Fine fine, I’ll do the meme, but I’m going to do it my way.

The meme goes: Bold the ones you have and use at least once a year, italicize the ones you have and don’t use, strike through the ones you have had but got rid of.
“I wonder how many pasta machines, breadmakers,juicers, blenders, deep fat fryers, egg boilers, melon ballers, sandwich makers, pastry brushes, cheese boards, cheese knives, electric woks, miniature salad spinners, griddle pans, jam funnels, meat thermometers, filleting knives, egg poachers, cake stands, garlic crushers, martini glasses, tea strainers, bamboo steamers, pizza stones, coffee grinders, milk frothers, piping bags, banana stands, fluted pastry wheels, tagine dishes, conical strainers, rice cookers, steam cookers, pressure cookers, slow cookers, spaetzle makers, cookie presses, gravy strainers, double boilers (bains marie), sukiyaki stoves, ice cream makers, fondue sets, healthy-grills, home smokers, tempura sets, tortilla presses, electric whisks, cherry stoners, sugar thermometers, food processors, bacon presses, bacon slicers, mouli mills, cake testers, pestle-and-mortars, and sets of kebab skewers languish dustily at the back of the nation’s cupboards.”

My situation is, as it so often is, more complicated.

Here, I have a tea strainer and garlic killer – not a normal garlic press but one of these. I use both now and then; we have tea bags but also loose tea, and sometimes I use the garlic rocker but more often I just mince it. We also have a garlic peeler; I don’t use it but Ted does. In addition, we have a slow cooker in a box somewhere. The main reason I don’t use it is that it’s made for 110 voltage, and here they use 220. We did use it while in Taiwan; now I use a Dutch oven on the stove, but things do burn on the bottom now and then.

Back home in the US we have a blender, melon baller, a cast-iron griddle, a couple of meat thermometers, a normal garlic crusher, more tea strainers, a coffee grinder, another slow cooker, a double boiler, a stove-top healthy grill, a mini food processor, a mortar and pestle, and skewers.

Obviously I can do without all of them, but I do use them when I have them. I used at least the griddle, meat thermometer, coffee grinder, and skewers just on my last trip home. Part of the reason I don’t miss them too much here is that the available foods are different; who needs a meat thermometer if you can’t buy a roast or turkey? They do sell coffee beans but it’s easy enough to buy it pre-ground; I also use the coffee grinder to grind almonds, but since I don’t bake here due to an inadequate excuse for an oven I don’t need to grind almonds. Similarly, I don’t miss the double boiler, because I use it mostly to melt chocolate. A cast-iron griddle would kill my glass-topped stove, and the stove-top grill probably wouldn’t work well either. I don’t need skewers because I don’t have a grill here; I use them mostly to make it easier to turn shrimp on the barbie. (I have metal kebab skewers but almost always use the bamboo kind instead, because they’re better-sized for shrimp.) I do miss having a slow cooker I can use; a Dutch oven on the stove top works fine, because I do make a lot of things that use it like chili or jambalaya, but stove top is more likely to burn the bottom of stuff.

I miss a mortar and pestle sometimes, but I mostly use it to crumble dried hot peppers (a way to avoid getting capsaicin on my fingers) and those are rarer here though we can get them sometimes. I miss a blender occasionally, but we mostly used it for daiquiris, which we make rarely, and for pureeing the seasoning to inject a turkey before deep-frying it. Can’t get turkeys here, so that function isn’t needed. We do miss the pizza stone; we accidentally left it in our Arizona house when we moved, because it lived int he oven. I hope the new owners use it. But it wouldn’t even fit into the combi oven here, though we’d have appreciated having it when Ted made pizza on a couple of our Oregon trips.

Oh, yes: and I have a cake tester too. I call it a “toothpick”. Or a bamboo skewer or even a broomstraw.

Other gadgets or specialty cookware I wouldn’t want to be without: Dutch oven. Good knives, and sharpener. Coffee maker. Lettuce crisper. Corkscrew – a good one is so much easier, whether the bog lever kind, the rabbit-eared one, or just a normal but well-made one. (We have all three – a lever one from Taiwan, rabbit ears in the US, a good folding corkscrew here.) Wine vacuum sealer. Popcorn popper (I recently read about popcorn lung and felt vindicated in my lifelong preference for popping it on the stove top). Tomato knife. Glass mixing bowls. (Metal are OK too but glass looks nicer for serving and I always wonder if it’s OK to put acidic salad dressings in a metal bowl. What I prefer to avoid are plastic missing bowls, because it’s harder to keep them clean.) Small ramekin dishes or tiny glass bowls (for melting butter in the microwave or holding portions of olive oil to dip bread into). Pasta server. Collapsible colander (works OK, saves storage space). Baster. Mixer, either electric or hand-cranked.

There are a fwe things we have and use but could happily do without. A toaster is handy on occasion – I think we have one in the US, and there’s one here that belongs to the apartment. I use pastry brushes now and then, though I can live without one (the edge of a paper towel works.) We use our small waffle iron now and then for a treat. That means the only thing we have and really don’t use is the espresso maker, and Ted likes the stuff enough that I can imagine him using it more when we get home.

I can’t think of much I want that I don’t have, except a good roasting rack. I’d like a stand mixer and food processor, but realistically I probably wouldn’t use them enough to justify the counter space.