This was a kind birthday present from my in-laws, but it would also make a brilliant Christmas present for a keen amateur cook. It’s the “Butchers’ Shop Electric Food Mincer”, as sold by Coopers of Stortford. I had been agonising (in other words procrastinating) over buying a mincer for several years. Visions of home-made sausages, venison chili con carne, home-made minced beef and cognac-infused pheasant terrines filled my dreams. The problem? Getting hold of a decent mincer. Those heavy, cast-metal jobs with the hand-cranks looked the part: you will remember them well (those Mrs Bridges style gadgets you have to clamp to the kitchen work-top), but every time my finger hovered over the buy it now button on amazon, dire warnings from previous buyers leapt out from the screen: “Didn’t work”. Poor Quality”. “Fell to Bits”. So there it remained, until I discovered the above.
It’s a fabulous machine. One of those old-fashioned butcher’s contraptions reproduced in miniature. It looks great, and, funnily enough, it actually works. With a simple press of the button, a steak is reduced to proper mince, with the nozzle placed at just the right height for a large bowl. It comes with three different nozzle sizes and a gadget, for the making of sausages, of. The only draw back is that you have to give the thing a thorough clean-out in hot, soapy water once it’s been used. But I expect you can handle that. And it’s a bargain at the reduced price of £29.99. If you order one now, you should just about make it in time for Christmas.
And I like the sound of Coopers of Stortford. It’s one of those family-run high-street department stores we all used to know and love- until they closed down. I hope they are doing a roaring trade online. The machine arrived pretty quickly, and with a five pound voucher to spend, too. Have no idea where Stortford is, but I wish them well and they deserve our support.
My Other Blogs
Pollock’s Toy Theatre Shop & Museum, Scala Street, London, WC.
While I’m here, Greasy Spooners, I thought it worth mentioning my other blogs. I hope you don’t mind? I’m now writing a regular blog for Homes & Antiques magazine and Barneby’s (which is an online auction website). If you’re interested in antiques you might also like my inspiration page on my antiques business website, where I’ve just put up a Christmas post on the fascinating- and enchanting- world of Victorian Toy Theatre.
And last, and probably least, there is The Education of a Gardener. This was a town gardening blog I started a few years ago, and is now most probably languishing in the Valhalla of failed, forgotten blogs, floating out there somewhere in cyberspace. It was all about my amateur attempt to transform our tiny, pocket-handkerchief of a space at the back of our London hovel. Since then, the garden’s actually doing quite well, so if I’ve got the time- and energy- and you find it worthwhile, I might have another shot at resurrecting this. Watch this space.