Christmas. It dewaxes lemons and turns water into this sterilizing stuff that cleans grease off. So it's not exactly useless. But it's the size of a giant punchbowl and has small holes in the bottom that cockroaches like to live in. My husband taped up the bottom to kill the little inhabitants. I'm wondering if I can accidentally drop it and break it so we can throw it out. I'd give it away, but only to someone I hated.

  8. I'm a fool for all gear culinary, but I do use it. Problem is, our kitchen is standard size, so some of the bigger gizmos must make their home in the ancillary kitchen storage area in the basement.

    Saturday morning I lugged the KitchenAid up the stairs because we were baking cookies. Sunday's morning's trip down was for the slow cooker, worth the effort for the lovely chicken tagine that cooked while I drove to Massachusetts to visit my mother.

    So the stuff I have to trade isn't kitchen stuff. I have an old desktop computer. A nice wool rug (cream with a muted floral print) that we no longer need, and two barely used patio umbrellas . . .

  9. TLC transfer, here. I'm Sandi (the snarky one yesterday), and I'm hoping Jungle Red will stem my arterial bleeding at the loss of TLC.

    Ramona, I have a torch for creme brulee. I asked for it, I got it, it never made it out of the box. It's been five years. A month after I asked for it, I saw a version of creme brulee where you just stick it under the broiler for a few seconds. (Of course, I haven't made that, either.)

    I also asked for and received a jig saw. Don't ask me why. I think I saw a cool Christmas lawn decoration and said, "I could make that!" So they took me at my word and gave me the jig saw and a pattern.

    I have the red KitchenAid mixer, and I love it. Just yesterday I made four kinds of cookies in it. Plus three candies that didn't require the mixer - rum balls anyone?

  10. Does everyone have the red Kitchen Aid mixer...mine's black, but I have a feeling no one is surprised at that. I love mine but got it right after I acquired a stainless steel Sunbeam that's as big and as old as an Airstream! I love them both. OTOH the quesadilla maker had to go, as did the pizza stone.

    Strangest gift I ever of my stepsons gave me an autographed picture of Allan Houston. For those not in the know, he was a Knicks basketball player. If I was a 12 yr old boy I would have loved it.

  11. Don't give away your little creme brulee blow torches. If you ever decide to take a jewelry making class you'll use it. I don't remember exactly what you'll use it for, but I do remember using it. Maybe I need to sign up for another jewelry making class . . .

  12. My daughter just got married, and a shower gift was a "Brisker". It's this giant bread box looking thing that plugs in, and supposedly crisps bread, chips, pretzels, etc. Now my daughter and her husband live in a 1100-square foot loft apartment. Yes, it's in Miami, but the A/C is always, always on, so nothing has a chance to get soggy.

    Plus, the shower was here in Ohio. There was no way to get it there, even if she had room for it. It's going to Goodwill today, with a bunch of other stuff.

    The only thing I can think of that doesn't get used, in fact never has, is the fondue pot. Here's a hint on how long we've had it: it's harvest gold.

    My mother gave me her KitchenAid mixer, which she had never used. I've used it a few times, but mostly it sits under a small table covered in a cloth to the floor.

    Ramona, I'm about to buy a pressure cooker, for canning. I've discovered there are limitations to what I can can without one.

  13. Jan, I'll send you the soap dish--seriously! Belated Christmas gift. And I'd love to send John's bread machine to Lucy only he swears he may make bread with it again some time within the next ten years.
    Oh, and I forgot the fondue set. Doesn't everyone have one of those.And the creme brulee torch. But I LOVE my Cuisineart. That I keep.

  14. Oh, SHizuka that is--disgusting, forgive me, but it really is. :-) I mean--you could make a horror movie out of it!

    I used my pizza stone as an end table top. It worked perfectly.

  15. Rosemary, my daughter has the red KitchenAid mixer (and food processor, and a couple other things red from them), but mine is white. Which suits me fine; my kitchen is blue and white.

