This week our columnist has been trying – with mixed success – to resist the bargains on offer. But she’s still lured by some of those kitchen ‘savers’.... but just don’t mention the new frying pan debacle, please!
FORGET the Donegal Postman or whatever oracle you go to for your long-range forecast – I can tell you all straight up, with exact certainty, that we’re in for our mildest winter in years.
And why am I so sure? Well, in a moment of weakness, I visited a certain discount supermarket to avail of their ‘ski week’ offers, and the last time I did that was around five years ago, and the flipping mercury never dipped below 10 degrees all season.
I was fuming (and also very warm). It’s not like we’re planning to go skiing this year (I’m still traumatised by my ice skating fiasco last Christmas), but I’m still a great one for the ‘what ifs...,’ namely what if the ‘Beast from the East: The Sequel’ hits? And what if we don’t have the right gloves? Or the right boots and we fall and break an ankle ... or worse again, a hip? (I did say I was still traumatised by the ice skating).
• So while I promised myself I was just popping into said discount supermarket for milk and bread, I was pulled towards the middle aisle and before I knew it I was at the check-out laden down with enough gear for an expedition to the North Pole. And a few extra base layers for family and friends. It’s a weakness in me. Anyway, you can all thank me when things turn nice and balmy next week, which I’m sure they will.
• In the meantime, all the Black Friday ads I’m being bombarded with are driving me bonkers! I think I must have clicked on a box that said ‘soft touch,’ or ‘easily influenced,’ at some stage, because the amount of emails that come my way about ‘secret exclusive sales,’ ‘pre-sale sales’ etc is bewildering. So, too, is the amount of time I actually spend thinking about buying things I never even knew existed, or that I could definitely live without. To be fair, I do manage to resist 99.9% of the time but there are still a few things I wake up at night thinking about longingly. So in no particular order they are ...
• Fridge containers, or organisers, call them what you like. I swing between feeling insanely annoyed at people who have these shiny containers and who decant all their shopping into them (what a waste of time, like! What’s wrong with the containers the food comes in?) to being eaten with envy and wanting them for myself (It all looks so pretty! And no more forgotten blueberries or celery floating at the back!). I reckon we still won’t eat the celery but it would make a nice photo for Instagram. I’ll sleep on it for a bit longer.
• On a similar theme, what about drawer dividers? I think I’ve watched one (or 50) too many videos by US home organisation ‘experts’ on Facebook and I now get sent so many ads for things like this. I know they’re not essential but it’s quite calming to see socks and t-shirts all lined up and uniformly folded in their little assigned slots. I also saw a really nifty organiser for jeans – so when you pull out one pair they won’t all come flying out on the floor (where they could potentially stay for a week). Things like that would definitely make me less cranky. They may have to go on the Santa list I think.
• An air fryer. I kid you not, I still don’t have one. And now that I think about it, I’m actually over it. If I’ve resisted this long I (should get some sort of a medal right?) probably don’t need it. Instead, I could get a jump start on the Thermomix trend? It promises to replace 20 appliances in one – god, I don’t know, sounds a bit scary, and I’d most likely struggle with the manual. Maybe I’ll go old school with a slow cooker? Stews are handy at this time of year – and they are a great way to use up that celery!
• Staying in the kitchen, what about a pancake batter dispenser? It’s like a jug, and you squeeze the handle and it dispenses the batter into the pan, without a drip or a splatter. Now, you might be thinking a ladle does that job just fine, with the exception of a splatter or two, and ... you’d be right. Next! What about these nifty double-sided brushes to clean around taps? They’re an actual thing. They’re also designed to reach that icky area that no one likes to acknowledge: around the toilet seat hinges. Worth considering, if only to turn the air less blue when I’m doing the housekeeping.
• I nearly forgot – one thing I most definitely need is a new frying pan. Despite perusing the kitchen section of a shop last week, and making what I thought was an informed decision and spending – wait for it – €58 – on a frying pan, it won’t work on my induction hob. I must confess this has happened me before, so this time I thought I had read the instructions really carefully, before I put the packaging and the receipt in the recycling bin, on collection day. Except I didn’t. Jesus wept. Of course if anyone gets a frying pan from me for Christmas, without the tags, it obviously won’t be this one. Absolutely not.
• I also genuinely need a blind for my kitchen. It’s our turn to host on December 25th (see how I didn’t say Christmas there?), and our dining table is right beside a large glazed double door and I want to make sure that the only thing that’s well cooked on the day is the turkey and not ourselves. The last time we had a crowd on Christmas Day the festive jumpers were cast aside, sunglasses were requested and a few people felt faint and asked if they could lie down, so this year I’m getting in front of things. Murphy’s Law will probably mean it will be grey and wet but I’ll take it. The blind can make its debut another day.
• Finally, have we all seen Roy Keane in the new Adidas video? Check it out. The Cork man is the face of a campaign for the sports brand and in a just-released video as part of that, he talks about his life, his family, his dog Jet and how content he is in life. One word you mightn’t automatically associate with Roy is adorable, but this video footage is just that. Who knows, I might even be tempted to buy some of the gear myself! Once I get the drawer dividers first, of course