Monday, January 23, 2012

Kitchen 'essentials' and a new electric beater

Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback on commenting options. It sounds like Blogger is generally easier to use than Disqus, which was really helpful to discover. This means I'll be sticking with the standard Blogger commenting system for now. 


I had thought this would mean losing the option for people to be alerted when I reply to their comments (something Disqus allowed). However! It turns out this is actually now possible in Blogger. You just have to click "subscribe by email" under the comment box when you are commenting (this is different to the more general "subscribe by email" that will be at the very bottom of the page). You'll then be notified of replies to your original comment, but not of any other comments that aren't linked to yours. 

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It was also interesting to read about how others' taste preferences change across different temperatures. It's clearly an area with lots of individual variation! In my case, I suspect more and more things might be moving to the 'chilled' and 'frozen' categories this week. The current weather forecast is reminding me of why I don't like Australian summer:


Ick. The odd hot day I can cope with, but a string of them with hot nights thrown into the mix? Not my thing at all.

Moving on, though, today's post isn't actually about commenting or weather (focus Kari, focus!). Today is about this:



A new electric beater.


And more generally, the evolution of my kitchen utensils and equipment over time.

You see, this Thursday (Australia Day) is my 3 year house anniversary. The above electric beater represents the final stage of my transition from a kitchen with hardly anything in it to one that has everything I need and quite a few things I just want.

The new beater also generates a scenario where I actually have an 'old' product to get rid of.

My previous electric beater was a hand-me-down from a friend, and whilst it has seen me through 3 years, it is rather one-sided.



For the duration of its life with me, it has had just one beater.

This has made things a tad tricky at times (to the extent that I should probably have just beaten by hand on several occasions), and tracking down a replacement part never seemed to happen.




Given that replacing this mixer has left me in the surreal position of being entirely content with what my kitchen holds, I thought I would document the changes in my house furnishings (or non-furnishings) over time.

Here is what I came up with.
  • December 2008. The lead up to my move. Between my birthday and Christmas, I manage to receive a saucepan set, an 8-piece cutlery set, a 4-piece dinner set, basic knives, chopping boards, a wok, and plastic storage containers as presents. Helpfully, this meant I had most of my kitchen essentials before I even got my own kitchen.
  • January 2009. I invest in a fridge and washing machine. I'm also the grateful recipient of a microwave, DVD player, and cordless telephone that are redeemed via 'spare' (i.e., generously bequeathed) credit card award points from my parents.
  • January 2009. I go from having one room of furniture and 'stuff' to a bedroom and study and living room and kitchen / dining room. I manage to fill a surprising amount of this space without trying. Proudly place kitchen-related presents in the kitchen and have white goods delivered and installed. Buy an Ikea dining room table.

The table is still going strong.

  • January 2009. I receive a full quota of kitchen goods from a close friend, who received new sets of many house things when she got married. This included the above-mentioned electric beater, a toaster, more plates, a grater, herb containers, knives, and much more besides. I'm forever indebted to this friend - I still use her things today. I also received several unexpected second-hand (but still perfectly fine) presents from several people who I didn't even know very well. A gym acquaintance, some work colleagues of my Mum...I was blown away by how generous people were.
  • March 2009. My parents take pity on my sofa-less living room and buy me a sofa as a house warming and PhD completion present. The living room suddenly has a possible use!
  • May (ish) 2009. I buy a TV. The living room has further possible uses!
  • September 2009. I start thinking that a courtyard garden might be nice. Look into costs. Decide a courtyard garden is far too expensive.
  • September (ish) 2009. Use Fly Buys rewards points to buy a Breville blender.
  • December 2009. My parents buy me a Chinese Tallow tree in the biggest pot I have seen, as a birthday present. Arrive home from work the day before my birthday to discover it sitting in the courtyard. Definitely one of the most impressive birthday presents I have ever received.
Picture this courtyard with only the middle pot and tree. With a ribbon around it.