  16. But then Lucy would have TWO bread machines.. BWA-HA-HA and that's how the appliances continue to multiply.

  17. Hi Sandi--glad to have you join us at JRW! I believe that creme brulee is the kind of recipe best ordered in a restaurant...

    Our own Hallie does have a pasta maker that gets a lot of use. But the oxygenating machine and the heart-shaped fondue pots are true booby prizes!

  18. Welcome Sandi and anyone else suffering from TLC withdrawal. I think you'll find we fill the void very nicely. I hope you stay.

  19. The fondue set, of course. But I have used my Kitchen-Aid mixer, and my bread machine gets a workout now that my shoulders won't allow me to do heavy kneading. (I so miss working out my rage at the political news on bread dough!)

    Hank, don't get me going on the records. We have four big shelves of them--in original covers. We haunt garage sales and thrift stores for working phonographs and play them.

    The big gift that someone lucky can have from this house is one of those vacuum-pack devices for freezing food. Ben took over cooking after one of my surgeries, and he was going to cook in quantity and freeze, as I have a tendency to do when I've deadlines coming up. But he had to have a big fancy device that sucked all the air out before the food went in the freezer. It takes special bags and everything--and sits completely unused on the floor of the breakfast room under a floor-length tablecloth.

  20. AH, yes, Brenda, the basement appliance area..sigh.

    And I love my salad spinner, I must say. My OLD one. My fancy new one I thought would be great because it has a suction thing so it doesn't slide on the counter top.

    But it is IMPOSSIBLE to get off the counter top! It sticks there, with like a million pounds of pressure. I t now lives in the basement, and I use my good old slidey one.

  21. Linda, I'm also looking for a vacuum packer. Just sayin'. :-)

  22. Just a warning, Karen, they're bigger than they look in commercials and ads.

    And like Hank, I want nothing in return. My big old house has been filling for years with kids' stuff and dead relatives' and all the tchotchkes my family keeps giving me. (We won't talk about the books and fiberarts stuff.) For the new year I'd like to create some empty space!

  23. I LOVE my fondue pot. It is released from the cupboard once a year on my husband's birthday. It can't have more freedom because the recipes for the sauces, found in the Melting Pot cookbook, take all day because there needs to be variety.

    For the regifting party I will fill a good size box with various tools intended to make sewing easier The only function that stuff fills in this house is cluttering drawers and shelves. Every one was bought to solve a problem I hadn't, and still haven't, run into. My cheap gadget impulse buying is out of control so I need to make some room!

  24. Two slow cookers -- a quart-size wedding present 20 years ago that I've never used but can't get rid of b/c it seems so, well, useful, and a big one from my mother's house that I've used once. A Champion juicer that terrifies me -- but I LOVE the $20 citrus juicer.

    Ramona, we love our little blow torch though we only use it a few times a year. And Julia, send me that Kitchen Aid right now and I'll send you, hmm, a gift certificate for rotisserie chicken? Or would you rather have the martini shaker set my s-il- gave us -- b/c she knew how much we enjoyed my dad's set, which we had -- what was she thinking?!!?

  25. Ro, send me the pizza stone and I'll give you the ravioli press. Or the wok? Or the grill accessories a friend sent after visiting mid-winter and seeing my hunny grill in a snowstorm?

    Hank, I think we all need The Word from last week: Oustio!

  26. Our Kitchen Aid is not red, but that crinkly gray of machine tools. My husband loves tools, and he picked the color. We have never once taken the pasta-making attachment out of the box (got it for our wedding 11 years ago).

    We got a cell-phone sanitizer (with UV light, apparently) and an automated soap/lotion pump for Christmas last year. Unused.

    But I can also offer you all cookbooks. I have old ones from my grandmother I won't part with, but I also have a strange compulsion to buy new ones now and then. Thing is, I DON'T COOK. Or if I do, it's the usual toss-together that I've done for years. Yet I continue to buy the books a couple times a year. Hope springs eternal?

    Hey, who has a treadmill sitting around barely used? It's kinetic sculpture....

