When the gadget bug hits

It happens to all of us – you read about a technique and want to try it at home, so you purchase the necessary appliance or gadget to perform the task. But after you get said gadget home, it often gets used only a couple of times before it gets shoved to the back of the cupboard and gathers dust. Sometimes, however, you receive a gadget and you find yourself using it more than you ever thought you might. This recently happened to British novelist Charlotte Mendelson, who writes about her experience in The New Yorker

dehydrated citrus

Mendelson received a food dehydrator as a holiday present from her girlfriend. At first she was overwhelmed and even a bit mortified by the bulky machine, but she begrudgingly decided to use it, not expecting much of a result. She was surprised by what happened next. “Eventually, resignedly, I chopped a banana, slid the surprisingly glutinous slices onto a tray, reread the manual, dribbled the fruit half-heartedly with lemon juice, fired up the stupid machine, and set the timer for an outrageous twelve hours. And, in the morning, I discovered magnificence,” Mendelson says. 

That success led to another attempt, then another, and another.  Not every experiment replicated the wonderful outcome of the first – dried tomato leaves tasted like “elderly hay,” and dried pine needles added to a bath soak left Mendelson looking “like a molting hedgehog.” Perhaps once the novelty wears off the dehydrator will be banished to the basement, but for now Mendelson appears to be hooked on it. 

I’ve experienced similar fits of passion about a small appliance, although none has lasted more than a couple of months. My back porch is littered with abandoned kitchen tools: a spiralizer, a tortilla press, and yes, a dehydrator. Maybe I should pull it out, dust it off, and give it another twirl. Perhaps next week. 

Photo of Dehydrated citrus from Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan

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  • Lem9579  on  January 12, 2019

    The juicer, George Forman grill, spiralizer, salad shooter, slow cooker…
    Only keepers have been the Kitchen Aid Mixer and the spice grinder. On occasions the juicer comes out but everything else is just using up space. Definitely not jumping on the Air Fryer band wagon.

  • sir_ken_g  on  January 12, 2019

    My wife buys these toys – and after a respectable time of non-use they go into her sewing room.

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