Christmas Gadgets Are RubbishDecember 31, 2010
Receiving Christmas presents is a lottery. Some years you seem to get everything you’d have wanted, which tastes all the sweeter for having not dropped any hints. In other years, in spite of your not-so-subtle requests, you get absolute rubbish and wonder if the people you love know you at all. Whether you have a good year or bad, one thing is guaranteed: you’ll receive at least one gift you didn’t think you wanted, are very pleased to have, then, in a short space of time, find it to be a much bigger turkey than the one on your plate. I received my turkey last year. Here’s the story.
My random present was a peanut butter making machine. It was a mad gadget, but I was excited by the idea of making my own peanut butter and other nut/seed varieties. It would be cheaper than buying it in a shop; it would be fresher; and I could make it with or without salt and sugar. What was there not to like? Look at the box:
Looks great, doesn’t it? The picture on the box shows the container full of delicious nuts waiting to be blended to make a spread, and the lovely, fresh, smooth brown paste in the pot below just waiting to be put on toast – wonderful! But there’s more! Look! Look at what I can make with it:
Every nut known to man can be made into a spread by this one little machine. I was salivating. I couldn’t wait to get started.
I took it out of the box, assembled it, put some cashew nuts in the container, plugged it in, then turned on the plug point, not realising that the button on the machine itself had already been switched to ‘on’. Mother of God – my ears! It was like a man with a Jackhammer had entered the house. It was also starting to move a little on the work surface, though the machine had rubber feet to keep it down. I switched it off at the plug point, reset the button on the machine, switched it on again, held the machine down and waited for the cashews to come out of the other end as the promised nut butter. What I got instead was powder. And a temporary loss of hearing.
The nuts were hardly going down and the twizzle thing at the top I was supposed to twist to help the nuts go down wasn’t working. I took everything apart again and cleaned it out. It was clear that the nut pieces weren’t small enough and indeed it did say in the instructions that the pieces may need to be made smaller in some instances so it could go through. But it showed whole nuts in the picture. I was confused, and a little annoyed. I didn’t use that machine again for nearly a year, such was my disgust at knowing that one of my loved ones spent their hard earned money on this piece of crap. Two days ago, I decided to give it one last go before I consign it to the bin. I was better prepared this time. I put some much reduced cashew pieces in the container, as suggested in the instructions, placed the machine on a newspaper to dampen the noise and switched it on. The noise was horrendous and I still had to hold the machine down to keep it in place. Nothing came out. The cashew pieces were still not small enough.
I had to reduce the contents of the container by half and try again. Eventually, after the initial spray of powder, something more solid started coming out of the spout. It was horrible. It resembled pieces of fudge and it tasted as bad as it looks here, dear reader.
The final indignity was when the motor cut out from the strain of trying to create this mess and the machine started smoking. There was only one place it could go:
I think I will try and make my own nut butter in a different way from now on. A blender may not be as much fun to look at, but it will do the job while preserving my hearing and ensuring that I will not be left standing in a pile of rubble, smoke and ash where Pie Palace used to be.
This Christmas I received a Yogurt maker.