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Useless kitchen appliances

A friend and I were reminiscing about about the '70s and S&H green stamps the other day. My mother absolutely had to have an electric can opener, but didn't want to shell out for it. She filled out her booklets and finally got the coveted can opener.

It was novel and kind of useful for about two weeks. Attaching the can, making sure it didn't fall off, and then wiping up splashed contents from the counter and machine was a pain. She reverted back to a manual one.

I'm actually somewhat surprised they still make them. I can understand people with arthritis need them. But jeez there are so many on the market at a wide range of prices. What's so bad about manual ones?

And don't get me started about the "Turbo 2000" electric salad spinner I saw at Macy's.

by Anonymousreply 10305/24/2020

I can never get a manual can opener to work. I'd be lost if they didn't produce an electric one, it is far from useless.

by Anonymousreply 105/21/2020

I just had to have an expensive Kitchen Aid food processor, but I've probably used it 5 times in the past 10 years. It's heavy and too big to keep out on the counter. It's a major pain in the ass to clean, and I've cut myself twice on the razor sharp blade.

I find chopping by hand with a knife is easier, faster and with none of the cleanup.

by Anonymousreply 205/21/2020

The Presto Pizzazz takes up a ton of counter space, but will cook your frozen pizza like nobody's business!

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by Anonymousreply 305/21/2020

Espresso maker. I stopped using mine after a few months. Too much trouble.

by Anonymousreply 405/21/2020

Does a cat respond to the sound of a manual can opener the same way it does with an electric one?

by Anonymousreply 505/21/2020

Electric can openers delight cats, so they are not useless.

I gave up on coffee makers a few years ago and am very happy with the pour-over method.

by Anonymousreply 605/21/2020

Egg slicer. Do you really make that many dishes that call for decorative eggs?

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by Anonymousreply 705/21/2020

My parents had this weird hot dog toaster that they bought after I moved out. Honestly, it wasn't as nice as this one. I never understood the point. I mean, they just didn't eat hot dogs that often. Did they really need a special hot dog toaster? They probably used it three times and forgot about it.

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by Anonymousreply 805/21/2020

We always had an electric can opener when I was growing up, but we ate a lot more canned foods then. A typical weeknight meal would be salmon patties from canned salmon, a can of corn, and a can of green beans for the sides, and a can of fruit cocktail for dessert. That’s too many cans to open by hand.

Upscale homes in the late 70s would have a built in trash compactor which would squeeze the garbage into a small cube. We never had one. I haven’t seen one in ages.

by Anonymousreply 905/21/2020

We always had an electric can opener when I was growing up, but we ate a lot more canned foods then. A typical weeknight meal would be salmon patties from canned salmon, a can of corn, and a can of green beans for the sides, and a can of fruit cocktail for dessert. That’s too many cans to open by hand.

Upscale homes in the late 70s would have a built in trash compactor which would squeeze the garbage into a small cube. We never had one. I haven’t seen one in ages.

by Anonymousreply 1005/21/2020

Salad spinners are great, but they're a pain to clean after each use.

by Anonymousreply 1105/21/2020

So it cooks the hotdogs too? The one R8 looks like it would be a pain in the ass to clean.

by Anonymousreply 1205/21/2020

For a mere $252 (plus 19 for shipping), Mrs. Tea can be yours. About 25 years ago I temped for a lawyer (male) who got one for Christmas. He was over the moon about it. I didn't realize it's so expensive.

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by Anonymousreply 1305/21/2020

Whatever it is, I want it to be outdated and avocado green!

by Anonymousreply 1405/21/2020

I bought an alligator-style chopper for cutting onions. Worst piece of shit ever. Not only did I have to slice the onion to get the flimsy blades to cut through one slice at a time, but it was also impossible to clean.

by Anonymousreply 1505/21/2020

Here you go, R13.

