Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Modern Love, Vintage Love

Like most people, my loves may contrast but I hope show a little balance. Even though vintage domestica appeals to me on many levels, in order to have the time to do all that I need and want to do I require some very efficient modern equipment. Our Kitchen Aid Blender is one of my favourites in my kitchen arsenal. We are not really a smoothie or milkshake family (although those treats are sometimes enjoyed) nor do we have any more babies (and me pouting when my computer skills do not meet my expectations does not count) so why have a blender? Well number 1 has multiple disabilities that including chewing and swallowing and requires a pureed diet that is gluten and dairy free. Often we make ahead multiple (teen aged size) portions and use our Braun 400w hand blender but occasionally the foodie and sometimes disorganized/over-booked Mummie needs to just give him some of the family's Lamb Vindaloo with rice and veggies pureed in. He also loves fruit: bananas and whatever other fruit or juice we have on hand are a daily use for the blender. I love this particular blender because it beautiful, works perfectly, is quiet, is very well made (we have had a few of another brand die on us) and because it is last years model I bought it on sale.

In the same room we have a vintage kitchen tool that replaces several modern versions that have failed over the years. Like many people, we love our coffee! We are also more than a little particular about how it is made. We have and use a french press but find it is best for after dinner coffee (with dessert). We also have an espresso maker that we like (it was a gift) but it does not make the quantity we want in the morning. For many years we had a series of automatic drip coffee makers that ultimately have been a disappointment: the quality of coffee produced tends to deteriorate over the life of the machine, our last one leaked water (so you could not use the timer) just after the warranty expired and I had concerns about the plastics in contact with hot water and acidic coffee and a little bit with the fire hazard potential (I like to unplug the toaster, for instance). I have memories of making coffee for my parents back in the 70's (when they were about to come back in the house from working out in the garden) in a manual, ceramic Melita Coffee Maker. My Mum still has the coffee maker but was unwilling to part with it. So after scouring eBay and being unwilling to spend $30 on something that might break in shipping, I wished to the thrift fairies to find one in the thrift stores. Within a few weeks I found the cone and at another store I found the pot (not Melitta, but it fits). I could not believe my luck and was thrilled because it really makes the best coffee and all for under $7. It takes a little time and attention to pour the boiling water but the process smells great and makes the coffee that much more enjoyable; no worries about plastics and no planned obsolescence. The pot fits on our stove's warming element or we can put the extra in a thermal carafe. It even pours better than any automatic coffee maker I have ever used so it is nice to serve guests. I wonder if Melitta will bring back this coffee maker?

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