Home Vs. Away: Appliances, Gadgets
SNOWBIRD KITCHEN APPLIANCES, GADGETS
You're spending your first week in your snowbird rental and have an incredible list of meals you plan to create and devour while in your Southern home. Except you aren't preparing these meals with all of the fabulous appliances and gadgets you have in your Northern home. You're using a very limited selection of maybe two or three appliances and no special gadgets. That is the kitchen challenge reality for many snowbirds.
Instead of chopping vegetables in your food processor, making a dessert with your electric mixer and freezing leftovers with your vacuum food sealer machine, the new reality is your time will be spent chopping by hand, stirring with wooden spoons and either eating leftovers several meals in a row or perhaps freezing them in a baggie.
Simpler Meals and Ingredients
Snowbird meals tend to be much simpler, using fewer ingredients and a very limited selection of appliances and gadgets to prepare them. Choose the freshest, highest quality ingredients and find alternate ways to make your favorite recipes. Forget about what you don't have to cook with, instead focus on what you can accomplish with what you do have.
Choose Hard Working Kitchen Appliances
Snowbirds make decisions about what appliances and gadgets should be transported each season. Choose the hardest working, highest quality and most beloved appliances and gadgets unless you have an endless supply of cargo space, of which most snowbirds do not. I bring my immersion blender for soups and chopping because it easily fits into a shoe box-sized plastic bin. Other than that, based on space, the food chopper is another good candidate. Our rental does not have a coffee machine that grinds beans like at home. My husband prefers freshly ground coffee from whole beans, so he brings our spice grinder every season. If you like the kind of coffee that is made from the small flavored cups, you'll make space to bring your specialty coffee maker or ship it. Shipping is a very good option for anything you want to use on a regular basis, but just won't fit in your vehicle.
What "Well-Stocked" Really Means
Your snowbird rental is not going to be supplied with the high end, brand name appliances and gadgets, but they will be functional. Our snowbird rental is considered "well stocked," but this is what well stocked looks like when you compare my kitchen with our Southern kitchen:
Carbonated Water Machine
Countertop Electric Grill*
Electric Mixer, hand-held
Rice Maker, Large X 1 and Small X 1
Slow Cookers, Large X 1, Medium X 2, Mini X 2
Vacuum Food Sealer Machine
*I no longer own these items, but many people do
Electric Mixer, hand-held
*We purchased a small slow cooker and took it home our first season, then left it in our rental our second and third seasons. We unexpectedly moved our fourth and fifth seasons, which means we no longer have a slow cooker in our southern rental. Frankly, it was so small, a pork shoulder didn't fit into it anyway.
"Keep it simple in the kitchen. If you use quality ingredients, you don't need anything fancy to make food delicious: just a knife, a cutting board, and some good nonstick cookware, and you're set."
-Curtis Stone, Australian Celebrity Chef, Author and Television Personality