Holiday gratitude

Over the holidays, I am taking a few minutes to pause and be thankful, before I rush to nail down my 2021 resolutions.

Here are five kitchen inventions that we can be grateful for on Christmas day (and why):

– A built-in oven with a side-opening door. Our stuffed turkey is one of the heaviest things that I have to handle, and lifting it from a low height, with a big obstacle in the way, has always struck me as problematic. The ability to open the door to the side, out of the way, and then step a little bit closer, seems quite brilliant! (Need to justify adding a kitchen reno to next year’s wish list? With a traditional oven, a turkey requires more back strength than a typical female has, as shown in the graphic above. The task also approaches low back disc compression guidelines [not shown]. A side-opening door and a slightly higher oven allow us to lift with less bending and reaching, reducing back muscle demands and disk compression.)

– Oven mitts that fit. Oven mitts are big and bulky on my small hands, so I’m grateful when I can actually get my fingers into the roasting pan’s handles, or under the pie plate without leaving a huge thumbprint on the top.

– A turkey lifter. I’ve tried stabbing both sides of the turkey with big forks to transfer it from the roasting pan to the carving board, which usually results in big, hot splashes when the bird slips out of the prongs. Placing a turkey lifter under the bird before roasting makes this transfer much easier. It’s much like lifting a patient with a sling, or a mattress with lifting straps. The lifter provides secure handles that allow us to focus on lifting, rather than gripping.

– An electric knife. No matter how often we sharpen the knives, they can’t compete with my electric knife for cutting meat. It takes half the time and less than half the effort to carve the bird with the electric knife, and the quality of cutting is much better. (Comfort, quality, and productivity all go hand-in-hand!)

– A soup maker. I love cream soups, but using a regular blender to puree soup is messy and a bit scary when hot liquid splashes or spills. I had an immersion blender that sped up the process, with fewer dishes to clean up, but my thumb was always sore after holding the button “on” for 5 full minutes. Last year, I was given an instant pot soup maker (thanks, dad!), which cooks and blends at the same time. Boxing week soup has never been easier!

What are you grateful for? Do your favourite inventions improve comfort, quality, or productivity? Might we call them “ergonomic”?