  27. Sandi,
    I'll take your creme brulee blow torch. It will force me to make creme brulee (i Know, I know, that's what you thought too,) but I reallly, really, love creme brulee.

    Ro-I have the green Kitchen Aid mixer, and I think the key is leaving it on the ocunter at all times. Then you use it for everything.

    Sometimes I just use the bowl - it's handy, it's there, its a great size,

    I think Julia really nailed it thought with most of this stuff,
    like Shizuka's water oxygenator - they just take so much space! Like the bread machine in the closet that I use once a year, but am still not ready to part with.

  28. Tammy,
    This my theory about fresh made pasta --

    I actually can't taste the difference from dried pasta I buy in the store, so why go through all that trouble.

    ALthough I would be tempted to make home made pierogi I suppose (My Polish side coming out)

    and RHYS, I'll take the soap dish!! But what can I send you?? Maybe some of my candy - but that blog is for later this week.

    (And if you wnat my aunt clare's toffee recipie, or a caramel recipe you can knock people's teeth out with, come back on Friday!

  29. Leslie, I'll take your martini shaker... No, seriously, got one. And the pizza stone, which we do use except in summer when it turns the kitchen into a sauna. If anyone has an unused pizza stone sitting around and your kitchen is really cold, just pop that baby in the oven and set to 475.

    I do use my Kitchen Aid (cobalt), and my nice blender, and my slow cooker (a new one without the little blue flowers.) But I gave away my fondue set years ago, and now fondue is in fashion again. Boo hoo. (And besides, those long pronged forks might make nice murder weapons . . ."

  30. We also inherited a spittoon. Any takers?

  31. I can't believe how many of you have or want creme brulee blowtorches. Ross is Mr. Fire Safety in our house - I think I've mentioned before how he will only allow candles to be burned if they are in holders sitting on baking sheets.

    Think about how attractive and mood-enhancing THAT is for a moment.

    I suspect he'd have a heart attack if I ever brought a mini-blowtorch into the house.

    Thinking of which, has anyone ever been murdered by one (fictionally, of course?) Foodie mystery writers (I'm looking at you, Lucy Burdette) should jump on this.

  32. I have never received any useless appliances -but I HAVE purchased some for myself! I am bothered by arthritis and tendinitis in my wrists, and someone recommended that I get myself a small electric chopper, so I wouldn't need to chop things by hand. I don't have room for a big one so I bought a tiny one. Well, stupid me! I had to cut everything into small pieces first, and THEN put them in the chopper. There was still lots of pain involved AND it only cut about three minutes off the process. I still have it . Any takers?

    Then there is the "Scum Buster", the electric device for scrubbing the bathtub and countertops. Since it did not do any deep cleaning, I found myself leaning into it, putting WAY too much pressure on my wrists AND straining my shoulder muscles while I was at it. I can send it along with the chopper.

    Oh,yeah, I was on the receiving end of something I didn't want a few decades ago: a personalized pendant, with my name spelled incorrectly.

    I WOULD like a Kitchen Aid in any color, and how about a slow cooker? I'll almost have room for them if I get rid of my chopper and my Scum Buster! (Tiny condo...sigh...)
    Thanks for the continued welcomes to those of us who are transferring over here from dear TLC. Over there, I have been known as plain ol' Deb but I have added my last name here, since there is more than one Deb!

  33. Deb, how did the pendant person misspell your name? Dib? Dab? Dob?

  34. Deb, hopefully it wasn't "Dub."

  35. Could I just say, one more time - and then I promise to shut up about it - thank you again for the welcome and TLC recovery respite. I really need it, because right now I feel like the child of divorcing parents.

    But I do have the cobalt blue KitchenAid mixer that is a godsend now that I can't mix with my hands.

    And I have the salad spinner that I have used ever since Hank talked about nooks and crannies in raw veggies one day.

    The KitchenAid mixer and the salad spinner are the only thing the Merry Maids cannot touch. Everything else they can throw out . . . or take home. I don't care.

