I love to cook. My mom is a fantastic cook, so I think it’s in my genes to know how to prepare delicious meals. I didn’t really get into cooking until I graduated from college and was living on my own. I quickly learned that eating out was too expensive and too unhealthy, so I started to cook my own meals.
Once Vinn and I got married, I really stepped up my cooking game. Not only was I now cooking for myself, but for another person. I wanted him to love the food I made, too. Everything changed, though, when Vinn and I moved to Germany. We couldn’t bring a lot of our kitchen tools with us since the outlets are different and I did not know what to expect from our kitchen.
Now that it’s been almost a year and a half (!) we’ve settled into our lives in Germany, including our cooking routine. There are three main kitchen tools that I used all the time in Michigan that I don’t use at all in Germany. One because of the outlets and two because they are too expensive to buy in Germany when we’re only living here for a short period of time. I do miss all of these kitchen tools (or small appliances) but have learned to live without them.
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1. KitchenAid Mixer
My aunt bought us a KitchenAid mixer as a wedding present for us. To say I love it is a total understatement. I used the mixer to make cookies, brownies, muffins, one failed attempt at bread and even pasta thanks to these really cool attachments. This kitchen item was too precious to bring to Germany regardless, it’s actually with my parents because I didn’t want it to be stored in Michigan!
2. Food Processor
I initially didn’t want a food processor because I thought it would just be another thing that took up a lot of space in the kitchen cabinets. Well, once we got one (again as a wedding gift) I can’t believe I lived without it! I would use my food processor to make date balls (this recipe is delicious), salsa, spinach dip, anything.
I did not replace or buy a food processor at all when we moved. And, you know what? I find myself finding all kinds of recipes that require a food processor and wishing I had one. I could buy a smaller version of what we had but I can’t justify the price and we don’t have any more space in our kitchen for one. I just have to buy date balls at the grocery store, even though they are expensive. (To see a tour of our kitchen and the rest of our apartment, check out this post).
It is pretty normal not to have a microwave in Germany. It uses a lot of energy and is surprisingly expensive to buy one here. I would use a microwave in the States probably three to four times a week for popcorn alone (say what you want about Bethenny Frankel, but the Skinnygirl popcorn is amazing!) and then again to reheat pretty much anything else.
I have been without a microwave since our move. Honestly, I don’t really miss it! Would it be nice to have one, yes, but I’ve learned to use the oven to reheat. I did miss popcorn for a while, but then a friend made us popcorn kernels from the stove and it has been a game changer! Now I have popcorn at least once a week. I put some butter oil in the saucepan first and then add some rose sea salt, delicious.
It is crazy to think that our time in Germany is almost half way finished and that we’ve lived without these kitchen items for the same amount of time. I can’t believe, also, that I don’t really miss some of them. I guess that goes to show you that you don’t need all this “stuff” to cook or to be happy. I will be really happy when I can use my mixer again, though!
What have you gone without, kitchen related or not? Any tips on how to make date balls without a food processor?