Friday, 8 October 2010

Can Openers

As a 'leftie' I have always struggled a bit with using can openers, much to the amusement of those quick to call me 'cack-handed'. To uncomplicate the issue, I have favoured the simple, old fashioned butterfly design of can opener. They are cheap, I can see what's going on so don't tend to turn the wrong way and I usually manage to get at the contents of the tin eventually. On the down side, I could never say they were an elegant addition to my utensil drawer, they are not satisfying to use and my kids look at them with total disdain. Also, they seem to rust the minute you show them any water.

I bought a Brabantia Essential Can Opener. Relative to my butterfly can opener it was a massive improvement in terms of design, the kids seemed to recognise it as something that might be used to remove the lid from canned goods and I although I can't honestly say I was proficient in its use, I would get there in the end having first tried every permutation of orientation and direction.

If I was alone in my kitchen, I would battle on but if there was ever someone who could do the job for me. I would be quick to delegate. I gave my exceptionally helpful fourth daughter the title of 'Fastest Opener of Cans....Ever'. I could only dream of imitating her effortless technique.

Every now and then I would purchase a butterfly opener that would co-exist with the Brabantia purely for my benefit, and then throw it away when inevitably, the rusting became too obvious. Eventually, having outlived countless butterflies, the Brabantia started to show signs of decline - a crack in the handle, an inability to make it smoothly all the way round the tin. Having never forged any sort of loyalty to this particular utensil, I didn't hesitate to throw it away and replace it with a generic model. Big mistake. It was cheap and it was useless. Now it wasn't only me that struggled to open cans!

My husband purchased mistake number 2. It looked very nice, and it worked OK for the first couple of times (although daughter number four never took to it, not yet forgiving me for discarding her trusted weapon of choice!) When my husband came to use it, he applied a little too much force to achieve that initial piercing of metal. He bent the whole thing out of alignment rendering it completely unusable.

Left without a serviceable can opener and a daughter constantly reminding me that I should never have thrown away the old one, I was reliant on cans with the ring pull design and a 'more than once' bitten, twice shy attitude to purchasing another.

You've got to love the internet. I decided to do some research. Typing 'can opener' into the Google search bar comes up with over half a million results. Who would have thought there was so much to say on the subject of can openers? (says she who is merrily blogging away on the subject!)

I read countless customer reviews, watched videos extolling the virtues of various different brands, browsed online shops, became briefly distracted by garlic presses (another kitchen gadget I don't get on with although that has nothing to do with being left-handed), was momentarily seduced by the electronic variety of openers that 'do it all for you at the touch of a button' and finally decided on the product for me.

I am now the proud owner of an OXO Softworks Can Opener which, if it delivers what it claims, will put baked beans back on the menu.

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