  36. Hah, Hank!

    I have a few minutes left on my lunch break and had to rush back to my desk to respond - I wrote my prior response on my e-reader and it actually told me that it could not accept my response; I tried again and again, and was worried that it posted three times, but I see that it's only here once. GOOD! Anyway:

    Way back when I was a child and young adult, many relatives and friends called me "Debbie" - spelled exactly that way. The gift giver had the pendant inscribed "Debby". I would have preferred my initials or my proper name of "Deborah"! (I would ask if you know anyone named Debby but I've long since gotten rid of the pendant!)

  37. Deborah, last year I gave my husband a new Cuisinart to replace our 30 year old one. Don't do it! The new one isn't nearly as good.

    The year I was married I traded the Kithen Aid mixer I was given for a dining room table and haven't looked back. I mix all my dough in the Cuisinart.

    Rhys, I LOVE the Closet of Dead Appliances.

    Anyone want the three green glass shrimp cocktail dishes my mother-in-law gave me, in case, you know, you ever serve exactly three people shrimp cocktail?

  38. I actually use most of my kitchen gizmos, tho' not all. Karen, my kitchen is blue and white too, and I just gave myself the KitchenAid mixer for Christmas, in Blue Willow, so pretty!

    I do have a pasta maker still in the box--I was gifted with 2, used one once, then had a pasta-making party where I brought it to a friend's and gave it to her to keep, and never used the other.

    Another still-in-the box gift was a French Press coffee pot and 4 matching tall glass cups.(Already have a regular coffee-maker & I quit drinking coffee a few years ago)And I've got a garlic press & small kitchen chopper, each used exactly one time!

    I would take a pizza stone, and dh wants a vacuum sealer like Linda's.

    We still use our treadmill, but I also have a big exercise ball sitting next to it and the weights, only used for a month or so, taking up room, so time to deflate that baby.

    I always wanted a tiny blow torch, but dh has an acetylene torch that we used ONCE for creme brulee, than used the broiler the second time!

    Oh, I want an ice cream maker to replace the one that went missing several years ago. But then I'd have to have a larger freezer to make room for it.

    What a fun post today!

  39. I NEED a slow cooker! Have always wanted it but I'm philosophically opposed to gadgets that have only one purpose and take up counter space.

    I DO use my meat grinder, also inherited from Grandma. For when I make pate! Doesn't everyone make pate? How else do you grind up fresh pork and pork fat??

    My favorite kitchen gadgets? New: An immersion blender. Old: An old green porcelain and steel milkshake machine with the original metal container.

    And I bought myself a real professional quality knife sharpener. And yes, I do use my pasta machine. Homemade pasta is SOOOO good.

  40. Would someone please take my exercise bike?

  41. Oh, Barb's post about her MIL's strange gift reminded me that about 25 years ago my late MIL gave me a HUGE round copper escargot baker/server!
    Because she knew her son just loves escargot. That was when we finished building our log home here in the boonies, and long before internets or shopping online. Just exactly WHERE she thought I'd be regularly purchasing snails in East TX is anyone's guess, lol.

    It's nice to see a lot of familiar faces from TLC. Welcome! I really enjoy this place too!

  42. Deb,
    Give the small chopper another try. I inherited one from my mother and I used it for everything -especially onions. I just cut them in quarters first, which is A LOT better than having to cop them.

    The thing about the small/chopper/food processors, is that the ENTIRE thing can go right in the dishwasher. They are brilliant, really.


  43. Lynn,
    can you serve anything else on an escargot server?


  44. Olives. Really tiny deviled eggs. Those little balls of mazzarella.

  45. And I once made stuffed cherry tomatoes once. You could serve those!


  46. I tried devilled eggs in the 22-not-24 round depressions, but it was messy and after sitting out awhile the copper made the eggs taste funny! EEK!

    It's been hanging decoratively on a cedar post in my kitchen(along with a small copper saute pan & the corn-on-the-cob shaped cast iron pan) ever since--looks cute and doesn't take up counter space!

