Wow, it seems like every time you turn the TV on or even go to a website you've got adds thrown at you for everything you 'need'! That got me to thinking about what we really do need and I'm ashamed to admit that I live with such an abundant amount of stuff.
A while back I read a series of books about a family that lives through a year or so of no electricity, no water, no telephones, no source of communication at all except for the postal service and they didn't have vehicles to use (because all of the vehicles stopped working when the power went out, except for the old cars), anyway this of course was a fiction series but the same thing could happen any day. Natural disasters as well as man made disasters could stop all of our systems that supply us at any time. I'm not a doomsday person, I am a Christian and believe that as long as we love the Lord and follow His Word, He will see us through but I truly believe that He expects us to help ourselves and our neighbors when tough times occur and regardless of where we live we could have to do without electricity, water, phones, sanitation, gas, automobiles, and for me I think about all the appliances we use on a daily basis.
We buy whole coffee beans and grind them with our manual grinder...this one:it works very well and never gives us a problem and of course we can use it even if we have no power, to brew our coffee we use this:We currently use the 8 cup style but will soon be getting the 12 cup to be able to serve a larger crowd with it. We find our coffee to be very good and tasty.
Now, the coffee grinder was pricey when we bought it, but we've had it for years and it will still serve us well for many years to come because it is cast iron and we take good care of it. The percolators are a bit pricey also, but they are workhorses, we've had ours for a number of years and it's so very simple that there is nothing to break on it. Initially when we bought ours it had a plastic percolator at the top but it did break after a while and we ordered the glass one from Lehmans and have never had a problem since.
We do own a washer and dryer but I would love to have the James washer and do our laundry by hand and then hang on a clothes line. Wildcat does not share my pioneering dreams so insists on me having a washer and dryer...maybe one day!
We also have a nice coleman charcoal grill and we have put wood in it and used it for cooking also, we had a gas grill but we were very uncomfortable using it and were happy to get back to a charcoal grill!...we were actually terrified of the gas grill and craved the simplicity of doing it ourselves by hand...no gas!
Whenever I see the adds for electric hot dog steamers, inside the shell egg scramblers, etc. I think what a cluttered kitchen people must have to have all of these 'must have' appliances...no thank you, I'll happily do it with my pots and pans and whisks!
Then there are the appliances that actually make more work for you, what about the microwave french fry cooker:
...now who wants to put those french fries in the little holes one at a time, and then of course you have to wash the thing after the fries are done...and it would take filling this up about three times for our family of five, our men like a lot of french fries!
Well, this isn't even an option for us because we got rid of our microwave years ago and will never have another one. I really felt like it took up my counter space that I needed for rolling out bread dough, preparing our food etc. and we have never missed it at all, if we need to heat something up we just put it in a pan or in the oven.
We definitely believe in choosing simplicity instead of buying everything that comes along, our manual tools work great and do an excellent job for us.