To Small Appliance Hell. And Back.

On the last day of my children’s Montessori pre-school in PA, I headed over to Sears to cash in on some of my Sears credit card Reward Points. Don’t get all in a dither. We use our credit card but pay the balance off monthly. This way, we can add up the Reward Points but not the interest. I had six $50 Sears gift cards and knew exactly what I wanted to get–the 14 cup Kenmore Elite food processor.

Little did I know my children were *graduating* from their pre-school. Since we were moving to Florida, the director, Ms. Lynn, decided to include them in the moving up ceremony. So maybe it is my karma for missing the part of the program where they were given their diplomas, but my morning tryst at Sears was plagued from the get go.
First off, the Rewards Gift Cards weren’t working. They didn’t read on the scanner. This took up a lot of my time. And then….well, there’s got to be an “and then” since I started this paragraph with “First off.”  Okay, so I didn’t actually unpack and use the food processor until three months later when we were already settled into our Florida digs. And that is when I realized how shoddy the Kenmore Elite 14 cup was. 
The plastic felt especially cheap. Soon after putting it to use, the thingy that engages the lid with the bowl broke off (sure I dropped it a few times, but come on, if it were a Kitchen-Aid the plastic would have been top of the line). I was able to deal with it by using a bamboo kebob skewer to hit the sweet spot and get the motor running.
Until about two months later the motor just stopped running. It burnt out on me while making a cheesecake. This was terrible. The 14 cup was super necessary in my life. When I got married I was gifted a 7 cup Cuisinart, which–despite the fowl smell coming from the motor the other day when I was food processing some peanut butter and dates–is still running after eight years of hard labor. The only drawback with that one is the size: it’s big enough to chop ginger but not big enough for a double batch of cookies. Or a large cheescake. But hey, at least it *works*!!
After my Cuisinart burnout scare I got to thinking about the 14 cup. About the cost. About it’s less than poor performance. About what a piece of crappy crap it was.
And then I decided to do something about it. Determined to get the problem fixed, one way or another, I began looking for the receipt. Which quickly led me to conclude that that Sabjimata really needs to bone up on her organizational skills. I then began a series of pointless phone calls to Sears Customer Service, Kenmore’s Warranty Department, the local Sears Service Center and wherever else my call was routed as no one knew what to do with me or my 14 cups of broken food processor.
I knew it and they knew it. Items like these are throw-aways. No one can fix them and no one has any interest in doing so. 
I had a choice. I could give up and surrender my 14 cup to the trash collector or I could pack up my broken food processor in a “Restaurant Style Tortillas” box and head over to Sears, hoping they will accept the return.  I chose the Tortillas.
With no proper box and no proper receipt, I was playing the longshot. But with two kids at my feet and a Sears computer record of all the big ticket appliances I’ve purchased from them over the years, I felt like I at least seemed a little credible.

Nice Sears Managers. I love you both.

The 14 cup inside the Restaurant Style Tortillas box.

Ms. Spice Grinder and Mr. Waffle Maker


To make this long story a little bit shorter, they took it back! I lost $40 bucks on the transaction because they credited me the current price but whatever. That’s one hundred and eighty something bucks back in my wallet. On a plastic gift card, of course.
With the credit I bought a new spice grinder and Venumadhava really wanted a waffle iron so, despite the non-stick cancer surface, we bought one.

I envy my daughter’s fashion sense. I want to cook in a prom dress, too!

Looks better than it smells….

And I will be returning that to the store this weekend. I so hate it.
I don’t buy non-stick stuff so I am not used to the horrible V.O.C.’s which are emitting upon the first few uses. But I am really sensitive to smell and just felt like I was breathing in tumors while we were using it.
And despite the non-stick surface, the waffles stuck. We did a little better when we coated everything in ghee, but come on. What is the point of non-stick if it, um, sticks.
Lastly, the thing (Cuisinart brand) just feels like total crap. I just hate crap. Hate it. The only thing I have that is crap that I can tolerate is my salad spinner. And even that annoys me at times. 
My son was a little sad that the waffle maker is getting the ax but was comforted by the fact that we’ll still have pancakes.

Despite chanting ancient Vedic hymns, our waffles still stuck.

The consolation prize.
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3 Comments

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3 responses to “To Small Appliance Hell. And Back.

  1. Sita-Rama

    a cast iron waffle press sounds like a good idea for you.

  2. matagopal

    those were my thoughts exactly. they sell one in lehman’s, we have one, but it’s little and it takes all day to make enough waffles to feed this crew!

  3. Devadeva Mirel

    awww…you girls know me so well!actually, my husband thought the whole idea of the waffle iron was dumb because it makes tiny waffles and making enough for everyone seems like too much of a project. seriously, i am just sticking to pancakes.

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