I've adopted some new appliances into my home. They are mostly great and I'd like to tell you about them now.
We were gifted a Kenmore 2 lb Bread Maker for my birthday, and it is working as we speak. I mean, it was making bread while I was typing the first draft of this post, it was making dough that would be pizza crust when I came back to edit, and it was making dough that would be deep dish pizza when I finally got around to posting, so I've been really putting this little workhorse through its paces and we're getting along just fine.
Kneading dough for fresh baked goods is very hard on my head, so it's really nice to just add the ingredients, push a few buttons, walk away, and have fresh bread (or dough for other things) a short time later. I can even set a timer, so I wake up to fresh bread in the morning. We haven't made it all the way through the recipe book yet, for lack of ingredients, but our most repeated recipe so far has been one I found on the interwebs, a french bread. It doesn't have the same texture as french bread from a bakery, it's more cakey, but it makes superlative toast and is nice for sandwiches and dipping. I'm hoping to get into darker grains soon, maybe rye.
We've inherited a Roomba 560. It's adorable. I started anthropomorphizing it right away, so that's been fun. It's like having another pet, but one that cleans. I point this out to our little dog every other time roomba does a tour, but she remains unimpressed. We've used the roomba off and on for two months now and this little robot vacuum gets two thumbs up from me. It gives the floor a decent (not perfect) once over, makes alert noises and stops if cords or larger debris are tangled in its bits, it's easy to clean out, and it has a timer, so as long as we've picked up enough for it to run, it goes all on its own every day.
The roomba's been great so far, but I'll let you all know if it breaks. By which I mean I'll probably post pics of the funeral I'll hold for my dearly departed roombie, an elaborate affair that will be followed by a period of mourning that I might call shiva to make myself sound more interesting, but it will really just be days and days of marshmallows, tea, and Downton Abbey to soothe my broken soul.
Add a vacuum I can actually maneuver to the mix and we've got a clean carpet, people! We've also inherited a Eureka Optima Lightweight Mini-Upright Vacuum, and everyone is thrilled for me to be able to participate in the vacuuming again! It's much lighter than our old, borrowed vacuum at only about 12 lbs, and with it I can cover roughly half of our room at a time without serious migraine repercussions! I've honestly been wishing for a stick vac, the pushing and the noise of the standard vacuums are pretty awful for my head and reducing the weight I'm lugging around makes a huge difference. This Eureka isn't as light as a stick vacuum, but getting half the room done is much better than none of the room, so I'm enjoying the ease with which this machine was designed. The buttons and parts are all easy to decipher and maneuver, it's not too difficult to clean out the canister without getting yourself filthy, and best of all, the thing sucks super good. [Update: In May of the year 2013, this vacuum died, probably due to user error. Learn from my mistake: if this vacuum still works, but sounds funny, stop using it. RIP.]
I was originally delighted to have a Capresso H2O Plus Glass Water Kettle come into my possession. It boils water in under five minutes and I love the auto shut-off feature because we forget boiling water on the stove FAR too often. The kettle came to us nearly new, in perfect-looking condition, but we used it less than ten times before it stopped working suddenly. My boyfriend thinks he can possibly fix it, but his honey-do list is already a mile long. The kettle's funeral will be held next Saturday in my front yard. I'll be laying it to rest in the garbage, after some words of thanks and irritation. You were great while you lasted, capresso, but I doubt I'll ever buy one of these.
So, some good and bad in these reviews. I'm really excited about my newly increased powers of vacuuming, am loving the fresh, cheap bread coming out of my kitchen like clockwork, and I'll miss that electric kettle but I've begun setting a timer when I put a pot on, and that keeps me from boiling the house down, so I suspect I'll be able to find happiness without an auto shut-off feature.