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Your mother’s kitchen gear you wish you had

March 25, 2009

frypanIn a beachside holiday house recently I had the pleasure of using this rather spesh Sunbeam electric frypan – the kitchen was small, there were three of us cooking at once, and I needed to cook split peas. This sunshiny baby emerged from the cupboard and became my new best friend. Quite a flash version too, with very good thermostat and a half-lid-opening arrangement. It reminded me of my mum, who through the seventies seemed to cook everything in an electric frypan, from roast lamb to cheesy puffs.

Last year, reminded by a newspaper article of the joys of the CrockPot, I bought a slow cooker – the modern version – and now can’t wait for winter to get it humming again for curries, soup, casseroles and shanky brothy things (even caramelised onions in it once which worked amazingly well).

The other mainstay of my mother’s late 70s kitchen, apart from some dubious cork tileage and a lot of mushroom-coloured Laminex, was a Kenwood Chef mixer-cum-blender with forty thousand attachments, which weighed a ton. Not to mention the various trusty toasted sandwich makers that sealed the edges of the baked-bean sanger in a most excellently crispy way. But there was also the appliance cemetery, if I recall correctly, where all the useless Mother’s Day gifts were swiftly interred, such as the electric knife sharpener – and that most irrelevant of gadgets, the electric can opener, to name a couple.

Was it just my dad, or were all fathers obsessed with electrical kitchen gifts for their beloved wives in the 70s? What was the most useless gadget your mother ever had? And which ones do you still yearn for, even now?

5 comments

  1. Thanks goodness it is almost CrockPot time, can’t wait. My mother never had one, think the orange exterior spun her out to much. I also have the new version and love it.


  2. As far as I can recall, this precise model of electric frypan was responsible for about 85% of my childhood diet. It’s like greeting a long-lost friend!


  3. […] though our mum cooked half our childhood meals (the half of our diet that wasn’t cooked in the electric frypan) in a pressure cooker without incident. I can’t actually remember what she cooked in it now, […]


  4. Commenting usually is not my thing, but i have spent almost an hour on the site, so thanks for the info!

    Greetings from Tim. 🙂


  5. I have a Sunbeam electric fry pan just like this one, in a tasteful light gold color– looks brand new. I received it as a wedding present 36 years ago, and have hardly ever used it. I was thinking about giving it away, but after reading your post, I’m having second thoughts… My mother’s specialty for her 1954 version of this pan was something she called “Spanish Rice.” White rice, cooked in tomato juice, with chopped peppers, and a little bacon for extra flavor. Ugh!



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