Adam Liaw on the kitchen appliances you’ll actually use



Composite: Getty images


© Provided by The Guardian
Composite: Getty images

Utensils, gadgets, small appliances, large appliances – there’s a lot of things competing for precious space in your kitchen. As kitchen design trends toward smaller, more efficient spaces, it’s more important than ever to separate the must-haves from the kitchen drawer detritus of the future.



Clockwise from left: a stand mixer, air fryer, egg slicer and garlic peeler.


© Composite: Getty images
Clockwise from left: a stand mixer, air fryer, egg slicer and garlic peeler.

Here’s a simple guide to what you need in the kitchen, and what you don’t.

Gadgets

If something can be described as a gadget in the kitchen it’s probably not something you need. A good rule of thumb is that if it has an ingredient in the name, avoid it. From egg slicers to bean splitters, single-ingredient gadgets are the impulse buys of the kitchen.

For some reason garlic seems to attract a lot of equipment. Flexible tubes for peeling, mechanical presses for crushing, and even pieces of metal that supposedly get the smell off your hands – all answers to questions few were asking in the first place. All you need to deal with garlic is a knife. Bash it with the flat to peel it and squash it, or chop it with the blade.

Food processors

Food processors can be useful, but in truth I moved mine from the “sometimes” cupboard to the “almost never” storage years ago.

The promise of efficiently chopping or shredding vegetables in seconds is a false economy for anyone halfway proficient with a knife or box grater. That said, if you’re regularly making short pastries, breadcrumbs, fish cakes or commercial quantities of coleslaw, it might not be a bad thing to have.



a blender sitting on a counter: A high speed blender with a pink smoothie inside


© Provided by The Guardian
A high speed blender with a pink smoothie inside

High-speed blender

High-end, high-speed blenders might be seen as the ultimate in small appliance gimmickry, but here’s the thing – they’re great. I grew up in a kitchen where blenders were used regularly to make spice pastes, sauces and soups, and half your time was spent trying to coax them into working properly. The modern crop of high-speed devices are a game-changer. Even if you have no interest in smoothies, these can blitz super-fine flours, nut milks, pastes, sauces and soups without needing to strain them. I use mine a lot. Adding a heating element in it is a bit of a luxury, though.

Stick blender

Stick blenders are useful in that there is no transferring of hot liquids from pot to blender, but at the same time they don’t do as complete a job of blending as the vortex of a jug blender can. The thing that makes stick blenders really useful, however, is the small capacity food processor attachments they can power.

As with all appliance choices, what you need will depend entirely on what you cook. If you’re making lots of apple crumble, fish cakes and creamy soups perhaps a full-sized food processor and blender will be best for you, but otherwise you may

Read more

Springfield’s election of Adam Gomez, Orlando Ramos to state House and Senate more than 30 years in the making

When the results were confirmed and Springfield Ward 1 City Councilor Adam Gomez Sr. was declared the winner of the Democratic primary for the Hampden District state Senate seat, his father could not help but think back to the years of protests, community organizing and sacrifice of family time that led to this moment.



a group of people sitting at a table: Cheryl Coakley-Rivera, the Register of Deeds Hampden County, addresses members of the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus at Springfield City Hall in October 2019.


© The Republican file/masslive.com/TNS
Cheryl Coakley-Rivera, the Register of Deeds Hampden County, addresses members of the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus at Springfield City Hall in October 2019.

“This is about more than my son or my family. This is about a fight we have been fighting for 30 years to get representation for the Black and Latino community in Springfield,” said Gumersindo Gomez, who serves as executive director of the Massachusetts Bilingual Veterans Outreach Center of Massachusetts Inc., and who was part of the Springfield Coalition for Ward Representation. The latter organization fought for the right to have ward representation on the city council in 1992.



a man wearing a hat and glasses: Gumersindo Gomez, right, and Heriberto Flores in November 2019.


© Hoang ‘Leon’ Nguyen / The Republican/masslive.com/TNS
Gumersindo Gomez, right, and Heriberto Flores in November 2019.

Adam Gomez said he will be the first Afro-Latino to serve in the Massachusetts senate and only the second person of color joining current Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz. The primary also saw a victory for Ward 8 City Councilor Orlando Ramos, who will succeed current state Rep. Jose Tosado in representing the 9th Hampden District. Both men are Puerto Rican.

Loading...

Load Error

Samantha Pettey, an assistant professor of political science at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, said it can be hard for women and people of color to win voter support — especially in a challenge to a current office holder.

“You are trying to convince people that you are qualified for the job. Going up against an incumbent is very intimidating, especially when this person has been on the ballot year after year,” said Pettey, whose research includes looking at the successes of female candidates in state elections. “The Latino population in Springfield has continued to grow and I think it’s the right time and moment for people of color and for women, especially seeing this trickle down role model effect of candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley. These young people of color and women candidates are inspiring other folks lower down the political ladder to give it a try, too.”



a group of people sitting at a table using a laptop: Newly elected state representative Orlando Ramos meets with outgoing state Rep. Jose Tosado Sept. 3, 2020.


© Hoang ‘Leon’ Nguyen / The Republican/masslive.com/TNS
Newly elected state representative Orlando Ramos meets with outgoing state Rep. Jose Tosado Sept. 3, 2020.

Adam Gomez said he is grateful to his wife and three children, as well as his parents and siblings, for standing by him while he first ran for a seat on the New North Citizens Council Board of Directors and later the Ward 1 City Council seat. He also credited his political success to his two close friends Zulmalee Rivera-Delgado, an organizer for Neighbor to Neighbor, and his close friend and fellow community activist Jafet Robles, who was killed in 2017. His murder

Read more