  47. Just so you know, Lynn, you can raise your own snails. I had a friend who spent some of her childhood in France where, I gather, it's not such an unusual thing to do. There.

  48. Sit. Stay. See? Snails are SO easy to train.

    "Speak" is a little more difficult.

  49. Hank, thanks for the second best laugh of my day!

    I can't imagine raising my own snails. Escargot was a once-in-a-lifetime "try" for me.

  50. No snails for me, thank you..they remind me too much of slugs! you might use the escargot server to start seeds..

  51. Okay, between Shizuka's roaches and Lynn's snails, I think I'm going to have cereal for lunch...

    My DH (who adores appliances and would never give a girl something like JEWELRY or PERFUME) gave me a Cuisinart immersion blender a few years ago. Love it. Great for pureeing soups in the pot.

    My DH also bought the vacuum sealer and the meat grinder, by the way. Just in case we ever needed them ... Hmmm. Wonder where they are.

    In his defense, the stove-top popcorn popper (so easy, so much better than microwaved) is mine. And the ice cream maker, but I think that's in The Closet of LOST Applicances.

    Oh, and Deb, I used to be "Debbie," too. No one is allowed to call me that now except my mom and my m-in-l.

  52. I love my ancient white Kitchenaid. Husband and child have been told it goes in the cellar in case of tornado! I use my slow cooker (all 3 of them) and the bread machine. Used to use it daily and then hubster and I went on a low-carb regime. :( It's getting a workout now with eggnog bread for Christmas gifts.

    I have a Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt/Ice Cream/Sorbet maker to put into the exchange. The box has never been opened. The in-laws gave it to me for Christmas years ago. I keep threatening to give it as a wedding gift but no one invites me to wedding showers now. Hrmmmm. I wonder why? *looks shifty-eyed*

    Who had that monitor? If it's bigger than my 19" LED flat screen, let's talk!

  53. One of my sisters is two years older than I am, and she is mentally retarded (or she was for 40 years, until about 10 years ago when I guess I couldn't use that term anymore). True story: Rosie O'Donnell played her in a TV movie about 5-8 years ago. I was a composite, and more or less of the jerk I am in real life.

    She gives the most terrible, thoughtless gifts. She used to give good gifts, but at a certain point about 10 years ago, she just sort of gave up. Yes, I can get her things at Five Below or the Dollar Store, and purple and bright colors work just fine, but so much of what she gives me (a RUNDMC sweatsirt? Half-completed Find-a-Words? I ask you.) just goes into the garbage or the Goodwill bag.

  54. Silver, please post eggnog bread recipe! Maybe I can use my bread machine AND have something to give as Christmas presents!

  55. Anyone want a nearly-30-year-old "Steam Facial by KAZ" ? I'm afraid of it.

    - Jane in Florida

  56. Hallie, I will take your exercise bike. My doctor today told me that I've been gaining weight because I am not as sick as I have been for the last 20 years. So, now I have to start to exercise, like every other 49-year-old. We used to have an exercise bike in our basement, but it's too heavy to carry even the half block to my apartment, I don't know if it's there, and it isn't even my basement anymore. But I would pick yours up if you live within 200 miles of Wilmington.

  57. I'm a teacher. Need I say more? I possess countless Christmas tree ornaments that say "World's Best Teacher." And I never put up a tree! One year I received a plaque that said "The three best things about teaching: June, July, and August." Er, was I supposed to display that in my classroom??

    Rosemary, a few years ago, I gifted myself with a yellow Kitchenaid mixer. I love it!! Especially at Christmas when I get the cooking bug. However, I have a Cuisenart Mini Chopper that I've never even taken out of the box!

    I want on of those hand-held blow torches too, for when I make French onion soup. Which I'd make a lot more if I had a torch!!

  58. We are wasting our time writing books when what we should be doing is marketing the JUNGLE RED BLOWTORCH to the millions who crave one. It could be jungle red in color and send out a mean flame, so that you could brulee, start fires, make jewelry or even kill (in the interest of research only of course.)

