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Immersion Blender - Qualified Perceptions
firstfrost
firstfrost
Immersion Blender
Wow! Immersion Blenders are amazing!

Now, I have never really had a knack for blenders (despite having dutifully bought the brand justom claims works perfectly). My traditional experience with making a puree soup is something like:

  • Pour half the pot of soup into the blender. Miss and pour some onto floor. Pour some onto hand and squeak.
  • Turn on blender. Discover that hot soup plus air, when blended, equals soup plus hot air, and hot air is much larger(*): blender top flies off of own accord, flinging soup about the kitchen.
  • Manage to remove excess air. Blend some more. Hot soup jumps out of spaces between plastic and rubber bits of blender top. Wonder why the top half of the veggie bits aren't being sucked down to the bottom. Stop blender, take top off, try to circulate by hand. Get soup spoon caught in pointy bits.
  • Remove blender from motor and try to shake. Realize this was a mistake when more soup escapes from the blender top onto my hand. Squeak again.
  • Finish blending. Repeat for second half of pot of soup.
So, I had gotten kinda resistant to making puree-type soups. But I really like the things like butternut squash soup...

Anyway, I got an immersion blender for Christmas, and made butternut squash soup tonight. This experience was more like:

  • Take pot off burner and put on trivet.
  • Put immersion blender in pot
  • Capture chunks with the little cage thing and shred them into oblivion!
  • Iterate until done.
That was so much easier! First, there's the whole video game aspect (once most of it is pureed) of hunting down the chunks and leaping upon them with the blender cage. Second, you don't have to take anything out of the original pot. Third, it took about fifteen seconds to rinse the whole blender apparatus off. No taking it apart and washing all the bits and stabbing yourself on the pointy bit.

[*: kirisutogomen also taught me this lesson with the booby-trapped hot chocolate mixer. But I seem to have to learn it over and over. ]

Current Mood: happy amazed

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Comments
merastra From: merastra Date: February 17th, 2005 01:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Huh. That's kind of cool. I always thought immersion blenders were a gimmick made up by kitchen-tool companies to tempt me into buying more stuff.

I also like your little blow-by-blow story of how it goes w/ pureeing hot soup. :-)
chenoameg From: chenoameg Date: February 17th, 2005 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I guess what makes me a high level housewife is that I never tried pureeing soup in a blender; I just took everyone else's word for it that it would be a nightmare. So I never made soup until I got an immersion blender.

I like mine a lot. Last month I discovered that like all other white plastic it will stain yellow when exposed to tumeric.

Other tasty blended soups I like: West African Peanut Soup (sweet potatoes, carrots, ginger, and peanut butter in stock served with scallions), Potato Leek soup.

firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: February 17th, 2005 06:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Why did everyone else not tell me that it would be a nightmare? Instead, I just had justom assuring me it was easy. :)

(Well, okay, I guess I didn't *ask* a lot of other people about soup...)
arcanology From: arcanology Date: February 17th, 2005 07:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Justom after all cooks every day, simple meals that are easy to prepare.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: February 17th, 2005 07:50 am (UTC) (Link)
As do I. Er. Nor do I?

(I have no idea how to properly respond to a sarcastic negative without making no sense at all).

harrock cooks dinner. He's good at that. Me, I cook Things. I'm good at that (except for the blender part). Sort of odd how it sorted out - I can do the logistics of dinner for umpteen given a day to prepare, but if there's only twenty minutes, all I can manage is boiling pasta, whereas harrock can whip up stir-fried wonders.
harrock From: harrock Date: February 17th, 2005 08:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Stir-fried wonders

Ah, but--only if I've pre-positioned my forces for a twenty-minute cooking blitzkrieg.

And I have my own cooking boondoggles--for example, the fact that I am not psychologically prepared to make less than four pans of lasagna when I make lasagna, thus requiring a large party to eat it, thus requiring invitations to a party...it's always a mess.

Hey, that reminds me, I haven't made lasagna since December.
merastra From: merastra Date: February 17th, 2005 11:18 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Stir-fried wonders

I am not psychologically prepared to make less than four pans of lasagna

Hee! I have some of the same issues. :-)

So you don't freeze some of it in nice serving size portions?
arcanology From: arcanology Date: February 17th, 2005 09:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I've always found the problem with stir-fried wonders is that the chopping takes too long... what's his 20 minute secret there?
kirisutogomen From: kirisutogomen Date: February 18th, 2005 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)

Gastronomicon

My secret is supermarket salad bars. Everything's all chopped.
harrock From: harrock Date: February 18th, 2005 09:21 am (UTC) (Link)

20 minutes

Certainly, there's not much time for chopping in 20 minutes. (I'm trying to work out how to do a stir-fry in 20 minutes, and mostly, I think it's really 30 or 40 minutes... :) )

It never works unless I have a plan walking in the door, and I'm more of an incremental tinkerer with my cooking M.O. than a brave explorer. (That's firstfrost.) In tinkering, I realize things like "I could add bow-tie pasta to this stir-fry, and it doesn't cost me much time if the first thing I do upon walking into the kitchen is to start water boiling."

Chopping veggies is a major limiting factor, as I've found I often want to sautee them for longer than the meat component. But different things are different overhead to chop. Green onions, for example, come in these nice bundles suitable for quick washing and chopping. Regular onions are harder. Spinach can be flung into a pan if necessary.

I don't tend to follow recipes so much as try to slowly build my reportoire of components that I know how to deal with, so I can sort of say "what components can I possibly deal with in the amount of time I have?"
astra_nomer From: astra_nomer Date: February 17th, 2005 06:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Maybe it shows my lack of housewife-ly skills that it took me a moment to figure out what "immersion blender" meant. Fortunately I figured it out before a coherent mental image formed.
kelkyag From: kelkyag Date: February 17th, 2005 07:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
The tricky bit for me is remebering that a blender holds (for the reasons you gave) about half as much stuff as I think it does. Having finally learned that lesson (I think), the blender is no longer on the list of scary kitchen things. :)

I like potato leek soup not blended, though.
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