We’re all guilty of it – being seduced by shiny must-have kitchen gadgets which end up languishing in a cupboard never to see the light of day.
Whether it’s the lure of a machine that will carry out laborious cooking tasks in an instant, the attraction of a gimmicky gadget seen on a cooking show or even intentions to save money on costly takeaway food, there are so many appliances that just end up gathering dust.
Experts from Argos have analysed retro catalogues to look at kitchen trends through the decades – and it made me realise how much useless and unused kitchen equipment people must have bought over the years.
The 1970s were all about the perfect dinner party with things like a heated Hostess Trolley and a rotary iron to get creases out of table cloths and napkins.
In the mornings, you could recover by using your automatic tea maker.
It reminds me of Mrs Doyle’s wrath in Father Ted when she’s bought an automated tea maker for Christmas and ends up sabotaging it.
The 80s were about gimmicks and gadgets such as electric carving knives, wall-mounted can openers and electric food slicers.
While the 90s were more about convenience and having the latest appliances to allow home cooking without the effort. The big kitchen trends in Argos during the 90s included automatic rice cookers and ice cream machines. And let’s not forget having matching sets of appliances and crockery – like the co-ordinated Eternal Beau range.
The new millennium brought a desire for luxuries such as beer and wine coolers and mini fridges purely for alcoholic beverages. The 2000s have also seen the need for kitchens to have coffee machines so people can have a barista-style caffeine fix at home.
As a child, I used to love browsing through the Argos catalogue and desperately wanted a Mr Frosty Ice Maker... but I never got one. My parents had their own share of Argos-bought kitchen gadgets – and even had a serving hatch in the wall of their kitchen which they never actually used.
I’ve certainly been guilty of buying all sorts of kitchen merchandise over the years which has been neglected.
We have a food processor and a smoothie maker which haven’t been used for years and a waffle maker that’s never been used.
A few years ago, I bought a slow cooker and several slow cooker recipe books and promised my family delicious meals would greet us when we got in each day.
I used it about twice – as who can actually be bothered or has time to brown off meat and veg in the morning?
Hubby has even confessed he bought a Soda Stream maker before he met me.
Looking ahead, there’s sure to be an increase in smart technology and voice-activated appliances. Someone recently told me about a fridge you can get with a camera in it so if you’re at the supermarket, you can check inside to see if you need any milk.
Is that really necessary?
One thing I know for sure about any future kitchen trends – you’ll need plenty of cupboard space to shove them in before resignedly selling them off cheap at a car boot sale.