Just as I have an aversion to pot holders, so too goes the little, annoying device known to many as the kitchen timer. I don’t like ’em. And, here’s why: They rob one’s natural ability to trust the passage of time. They force one to turn away from using one’s senses, of smell, touch, and sight to know when it’s time to check on the half-baked cookies; the third-of-the-way sauce reduction; or the spring-back of a pound cake, its corners pulled slightly away from the pan.
Worse still, is the nawing feeling at the back of my mind that time is ticking away–tick-tock, tick-tock, tic, tic, tic….I feel compelled to stay close-by, afraid to leave the kitchen, so as not to miss the inevitable tingy noise, alerting me–no, urging me–to spring toward the oven, mit in hand, to find a perfectly golden-brown, springy cake smile back at me, knowing that I owe this beautifully baked creation to the time machine.
Well, I’m taking a stand. No more timers. Have you ever seen a timer in a Hell’s Kitchen episode? No, you have not. And, do you know why Chef Ramsey won’t allow it? Because timers don’t know how to cook. They only know how to count time. Do you want to be a cook, or do you want to be a clock?
This stand I’ve taken has been a good one. Except today, when I decided to do a Google search for kitschy kitchen timers. I had no idea the world in which kitchen timers live. There are digital ones. Wind ups and temperature-sensitive ones for cooking the perfect egg. As I perused the sites, I found some really nifty ones. Some were sleek and artsy, some vintage-inspired, yet others were a bit designer-challenged.
I soon found myself locked in an emotional tug-of-war with these simple time machines and began to think that I might like to have a few. Just for their curious asthetic. A collection of odd, little timers sitting on one of my kitchen ledges might be a good compromise. I won’t have to wind them up. Just let them sit there, all silly and quiet.
You can find the websites on my blogroll, for those of you not yet ready to join the “no timers” coalition. Remember, there’s no time like the present.