  • January 2010. Buy a frying pan / non-stick pan. Laugh at myself for going a full year without one.
  • March (ish) 2010. Buy a better saucepan with a steamer attachment. Can finally reunite with my beloved steamed carrots.
  • September 2010. One year on from the initial thoughts, I finally invest in some plants for the courtyard. Purchase the two large corrugated iron vegetable planters pictured above, and an assortment of vegetables and herbs. Become quite clucky over my plants.
  • October 2010. Mr Bite moves in. Gain an assortment of additional items and furnishings. 
  • November 2010. Jointly invest in a good-quality knife (vegetable chopping suddenly becomes fun!) and a Scanpan saute pan.
  • February (I think...) 2011. We buy a second sofa, to match the first. We suddenly have living room seating for more than 1 visitor. 
  • April 2011. I purchase a food processor and thereby make the biggest kitchen investment of my life.
  • November 2011. Put up shelves in the kitchen. Also do more gardening.



  • December 2011. Receive a Scanpan grill for my birthday
  • January 2012. Spend $35 on a new, two-beater, electric mixer and thereby complete my range of kitchen requirements.


Of course, along the way there have been many other smaller changes and purchases. Additional bakeware and serving plates. Some new bowls and some extra cutlery. There have been many, many changes, and 3 years on I am feeling very lucky in the assortment of things I have gathered.

And the new beater?


I'm rather looking forward to using it.

How have your house belongings and kitchen utensils evolved over time? 
What do you would you count as "essential" if you were setting up from scratch all over again (or if you are!)?

36 comments:

  1. I loved hearing about the growth of your belongings over time. It made me think of when I left home about 15 years ago with virtually no furniture or kitchen equipment. I was also fortunate to receive some odds and ends from my parents and older sister at the time. I wouldn't like to have to start all over again given everything I have accumulated over the years. I don't know how I would get by without a blender, or food processor these days even though I initially went for years without either.

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    1. It's funny isn't it? Despite only just getting a fully functioning electric beater, I struggle to imagine life without my food processor too. I suppose we adapt to what we have, and then it seems far to hard to do without!

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  2. this is a great post - I remember receiving stuff when I moved into a share house - from birthdays, deceased relatives' homes, my mum's cast-offs but also from op shops - I especially remember some of the great furniture we found including an 8 foot sofa that I loved but was a pain to get into a terrace house - the electric beaters that I have today have been with me so long that I can't remember when I got them. But I love having them when I need them even though half the time I just get lazy and use a spoon. As for my house today, it has a very complicated provenance but if you found where everything came from there would be quite a tale!

    And good luck with the hot weather - perth has it so much worse than melbourne - makes me feel hot just looking at your weather forecast

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    1. Thanks Johanna - it's nice to hear your belongings have come from similarly diverse sources. It is very different having a story behind an item, rather than just buying it at the local kitchen store (although I'm quite fond of local kitchen stores too). That 8 foot sofa definitely sounds like a challenge though! Great once installed, but the terrace house moves must have been tricky indeed.

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  3. I almost never regret kitchen purchases. I have yet to buy something I didn't frequently use.
    I guess loving the kitchen, cooking and baking gives me the excuse to spend a lot of money on my appliances.
    Plus the result makes people very happy, making it worth every penny.

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    Replies
    1. I've not made enough kitchen purchases to regret any, but I hope I can keep that up over the coming years :)

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  4. Kari, I think I got hot just looking at your temperature forecast. This side, we have (I have) been so lucky not having to deal with the usual Aussie summer temperatures. I think there might have been only one day over 30 so far. Being rather large in the tummy at the moment and feeling hot anyway, I'm very happy about that!

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    Replies
    1. I will confess to eyeing off your weather forecasts with some degree of envy ;) However, I think we definitely have things the right way around. I've gathered that being pregnant is like having a mini furnace going (or so it would seem from my pregnant / have been pregnant friends), so extreme heat in conjunction with that would not be fun at all! I hope you can stay under 30'C for as long as possible.

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  5. I moved out when I was 27, but I started collecting stuff when I was 21. It began because people wanted to give me a significant 21st present and I thought I would be moving out soon (ha!). From then on, for birthdays and Christmas I got house stuff. In between I had a rule that if things were at least 30% off I could buy them. Luckily I had access to my parents storage unit to store it all.

