Kitchen assistant

As we live in a pretty remote area and tend to buy meat in bulk (read typically buy half a pig or an eighth of a cow and moose at a time) my Electrolux Assistent is my absolute top of the list of machinery needed. It is one of the things I can not do without.

It’s probably easier to list what it can’t do than what it can. I mainly use mine for bread dough and mincing meat but I also make my own sausages with it.

Think it looks old? It is! As a matter of fact it turns 70 this year and it’s still going as strong at it did the day it was bought, or so I’ve been told. 

Now sold under the brand Ankarsrum, it’s the same machine and all accessories made for modern versions fit the old.This is not a cheap piece of machinery. A new one of this brand will set you back around €650, but as long as you care for it properly it will last generations!

Obviously there are other brands on the market. Some of my friends swear by their Kitchen Aid or Kenwood as I do by my Ankarsrum, and I can’t tell you which one is more reliable. What I can say is that I would rather save money every month for two years to be able to buy a quality brand than opt for a cheaper version. This is a very useful tool, but not strictly necessary.

Hand mixer

My Assistent or food processor can obviously beat whatever needs beating, but to be perfectly honest I can’t be bothered with washing up all the parts of them when this little beauty only uses two beaters.

Grandmother was capable of beating both cream and egg whites to foam, but I must admit I’m far too lazy to even attempt a feat like that.

One of these doesn’t cost much, and is a very useful tool – especially if you like to bake cakes.

Food processor

Useful and versatile. It chops, grates, beats and mixes. 

You can do all these things by hand, but a decent food processor makes life a lot easier.

I recommend buying a quality product with an engine power of at least 900 W. We once picked up a cheapo version at Lidl and ended up paying more in petrol to return it when it broke two days later, than it cost in the first place.

Slow cooker

Definitely falls into the category “can live without, but don’t want to”.

Quite a few recipes in the traditional Swedish kitchen requires slow cooking. If you work away from home, and want to spend your weekends doing something else than guarding the cooker, a slow cooker allows you to have these dishes. Just get it started in the morning and when you get home from work a meal is ready for you.

Strangely enough slow cookers were pretty much unknown by most Swedish people up until a few years ago. I’d never heard of them before I moved to the UK in the 90’s. As the house-wife was a dying breed in the 70’s you’d think there would have been a demand for them.