Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Five

Over at RevGalBlogPals, songbird has posted this Friday Five in honour of the Sadly Belated Thanksgiving celebrations to the south of the Longest Undefended Border in the World. Thanks, songbird! Good ones!

Please answer the following kitchen-related questions:

1) Do you have a food processor? Can you recommend it? Which is to say, do you actually use it
No, I don't. One was semi-offered to me, back in a previous regime, but it looked like Too Complicated and Unnecessarily Hard to Clean, and I turned it down.

2) And if so, do you use the fancy things on it? (Mine came with a mini-blender (used a lot and long ago broken) and these scary disks you used to julienne things (used once).)
No, but I have a pretty scary hand-thing -- I think it's called a "mandoline" or perhaps a "Veg-a-matic" which cuts up vegetables and will take the knuckles off you as quick as a wink.

3) Do you use a standing mixer? Or one of the hand-held varieties?
Yeppers; had a hand-held one when first married, and something jimmied the beaters early fairly soon after that I came into possession of my mother's Original Sunbeam Mixmaster, 1950 gave her, and me, 50 years good service before it had to be replaced. I think we went through 3 set of bowls in the meantime -- the originals were white Pyrex, then she had a steel set, and I had a steel set. There was a way-cool juicer thing that fit on top too.
And my brother made me an excellent Lexan cover for the big bowls, with a slot for the stems of the beaters, so that the mixer wouldn't throw mashed potatoes all over the kitchen.

(And isn't that color delightfully retro?)
Actually it's avant-garde compared to what I started with.

4) How about a blender? Do you have one? Use it much?

Yes, also a Sunbeam and it's 40 years old, 3 speeds; fast, slow, and off. I replaced the original glass container with a plastic one. I notice a couple of small cracks, but I press on. Have replaced the rubber gaskets countless times. I use it to make cole slaw and carrot slaw. And I have Peg Bracken's priceless recipe for Blender Hollandaise, which I make fairly often. And from time to time a milk-shake or some such.

5) Finally, what old-fashioned, non-electric kitchen tool do you enjoy using the most?
I have a couple of good black iron frying pans, very trustworthy, from long-defunct foundries in Self-Satisfied Central Province. And I have a proper, tinned metal, Mouli grater for cheese etc., which I bought for fifteen cents in an Opera Guild thrift-shop...never to be replaced, this one. And I have a "flat spoon," an invention of my grandmother from the Show Me State. She would take an "odd" silver tablespoon out to the chopping block, and tap it discreetly with the back of the axe until the bowl was completely flattened out again...reasoning that you don't need a Great Big Thing to lift your poached egg out of the pan, just a little spoon-sized lifter. Some of my friends would call that a "spatula," but to me a spatula is a rubber thing you use to scrape batter out of your Mixmaster bowls.

Bonus: Is there a kitchen appliance or utensil you ONLY use at Thanksgiving or some other holiday? If so, what is it?

I think it would be the big dark-blue-enamel turkey roasting pan...


Auntie Knickers said...

My mother had that same Sunbeam mixer, I think -- and about the same vintage as I can't remember when she didn't have it. Unfortunately after she died and I got it, it died too. I had one of the white Pyrex bowls for a long time, though.
What a clever brother you have! Oh well, some of mine paint nice pictures, and the other one made me a dish drainer once.

Auntie Knickers said...

OH and by the way, if we had Thanksgiving when you do, the horse wouldn't know "the way to carry the sleigh, O'er the white and drifted snow." At least not here in southern Maine.

Jim said...

Oh, how I wish I were home to use my mixmaster! But I'm in the Hotel Director in Santiago, getting ready to teach on Monday. I'd so much rather be making the iniquitous chocolate cake from Joy of Cooking. Using the mixmaster . . . and nearly everything else in the kitchen.

Jan said...

I used to have those black frying pans, but got rid of them sometime in the past. . . .probably before one of our moves.

Annie's Mom said...

I can assure you that the Cuisinart isn't particularly complicated at all, either to use or to clean, and is actually QUITE useful, especially re: grating cheese.