Our coffee grinder went kibbutz this week so we decided not to replace it with an electric/plastic one at all. I like fresh ground coffee, so I started cruising eBay for a hand-operated, no plastic version and we are also trying to buy used items. I figured we could pop for the $20 or so that a new electric one would cost and, if we liked it, we could get another for spices (Ximena and I cook almost every day from scratch and prefer to use whole spices). So, I found one that looked “antique” and was “used” but they claimed it still worked great. It looked kinda cool and cost about $20 with shipping and handling. We got it yesterday and it works! It was dirty and had to be cleaned, but that only took a little bit. The crank squeeks a tiny bit, so we will have to put a drop of oil on it, but we had coffee this morning after I cranked it up and ground some coffee beans. The downside? It takes about 2 minutes of cranking to get enough coffee for our ½ pot we drink. But, the grinder goes with our old-fashioned stove-top metal coffee pot, so I’m not complaining.
C. Jason Smith, Ph.D. is Professor of English at the City University of New York-LaGuardia CC. He has published books and articles on gender in science fiction film and fantasy and is an active science and technology writer.