Short and sweet, you don't actually NEED any small electrics. Our Grandmas didn't have any and they lived right through that. But then, most of our Grandmas were at home all day, so there's that.
So let's imagine that I were starting out again as a young hausfrau, except knowing what I know now. I think I would buy these kitchen electrics in this order, and assuming your microwave is installed over your range:
- A coffee pot! Got to have coffee. Whether a drip coffeemaker or an electric percolator, yes! Coffee!
- A handheld mixer. Whipping cream or making meringue by hand is a bigger workout than I like. Also handy for whipping potatoes, etc.
- A slow cooker. My old trusty Rival Crockpot is a wondrous friend in the kitchen. When I'm only feeding me for dinner, I love to throw two trimmed artichokes in there, add some lemon, garlic and water, and turn it on low. I come home to perfectly-tender artichokes. You can bake bread in one of these things, or make the most tender corned elk roast you ever had. Plus so much more. And it does that all while you're at work. The only thing I don't understand is WHY didn't someone win a Nobel prize when they figured how to make these with a removable stoneware crock? Before that, they were dang hard to wash.
- A toaster. One with slots long enough for odd shaped bread like pumpernickel (my favorite kind of toast) and wide enough for a bagel.
- A really good stand mixer. You already know about my love affair with my Kitchenaid mixer. Mine is a big 6-qt, lift bowl powerhouse in a stunning pewtery silver color. It is my best friend. I would really like to give her a name, but I am not good at naming objects (sure glad God didn't give ME the job of naming all the beasts in Eden). If you have any suggestions, I'm open.
- An electric skillet. My first one was a square one, with a big domed kind of lid and I used it completely to death. My present electric skillet is an oval affair that works great, too.
- A good blender. One that crushes ice effortlessly and also makes pots d' creme a cinch.
- A stick blender. (see Part 1 of this series).
- A food processor. This too, in my house, is a Kitchenaid. I don't use it often, but when I do, there is no equal. During canning season and the holidays, it homesteads right out on the counter.
- Maybe a waffle iron. I don't have one now, and I haven't missed it. But what if I want to make waffles?
What WOULDN'T I buy? I would not bother with any of the specialty electrics for making quesadillas, electrocuting hot dogs, poaching eggs, cooking a "baked" potato by impaling it on an electrified nail, and so on and so on and so on. If I ate more popcorn, that would be one electric that is a one-trick-pony I would still consider. An electric tea kettle is nice for the office if you don't have a stove there, but most of those cool, funky toy electrics? Nah. This goes double for those cute little breakfast stations that have a tiny coffee maker, toaster oven and wee small egg cooker, all in one retro-looking adorbs appliance. They're cute, yes. But what happens when one part of this trifecta stops working. Now you have to buy three new things. Nah.