As a child, I was always fascinated by the Star Trek method of cookery, which seemed to involve barking orders at a hole in the wall from which food or drink then magically materialised.
Tea’s up – Star Trek Voyager style
I also loved sci-fi movies where whole meals were in pills form and clothes were cleaned via light waves… and don’t get me started on suppertime at The Jetsons!
Supper-time at The Jetson’s
For my mother’s generation, front-loading washing machines and frost-free fridges were the latest covetable kit, so what are the key developments of the past few years that have helped to make life easier for my generation?
I love it – does it come in white?
Here in the first of a five-part series (and in my best Tomorrow’s World voice) I look at the kitchen innovations that might have seemed a sci-fi pie-in-the-sky idea to her and her friends but are life-enhancing must haves for me and mine…
You might be surprised to know that dishwashers have been around for some time – the first domestic electric dishwasher first appeared in the 1940s. These were, in turn, based on a hand-operated model designed by an American well-todo lady, Josephine Cochrane to prevent her servants chipping her china! Interestingly, the company that she then went on to form was sold to KitchenAid, which is now a part of the Whirlpool group.
Josephine Cochrane’s dishwasher – a bit bulky by today’s standards
However, although they are commonplace in the US, these timesaving marvels have yet to be installed in even half of UK households, despite them being the most coveted and loved appliance on a recent BK blog poll. Yep, only 4 in 10 of us actually have a dishwasher but this is probably more to do with space than reluctance to invest – particularly as you can pick up a decent, all-round model for £200 these days. I say, make the space! If your kitchen’s really compact, don’t think of it as an extravagance, merely another place to store your crockery! Besides, smaller 45cm models are much more efficient than they used to be, too, and think of all the water you’ll be saving if you buy one of the latest models that use as little as 9 litres per wash.
Recently, manufacturers have been keen to make improvements, so racks are more versatile, allowing you to customise the interior depending on what you have to clean. They’ve getting bigger, too. At least on the inside, with some machines fitting 14 place settings in just one wash, without taking up more space in the kitchen. If, like me, a dishwasher’s on your must-have list then visit housetohome to see more or buy our April issue (out 7 March), which will feature an essential guide to finding the model that’s right for you.
Next week… pyrolitic ovens.
Read more →