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by Anonymousreply 1605/21/2020

R4, we have an ancient Krups espresso maker, very small and simple, that my husband had when I met him 25 years ago. For a long time we didn’t use it, and I almost threw it away. Then he started using it every day. During Covid times, he splurged on a fancy Dualit. It’s huge and requires some obscure paper filters, which we couldn’t get and now that thing is clogged. Meanwhile the little Krups that’s 1/3 the size is still chugging along.

by Anonymousreply 1705/21/2020

Hot tea makers.

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by Anonymousreply 1805/21/2020

The George Foreman Grill.

The Fry Baby.

by Anonymousreply 1905/21/2020

I only use my George Foreman Grill to make grilled-cheese sandwiches, which it does superbly. But it's a pain to clean and really unnecessary.

by Anonymousreply 2005/21/2020

Ronco 5-Tray Electric Fruit Dehydrator.I

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by Anonymousreply 2105/21/2020

haha, I just bought a kitchenaid stand mixer and a salad spinner (not a fancy spinner though, just a basic one).

by Anonymousreply 2205/21/2020

Salad spinners also are useful for cleaning produce, if you're the type who rinses produce.

A Heloise-style hint I read once said they were great for drying bathing suits and ladies' undies quickly, but that's a use too far, like dishwasher-poached salmon.

by Anonymousreply 2305/21/2020

[quote]I only use my George Foreman Grill to make grilled-cheese sandwiches, which it does superbly. But it's a pain to clean and really unnecessary.

My mother went nuts for the George Foreman Grill and started grilling every piece of meat on it. I hated the thing because it dried the meat out. Dry hamburger, dry chicken. I hated visiting my parents at holidays.

by Anonymousreply 2405/21/2020

[quote]I only use my George Foreman Grill to make grilled-cheese sandwiches, which it does superbly. But it's a pain to clean and really unnecessary.

I find that they're great for grilling Johnsonville brats and shish-ka-bobs if you don't have an outdoor grill. But most meats I cook in a pan rather than the grill, and my panini press gets a lot more use for sandwiches and toast.

In any event, they now make versions with removable dishwasher-safe grill surfaces, which makes cleanup a lot easier.

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by Anonymousreply 2505/21/2020

Why is Mrs. Tea so expensive?

by Anonymousreply 2605/21/2020

I remember the wall-mounted, porcelain-bodied(bright red) crank-type manual can opener from my childhood, it even had a magnet to hold onto the lid once it was free of the can.

I have two manual can openers: one is the more usual style, it cuts the lid at the recessed point where it attaches to the can, leaving a deadly-sharp edge. The other slices into the can, near the top, cleanly removing the lid, and the exposed lid edge is smooth, the can itself has a somewhat sharp edge, not nearly as dangerous as the first one I described. They are each handy in their own unique way. Use the latter type far more often.

Bought a SIMAC electric pasta maker when they were the hot ticket item many years ago, and of course I had to purchase ALL the different cutting dies. Used it maybe for 2 or 3 years( it is very good at its job), but now it sits in the pantry mocking me.

Got an electric ice cream maker, at great expense, the type with the self-contained chilling unit. It made great ice cream and sorbets, but it was a pain to clean because the bowl wasn't removable. I much prefer the cheapie one I have now, that has the easily-removable metal bowl that has to be frozen for 24 hours prior to use.

And I'll never know what possessed me to buy EVERY flippin' cutter disk for my Cuisinart food processor.

by Anonymousreply 2705/21/2020

R10, I lived in an apartment in the 1990s that had a trash compactor. Every time I used it, I had to count the kitties first and make sure they were on the other side of the room (one, two, I can shut the door). But it actually was very convenient and nice, especially in an apartment building where the trash dumpster was downstairs and across the parking lot.

I’ve never seen one again, but the dumpster was so inconveniently located I can see why they put them in.

by Anonymousreply 2805/21/2020

R27, if you’re feeling nostalgic, they still make wall-mounted Swingaway manual can openers.

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by Anonymousreply 2905/21/2020

If this isn’t the zenith of our civilization, then I don’t know what Benjamin. Lock and load your Land O’lakes.