    The result was when I moved out, I had an almost complete kitchen of good quality stuff. I have got some big ticket items like my mix master over the years, but amazingly I moved out with pretty much everything I still have.

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    1. Now that is sensible. I didn't move out until I was 25, so if I'd started collecting at 21 I'd have been far better off :) Your 30% off rule has motivated me too...I like that concept!

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  6. This is a great timeline!

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  7. I would have to say that the magic bullet is totally essential to me!!

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    1. Is it terrible to admit that I had never heard of the magic bullet?? I had to google it! I'm now very taken with the concept but I'd never heard of one before! My blender is far less fancy.

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  8. I did a post a while ago about "My Kitchen Stuff". Well made, beautiful, made to last, kitchen tools - not so many of them that they clutter the place up, all of them either heirlooms or designed so well they will become heirlooms - are one of the joys of a kitchen. All mine have, like yours, been accumulated over time - gifts and op shop scores and hand-me-downs, and no Chinese made-to-fall-apart-at-the-first-sign-of-work junk.

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    1. There are some things that are worth being quality aren't there? Certainly not all of my kitchen is, but I would certainly like to have more items of the 'heirloom' variety! It was interesting reading about your kitchen items too.

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  9. So, my housemate moved out in October and I still have no pots and pans of any descriptions and only small spoons. Dearie me, I wish one of my got-married friends would bequeath things to me! I'm feeling rather disgruntled now. ;)

    P.S. The subscribing by email to comments in only possible for people who are with blogger and comment under blogger accounts. I think this is also why I find the blogger commenting system so frustrating; as a wordpress blogger, I have to go through a three step process just to leave one comment. But I'll do it for you :P xo

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Would you like my one-beater electric mixer? I'm afraid it's all I have to bequeath, but I'd bequeath it to you ;)

      I'm so sorry about the comment / email / Blogger hassle thing. I didn't realise that. I'm now even more grateful than usual for your comments! I wonder if it would be quicker for you to comment with your name / URL than with your Wordpress account, but both sound like hassle really. I am developing small ideas about migrating to Wordpress at some stage, so perhaps commenting will be the motivation. In the mean time, I'm sorry!

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    2. Lookee lookee, I cam back and checked! Teehee, I actually have electric beaters, the $950 blender, and now a food processor, just no actual, you know... cooking things.

      I do post with name/url, as I can't comment under the wordpress thing directly as I have my own domain. But please forgive me that I won't be able to come back and check every post! :(

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    3. At least you're well set up with blenders and processors ;)

      I completely forgive you (as in, no forgiveness needed!) and am really just sorry again that I couldn't hit on a commenting platform that worked for everyone. I noted your other comment re. Disqus and have no idea why it varies so much. I had no problems so was surprised to read others did - but then it would be much simpler for me because I have an account. All so hard!

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  10. I really like your site. Will keep checking back here. Cooking Equipment

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  11. oooooh love new kitchen gadets - and LOVE that kitchen shelf you have!

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    1. Thanks Lisa! I'm quite in love with the kitchen shelf too - it's an Ikea one :)

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  12. We have a $250 titanium & cast iron fry pan, which is expensive but has been totally worth it (and has a 25 year warranty, so really only $10 a year?). I would totally buy one again. I also think good knives - our fun mincing knife recently broke, so we'll need to invest. Since we rent and our kitchen is *small*, we've avoided getting too much stuff - I still use a wine bottle as a rolling pin :)

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    1. You reminded me that I forgot to mention my rolling pin! I used a glass for the first year :) Then I appropriated one from my parents' house, which has worked out rather well! I am coming to realise that the expensive items, when you can afford them, are a worthwhile investment. Your pan sounds great - and I'm a completely convert to good knives now.

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  13. I really like your idea and thoughts of to arranging kitchen equipments.These all equipments are essential to me.we just shifted our home recently,and now i want to arrange all new things in kitchen,so its really really helpful to me.Thank you so much Kari.

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  14. I also like to arrange the kitchen. This new electric beater is one of the best product. Cleaning is essential factor for kitchen. I got a very good detail in this blog.

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