Thank you for your 30 different nominations in the category "something for the kitchen". What a choice! All those fantastic labour-saving gadgets and cooking utensils that no good kitchen should be without. Which should make it really easy for me to select one forty-quid item from your selection and then go out and buy it. But no. Your list of kitchen 'essentials' has demonstrated perfectly just how much my shopping habits diverge from the mainstream. How could you have got it so wrong? Let me cross off your suggestions one by one...
Problem 1: I've already got one (for example, toaster) I already have a toaster. I use it whenever I want to crisp up the outside of some bread, and it does a perfectly good job. I don't need another toaster, even one with a covetable chrome finish, because my existing toaster works perfectly well enough. Unlike some people, I don't upgrade for the sake of it. (See also: fancy see-thru kettle, smoke detector)
Problem 2: I had one once and it was rubbish (for example, breadmaker) I had a breadmaker once. I was cajoled into buying it and it cost me rather more than £40 at the time. Despite instructions explaining that breadmaking was simply child's play, I never once managed to produce anything more impressive than a warm lump of stodgy dough. So I shan't be buying another, not even if it smells nice. (See also: sandwich toaster)
Problem 3: I don't eat what they produce (for example, smoothie maker) Why buy expensive processed fruit drinks when I can make my own? Because I don't like fruit drinks, that's why, especially ones with pulped skin and pips floating around in them. I know these things are good for me, but that doesn't mean I have to like them. (See also: yoghurt maker, rice steamer, strawberry huller, pump-driven espresso machine, herb garden)
Problem 4: It's easier to buy the finished item (for example, lemon squeezer) I value time over money. I could squeeze my own lemons, but Jif make a perfectly acceptable substitute. (See also: pasta-making machine)
Problem 5: I don't need one, because I don't cook (for example, a really good knife) I don't cook in the same way that you lot cook, anyway. I don't want you to get the idea that I exist on takeaways and ready meals, because I don't. But my version of cooking doesn't actually involve mixing ingredients together, at least not before they reach my stomach. So I have no need of anything that chops or slices or combines or minces because it would just sit unused in my kitchen cupboard for the next ten years. I know this is extremely retro of me, and that all decent modern human beings follow Nigella or Delia and whip up their own haute cuisine masterpieces on a regular basis, but I don't. (See also: food processor, steel whisk, steel grater, swivel peeler, recipe book)
I'm also saying 'no' to... £40 of chocolate (yummy but waist-damaging) 266 tins of value beans (positively life-threatening) a bottle of malt whisky (I hate the stuff) a DAB radio (my windowless kitchen has no reception) a goat (alas Oxfam appear to have stopped selling them)
So just one thing remains on your list of submissions - the George Foreman grill. So that's what I'll be buying, thank you. Something to brown my fish fingers on. Not that I have any spare worktop space in my kitchen to stand it on, you understand, but I believe you should never let a small fact like that get in the way of a top retail purchase.