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by Anonymousreply 3005/21/2020

Toaster oven. It doesn't do anything an over or a toaster does better and easier.

by Anonymousreply 3105/21/2020


by Anonymousreply 3205/21/2020

We had one of these growing up. Please make welcome to the stage, Electrocuted Wieners.

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by Anonymousreply 3305/21/2020

Well, those prices make more sense and it looks like they're new. Like R26, I don't understand why Amazon's vendor is charging $250.

by Anonymousreply 3405/21/2020

^meant for R16

by Anonymousreply 3505/21/2020

Hello, I am Ronco's Inside the Shell Egg Scrambler, an electric appliance that scrambles an egg inside its shell before you crack it open and put it in a bowl.

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by Anonymousreply 3605/21/2020

Also egg-related: why get out a pan and go to all that fuss when you can buy an appliance with one function — making hard-boiled eggs.

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by Anonymousreply 3705/21/2020

I remember that god-damned hot dog electrical thing. Nasty! Sometimes the things were burned on the inside and still cool on the outside. They had a weird taste, too.

by Anonymousreply 3805/21/2020

I finally threw out the countertop ice cream maker. Used it a few times when I bought it, then it collected dust in the pantry for years. Also, I have a cuisinart food processor. It’s fine but it came with a set of attachments as big as the processor. 99% of these attachments I’ll never use.

by Anonymousreply 3905/21/2020

I have a couple of items I love. My Ronco beef jerky maker and their rotisserie oven makes great cornish hens and whole chickens. As for electric can openers, they are disgusting after a few uses. I can easily clean my manual in the dishwasher or at the sink, so much easier.

by Anonymousreply 4005/21/2020

R33, My parents purchased a Westinghouse refrigerator in the 1960s and it came with two free gifts . . . a hot dog cooker identical to that one and an electric can opener that drove our dog wild.

by Anonymousreply 4105/21/2020

How are air fryers? They seem gimmicky. Are they good for chicken wings?

by Anonymousreply 4205/21/2020

More of a tool than an appliance, the banana slicer would take more time to clean than it would save.

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by Anonymousreply 4305/21/2020

Those cheap Magic Bullet-type blenders that never blend everything properly are pretty useless.

by Anonymousreply 4405/21/2020

R42 Air fryers are just a newfangled name for convection ovens. They crisp things up nicely, and cut a bit down on cooking time, but the term "fryer" is very misleading. We had a convection oven (standalone) in the early 80s and that thing made the best roast chicken. Beautiful crispy skin, and so juicy on the inside. Mmmm.

by Anonymousreply 4505/21/2020

I don't recognize people saying their electric can openers get dirty or messy. I clean mine if I get anything on it. And the cutting part is easy to pop off and throw in the dishwasher.

by Anonymousreply 4605/21/2020

Cats come running when you use a can opener like the one r29 has.

I literally used the Cuisinart I bought in 1979 to death by 1999, but I only used the steel blade. The rest of the blades sat in a "just in case" cabinet for years until I either sold them or gave them away. I inherited a number of bowls that fit it, and someone on a food website sought me out so he could buy them from me.

by Anonymousreply 4705/21/2020

I love how at xmas, the tv advertisements for silly, one use electric appliances would begin. My two favorites were the Salad Shooter, electrically dealing out carrot coins over your salad! the other one was a white rectangular thing with a handle that looked sort of like an electric hand mixer without beaters. It takes a stick o' butter, melts it and has a spray button that squirts the melted butter on your popcorn or whatever. WTF?

PS My cat ran when hearing a hand can opener crack the Friskies Buffet open.

by Anonymousreply 4805/21/2020

^^^Ugh^^^ "though" not "to".^^^

by Anonymousreply 4905/21/2020

Cat food cans have had a tab you pull to open the can for years.

Mrs. Tea was discontinued awhile ago, so sellers on the secondary market set the price at whatever they think they can get.

Mango pitters seem pretty silly to me unless you eat a hell of a lot of mango.

