The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Lifestyles

April 23, 2014

Cheryle Finley: The kitchen has become a place of laziness

JOPLIN, Mo. — As I stand in the middle of my kitchen, I realize the room has made me lazy. Of course, there's the obvious differences from the good old days. I no longer have to start a fire in the cookstove; I don't have to buy ice to keep the fridge cold; I don't have to carry water to fill the sink; and I have a dishwasher for dirty dishes (although the latter isn't a big deal to me because I rarely use it). What about the other things making their home in my kitchen?

To set my microwave for 1, 2 or 3 minutes, I have only to push the 1, 2 or 3 and it will automatically run for that many minutes. No need to even press 00 to get the zapping going. Do we not have enough time and energy to push 1-0-0 for 1 minute of microwaving? Even if it took me a couple of minutes to program, it would be worth the time this wonderful invention saves. I've always said I wish Grandma Evans could have had a microwave. She passed away before they were invented, but I'm positive she would have thought she was in an episode of "The Jetsons" if she had had a microwave on her kitchen cabinet.

I don't have to empty and fill ice trays. No pulling the lever on the metal trays or twisting the plastic trays in order to cool down my drink. There's always ice available from the freezer or the door to the refrigerator.

I don't have to defrost the freezer. I remember having to do that on one of my earlier refrigerators. Ugh!

I don't have to take the garbage out to dispose of it. I just have to stuff it down the sink.

My oven bakes a batch of cupcakes in about eight minutes and a cake in about 24 minutes, obviously leaving more time for napping afterwards, while the stovetop brings water to a boil in two minutes, which means more time for napping before having to start cooking.

I have oven bags for turkeys, so I don't have to baste the bird. It turns out moist and delicious, and all I have to do is watch for the pop-up timer to appear, signaling that dinner is ready.

I have paper plates and towels as well as plastic utensils that I can simply toss away instead of washing and reusing. I don't do this often, but using these handy items is an option.

My electric can opener spins the can around, then a magnet latches on top. I'm not required to crank the top of the can to open it.

My food processor chops and grates, my mixer combines, and my blender whips and purees.

In my fridge, I have bacon that's ready in 35 seconds and garlic that's already chopped and molded into a butter cube, ready for the saute skillet.

If I have a small piece of bread in the toaster, I can simply place my plate next to it and the finished toast will pop right out of the slot and on to the plate, ready for serving. There's no need to even reach over and fish the bread out of the toaster. I will miss this toaster when it gives out because I feel like I'm on an episode of "I Love Lucy" every time the toast pops out.

Probably the ultimate example of laziness in my kitchen is the cabinet drawers. I don't have to push them hard to make them close Ñ a gentle nudge and they close themselves.

Am I complaining? Goodness, no. I'm happy with my kitchen conveniences and am appreciative of all of them. But it makes me think maybe I need to park further away from the grocery store door so I can get a little more exercise in my life.

Friday night was the much-anticipated Saferite and Finley visit to Diamond Cafe. Jon and Alison take such good care of their customers. While we missed Stefen, Chris stepped right in and made us feel welcome. When you dine with them, take home leftovers and be sure to try the carrot cake. It's the best!

Got a bunch of leftover hard-boiled eggs from Easter? They will last for up to a week in the refrigerator, so you can make egg pizza in the next day or two. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner, this recipe is from realsimple.com. To celebrate Thursday's National Pigs in a Blanket Day, the pillsbury.com recipe for this tasty treat includes cheese, which can be omitted.

These can also be made with biscuits, but the crescent rolls are my favorite because they are fluffier. Serve them with some mustard and ketchup for dipping, and it's fun for the whole family. I had some strawberries last week that were so tasty that I dug up a dessert recipe that calls for them, fresh or frozen. It's good either way and has only three ingredients. It comes from "The Cake Doctor." Have a wonderful week and happy eating!

 

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