  59. YES, Silver, please post the eggnog bread recipe.

    And Hallie, if you don't want to ship it to Wilmington, I'll take the exercise bike. In my house, we use an out-of-date exercise bike AND the treadmill and would really like a elyptical.


    Snakeoiler, what movie?

  60. "Riding the Bus with my Sister." As a sibling in an autobiography, I naturally had issues with the history. But then, I could have written my own book if it mattered that much to me.

  61. Snakeoiler, I saw that movie. I kind of liked it.

    Please stop oiling the snakes. It makes it too easy for them to sneak up on me.

  62. That's it--I am buying myself a blow torch for Christmas. If I can't find a jungle red one, I will spray paint it.

  63. Torches for everyone. I have to say, that's a good slogan.

    And to the rest of the appliances, yes, Leslie, OUSTIO.

    (But I can't live without my hairdryer. And electric toothbrush. And salad spinner. And mandoline.)

  64. Okay, Blowtorch people: nobody needs to send ME a blowtorch! Don't have one, don't want one, don't need one! I am amazed at the number of people in one place who want a blowtorch for making a DESSERT!! (At first I thought it was for home repairs, or for doing welded jewelry projects and I thought "oh, that's interesting...")

    Other Deb:
    My youngest sister frequently still calls me "Debbie", and many of my cousins do. The rest of Society calls me "Deb". If someone calls me "Debbie" I know that the person either did not pay attention when I introduced myself as "Deb" or has known me since I was a child, and is too old to change.

    Deb Romano (Deb from TLC)

  65. Okay. First, your breadmaker needs to hand 2 lb. loaves AND have a "quickbread" setting. You can also make this recipe using traditional means.

    Eggnog Bread

    1 Cup sugar
    1 egg
    1/4 cup stick butter or margarine, melted
    1 1/2 cups eggnog

    3 cups all purpose flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    2/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
    1 cup glazed mixed fruit

    Beat sugar and egg in bowl, add margarine and eggnog. Pour into bread machine. Shift flour, baking powder, salt, and spices over mixture in machine. Add nuts and fruit. Set for 2 lb. Quickbread setting and follow your machines directions.

    If you want to do it in oven, after adding flour mixture, stir in bowl just to moisten, then mix in nuts and fruit. Turn into a greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing to finish cooling on a wire rack.


  66. Well, it's long gone - but one year we got a hot-dog cooker, with bun steamer on top.. Had a friend with a juicer and he filled up his compost bin with the leftover..
    I have their weird vison of a large circle of people and everyone passing appliances until the music stops & you have to keep what is in your hands..

  67. girlygirl! I like it! Appliance Musical Chairs. Perfect.

  68. The hot dog steamer reminds me of the adorable white ceramic egg hard cooker someone gave me as a wedding gift in 1970. It was the cutest darned thing, but truly? Making hard-boiled eggs in the pan was just as easy, so out it went.

    The one appliance I could not live without is the flatiron for my hair. Brilliant, especially for my wavy/frizzy locks.

  69. Thanks Julia, got my murder method for book three. Or at least, the authorities will find peculiar markings on the body that only an experienced chef might recognize as made by a Jungle Red Blowtorch!

  70. I’d offer yo’all my hand-mini chopper but I hated it and after using it twice I donated it to charity.

    Hallie, I also use my slow cooker insert in the summer for gazpacho. It keeps it colder than anything else.

    My two favorite things as my micro plane and immersion blender. Son and daughter-in-law gave me a mezzaluna last year and that is growing on me.

  71. Shizuka, I was reminded by your comment about my extra large punch bowl with 20 cups and a ladel. Who drinks Punch anymore? And would I ever think to serve it since I have the punchbowl? No, it’s in the front hall closet that we call “the garage”.

    And Hallie’s exercise bike? I was reminded of the article called something like, “How Not to Buy a $500 Clothes Hanger!”

    I loved this article and responses and laughed out loud at parts. Thank you for the giggles.