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by Anonymousreply 5005/22/2020

R9 - by the mid 2000's when I bought my first condo, we were all removing those trash compactors and replacing the space with "wine refrigerators". They looked cool, but were somewhat useless if you drank red instead of white. Mine never could get champagne cold enough for me (I prefer it frigid) so at most it was utilized a couple of times a year at best and only when certain company was around. I would never bother these days.

by Anonymousreply 5105/22/2020

I have a history of buying electric bread makers on offer then leaving them unused in the darkest, deepest, most remote cupboard when I move on, as unintentional house warming gifts for the next owners. I spent a summer in the house of a friend of a friend - it was a beautiful Belle Époque villa in the South of France. It had the largest kitchen with dozens of cabinets many containing both vintage and new appliances as described above. The Italian housekeeper would arrive daily and make foodie magic with a pasta maker and a few ancient copper pots and pans.

by Anonymousreply 5205/22/2020

we have an ancient Krups espresso maker

Just as a side note, Krups used to make great products & they'd last forever; someone else bought the name & now makes crap products that they sell at Walmart. Sad

As a side note for all of you that hate food processors, buy one of the mid sized FP that doesn't take up too much space & has 1-2 blade inserts. It's nice improvement over the big ones with the 10-15 specialty blades.

Air fryers seem to me like the new "fondue pot" very cool now & everyone has one, but the fad will pass & will be sold at garage sales for $5 soon

by Anonymousreply 5305/22/2020

R48, I purchased a Salad Shooter about a year ago and am obsessed with it. I make a green salad every night and it's perfect for slicing cucumbers.

by Anonymousreply 5405/22/2020

I use my egg slicer every week. Love it. Makes slices of just the right amount of eggs for canapés.

Also I love open-faced sandwiches with an aspic glaze. very old fashioned and delicious

by Anonymousreply 5505/22/2020

The best spinner of all time is this Moulinex. Hard to find nowadays but can be found. I currently have 2 - so I'll have one for the rest of my life.

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by Anonymousreply 5605/22/2020

I got one of these doodads at an estate sale ($3) and I use it for two things:

One of the blades is great for shredding cheese to make pimiento cheese, and I use another blade to shred laundry detergent bar soap for my homemade laundry detergent. Then I mix the soap shreds with the other ingredients in an old Kitchen Aid food processor, a tag sale find ($5).

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by Anonymousreply 5705/22/2020

A fellow frugal freak r57. Like it

by Anonymousreply 5805/22/2020

Makes idiot proof rotisserie chicken but that is about it and I now prefer Costco's; ready made rotisserie chickens to my own.

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by Anonymousreply 5905/22/2020

r56, I prefer the OXO. It's an easy pump action and has a button to stop it.

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by Anonymousreply 6005/22/2020

R60 that does look functional but is it also iconic?

by Anonymousreply 6105/22/2020

What exactly is the purpose of a salad spinner? Is it just to produce a mixed salad?

by Anonymousreply 6205/22/2020

It's to get the excess moisture off of the salad ingredients.

by Anonymousreply 6305/22/2020

^^ so the salad dressing will stick to the leaves.

by Anonymousreply 6405/22/2020

I got it because I hate when I make a big bowl of mixed greens for a couple of days of salad base and it remains wet no matter how much I shake the colander

by Anonymousreply 6505/22/2020

R65, I squeeze the water out of the lettuce with all my might, but then I remember where my hands have been.

by Anonymousreply 6605/22/2020

A real mandolin is a lot of work to set up and clean. But the good people at OXO have created a handy small one. We use it almost everyday without the knob handle thingy. It slices veggies perfectly.

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by Anonymousreply 6705/22/2020

The electric hot dog cooker is a highly sought after device by the true foodies. When the hot dog is cooked, the area which comes in contact with the probe becomes "burnt" creating a true umami flavor. A must for those competing on Master Chef or Iron Chef America.

by Anonymousreply 6805/22/2020

I have the OXO salad spinner. I use it not just for drying greens but for removing excess moisture from thawed shrimp. Also use it for pasta when I make a cold pasta salad.

by Anonymousreply 6905/22/2020

[quote]Why is Mrs. Tea so expensive?

