When it comes to the way I speak (and write), you could say I am way guilty of over-using cultural idioms and clichés. Like my dad always said about people who use slang and vulgarity –it’s because they’re too lazy to use the language correctly. I also like to use analogies and sayings. I am acutely aware of this due to the blank stares I’ve got over the past 20 years from my Mexican spouse who’s first language is not English. “Lucy— You gotta lotta ‘splainen to do!” Oh yes, I often find myself explaining sayings that we American Gringos take for granted. Even “Gringo” is not the commonly used derogatory word the Mexicans use for us pale-skinned blondies –the word is actually “Gabacho”. (Or in my case “Gabacha” because I’m a girl.) My husband’s pet reference for me is “Preciocita”. How cute is that! It’s got him out of the dog house for years.
One of my favorite analogies/sayings is “I need that ____ ____ like a fish needs a bicycle.” When it comes to high-end cooking appliances like the ones I learned about at the GE Monogram Experience Center in Louisville last week, I might have said that about them (and their competitor’s products) prior to my visit. Suffice to say “I been skooled!” –Literally. If those fishies had learned about the advantages and features of certain bicycles as I have learned about the advantages and features of Monogram appliances, they’d be sproutin’ feet and pedaling across the sea! Not that they would suddenly “need” a bike… But hey, I could survive on cold cereal and TV dinners. I don need no stinkin’ Advantium Speed Cook Oven… though I am beginning to feel extremely deprived because I don’t have one… YET!
To say the Advantium is just a fancy microwave is like saying a space shuttle is just a fancy airplane. As I understand it, the Advantium is called a speed-cook oven because it has the ability to ramp up your cooking time using a combination of convection and microwave technologies combined with other non-traditional oven cooking modes like intense halogen lights (that delivers oven-quality results eight times faster than conventional ovens) all at once yet producing mouth-watering results like a recipe that’s cooked for hours rather than minutes. Typical convection microwaves cannot produce the same results as quickly because they “cycle” through the settings instead of all at once. The Advantium is 220v like your typical wall oven. Also like a wall oven, the door is hinged on the bottom instead of the left like a typical microwave and comes with an oven rack and several pans designed to be used for the different types of foods and cooking. And it’s big enough too cook a large pizza (or nuke a frozen one if that’s what you want. Hey it’s Digiorno!)
The other space-age feature of the Advantium that impressed me was it’s pre-programmed menus (and the ability to add your own). Operating the oven is EASY PEASY! Say you’re making a couple of grilled panini-type sandwiches: You put the prepared sandwiches in the oven directly on the grilling plate. Turn the dial to select the type of recipe (sandwich) -and push go. Turn the dial again and it asks you what’s in it (meat and cheese?) -push go. Turn the dial for the quantity –push go. Turn the dial for grilled -push go. That’s all there is to it! I don’t know if I got the operations in the right order here –but you get the idea. It’s that easy! Take my word for it –the results are out-of-this-world delicious!
When I returned from Louisville, I went on a Tour of Kitchens put on by our local NKBA chapter. The first home I visited had a kitchen that was completely decked out with GE Monogram appliances. (Yes I drooled -but just a little.) Later, my Blogger 19 friend Laurie who was a docent at that home relayed to me the homeowner said that he was non-plused by the Advantium because he didn’t think it was much faster than his wall oven that was installed right next to it. Then I recalled that the wall oven was a Trivection model. Jeesh! No wonder –he must have forgotten what a ‘regular’ oven is like to cook with. (‘Scuse me –I’m drooling again.) Trivection cooking is only five times faster than a conventional oven. It uses three different cooking technologies in combination which includes thermal (the kind you’re used to), convection and microwave. Because it has true European Reverse-Air Convection there is no need to rotate the baking pans. So (do the math), if your holiday turkey is 20 lbs and a traditional oven dictates you need to cook that puppy one hour per pound –then you’ll be getting up at the crack of dawn to put it in the oven so it’ll be done in time. With a Trivection oven –you might even get through the breakfast dishes and maybe even a little panini sandwich for lunch (cooked in the Advantium of course) before you even have to start cooking that turkey. No need to stuff the bird the night before and risk infecting your loved ones with salmonella. =) You’ll have plenty of time!
Another technological phenom produced by GE Monogram is their induction cook top. (It’s a bird, it’s a plane –No it’s induction!) What is induction you say? Well it’s the ability of energy to be transferred instantly to a magnetic material (say a pot or pan bottom) in the form of heat. The result is that the pot or pan bottom is heated and actually does the cooking. No energy is wasted like a gas burner where you see yellow flames rising up from the sides of the pan that do nothing but dissipate into the air (like your energy dollars). Super fast, a pot of water comes to a boil in just minutes! Remove the pot from burner and the burner is only slightly warm because of the easy-to-clean glass surface that has been warmed by the pot. No pot –no induction-produced heat. That simple! Think of the applications for homes where safety is an issue. No little singed fingers, ignited paper towels or droopy sleeves. Adapting homes for aging-in-place is a big deal where I live. Imagine how this cooktop would provide peace of mind for elderly cooks living alone.
And the coup-de-gra of this story is the magnificence of GE Monogram pro ranges. Well, I suppose I could live with a separate wall oven and induction cooktop. It would certainly be a wise choice as I am at the edge of decent into my “golden years”. (Kicking and screaming all the way –yes I’m going to be one of those 90 year old ladies sitting on a pillow driving my car down the freeway at 20 miles per hour, screeching out Beatles tunes at the top of my lungs ’cause I can.) But the cave woman in me loves the base sensuality of heat, smoke and sizzle that you get with grill and griddle cooking features of the pro range. I like to wok cook too. You don’t need a special attachment on Monogram’s pro ranges -just flip over a burner and it holds a wok pan. So smart! The large oven is big enough to hold a caterer’s pan. The small oven on the 48″ unit is big enough to hold a 9″x13″ pan. When not using the grill or griddle –clean up is a snap. A metal cover comes with these units (not an extra nickel and diming expense) –you just cover them up. Where does the grease go? Well it drains into a little removable cast-iron receptacle at the front that can go into the dishwasher. Which reminds me, everything but these pieces can go into the oven during self-cleaning mode. That’s right –the burners, the racks, everything else can get cleaned easily while your cleaning your oven!
Coming out soon will be an all gas version of the self-cleaning pro range. So if you couldn’t have a dual-fuel where you live –now there’s an alternative.
I think the last thing I wanted to tell you about for this post is the feature that I came to understand as a unique feature for all of GE Monogram’s appliances and that is simply: Light. Every appliance I saw at the MEC had lighting where competitors had never thought of it. Refrigerators have light so you can see stuff on the bottom shelves in the back. Dishwashers have light so that makes it easier to load and unload (yes a dishwasher!). The pro ranges have two lighting features for the knobs –a light that shines on the knobs so you can read the labels and another light that lights the knob itself. So even at the lowest simmer, chocolate melting burner setting where you are likely to go off and forget to turn it off, you can see that it’s on from across the room. Yes, I have seen the light (s) –and it is good!