Because unlike Mr. Coffee, she does anal.

by Anonymousreply 7005/22/2020

No more useful or easy to use than a normal corkscrew is this cheap stand-up contraption my grandparents bought for my mother. It just takes up too much space.

by Anonymousreply 7105/22/2020

For some reason, I've been given several of those single-use clam-shell style things to bake things like donuts. My nephew gave one like shown here for Christmas when he was young, and I used it once to make tiny donuts for him, then threw it away a year later. I also was given one of those type things that would bake "pies" made from two slices of white bread and a can of pie filling. That went straight to a charity rummage sale unused.

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by Anonymousreply 7205/22/2020

I still have my electric can opener, but it's been put away for years. I don't buy many canned goods, but I can't remember the last time I bought any that didn't have the tab pull.

The most useless kitchen appliance I ever bought was the juicer I paid $150.00 for 15 years ago. It was a fine piece of equipment but I stopped using it after I decided juicing was a worthless fad that was robbing me of all the vitamins and fiber from the peelings, and the fact that to get one glass of fresh apple juice took a ridiculous number of apples. Plus it was a major chore to clean the damn thing every time you used it. I gave it to one of the ladies who worked for me a year or so after I bought it.

by Anonymousreply 7305/22/2020

I thought electric can openers were not needed. However, as my parents aged into their 80s, an electric can opener was greatly appreciated.

by Anonymousreply 7405/22/2020

I once made a joke about wanting an As Seen on TV Ronco Inside the Egg Egg Beater to my co-workers and someone got it for me! You had to pierce an egg shell on a sharp thing that would poke thru to the wet insides and spin like a dentist drill swirling yolk and white for...what? Hilarious!

by Anonymousreply 7505/22/2020

So you could have hard boiled scrambled eggs.

by Anonymousreply 7605/22/2020

I only use my slow cooker for making boiled peanuts these days.

by Anonymousreply 7705/22/2020

I remember back when Ozzie Ozbourne & family had that reality show I saw they had a Ronco Rotisserie on the counter in their kitchen. I thought, how trashy that they would buy that thing to put in a $15 million mansion.

by Anonymousreply 7805/22/2020

[quote] I only use my slow cooker for making boiled peanuts these days.

One of my favorite delicacies! I bought a 2 lb. bag on Tuesday at the fruit stand near my house.

by Anonymousreply 7905/22/2020

Instead of a salad spinner, I got one of these. Works like a charm. Nothing to wash up. Just toss it in the washer every week or so. The NY Times featured it and it's a winner.

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by Anonymousreply 8005/22/2020

The Hamilton Beach can opener cuts along the side of the can, not from the top. It only costs $35 and it works great.

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by Anonymousreply 8105/22/2020

Presto and Ronco had the goofiest kitchen gadgets, something new every Christmas season.

by Anonymousreply 8205/22/2020

Bread maker and pasta maker. I had high hopes for both but they wound up at Goodwill within months.

by Anonymousreply 8305/22/2020

I received a pasta maker about 20 years ago. I used it several times a year at first and it made pretty good pasta, but over time I used it less due to the extra time and effort it took, and because I was eating less cabs. I also have mine ready to donate to the Salvation Army once they open up again after the COVID-19 situation is over, along with my rarely used espresso/cappuccino maker.

by Anonymousreply 8405/22/2020

There are manual versions of R81 that work just as well but cost less than $10.

Powered can openers are probably ideal for people who are physically unable to use a manual one.

by Anonymousreply 8505/22/2020

[quote]Instead of a salad spinner, I got one of these.

Can't you just use a regular towel or dishcloth?

Or a hair dryer?

by Anonymousreply 8605/22/2020

Or pop it in the oven!

by Anonymousreply 8705/22/2020

or hang each leaf up like on a clothesline!

by Anonymousreply 8805/22/2020

[quote]I also was given one of those type things that would bake "pies" made from two slices of white bread and a can of pie filling. That went straight to a charity rummage sale unused.


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by Anonymousreply 8905/22/2020

Here's the thing r80, with a salad spinner you can wash the lettuce by filling the tub full of water, spinning it and then draining the water out of the hole in the lid. Then you just spin it some more to get the excess water out. No gymnastics required.

by Anonymousreply 9005/22/2020

I recently gave away my coffeemaker, George foreman grill, 4 slot toaster, blender, electric mixer, food processor and salad shooter.

I love my toaster oven now that I live by myself and especially when it's hot out. I did keep my immersion blender but mostly because of the very small food chopper attachment which is perfect for one onion vs the stand mixer food processor attachment which is good for more quantity stuff. if I didn't often use the small food chopper attachment I would have given the immersion blender away too.

I had been given a kurig by my son a few years ago and was so happy when he moved out and I could give that thing away.

by Anonymousreply 9105/22/2020

I don't understand the comment upthread about a salad spinner being difficult to clean. I have a simple plastic one that as three parts: lid with crank to rotate, basket to hold lettuce, and outer casing. Outer parts do with a rinse and the basket with a little brushing down. It couldn't be easier. It's actually one of my best kitchen purchases. On clearance at Macy's 33 years ago for $3 or$4 and I use it to this day.

by Anonymousreply 9205/22/2020

This thread has motivated me to take a look at the collapsible plastic colander I received as a gift. I think I'm going to give it try the next time I need to rinse berries off. If that turns out to be useful, I'll only have one completely useless kitchen gadget: the cheese grater my best friend and his wife got me for Christmas that grates the cheese and then holds on to the little bits for dear life so none of them actually make it onto your food or into the little plastic receptacle. It's currently taking up space on my kitchen counter, I guess in case I have a home invasion by someone I want to painfully disfigure rather than kill or render unconscious.

by Anonymousreply 9305/22/2020

That in-shell egg-mixer sounds like an abortion tool.

by Anonymousreply 9405/22/2020

R76 NO! There is a hole in the shell and all that mixed egg would leak out if you boiled it. Basically the egg is mixed then you crack it into a bowl where you'd mix it some more with something else, or straight into the pan for cooking. This thing would never get funded on Shark Tank today!

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by Anonymousreply 9505/22/2020

R 57 I used to have one of those and still miss it. Bought it in a London street market in late 80s ! Went rusty in the end.

by Anonymousreply 9605/23/2020

[quote] [R76] NO! There is a hole in the shell and all that mixed egg would leak out if you boiled it. Basically the egg is mixed then you crack it into a bowl where you'd mix it some more with something else, or straight into the pan for cooking. This thing would never get funded on Shark Tank today!

You mean there are people too lazy to crack an egg into a bowl and whip it with a fork or a whisk? I need to see the contents of the egg before I'll go to any effort to use it or combine it with other eggs. Every once in a while you'll get a bad egg. I had one just a few months ago. Cracked it into a bowl and it was full of blood. And it was a grocery store egg, not something I got from someone who raises chickens.

by Anonymousreply 9705/23/2020

R970---I cracked an egg once and there was a partially formed chicken inside. FREAKED OUT, so ugly!

by Anonymousreply 9805/23/2020

It looks like there may be a need for a new kitchen gadget, the pocket egg X Ray machine.

Speaking of eggs, is there a gadget that separates the yolk from the white and preferably removes that hard white thing? I hate using my hands or the shells. So messy.

by Anonymousreply 9905/23/2020

There's no need to remove that hard, white thing, which is called a CHALAZA(it's there to keep the yolk centered in the shell) To remove it you'll need a scissors, it's pretty tough considering the job it has to do.

There's plenty of egg-separating gadgets.

by Anonymousreply 10005/23/2020

We had a hot dog steamer. Sadly, they took Red Dye No. 2 out of hot dogs around the same time and they weren’t as good as they used to be.

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by Anonymousreply 10105/23/2020

Has Yashar Ali been visiting?

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by Anonymousreply 10205/24/2020

Our old black maid, Evelyn.

by Anonymousreply 10305/24/2020
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