June 30, 2005
Utensibility Week

braun2.jpgUtensibility: the quality of combining sensibility and utility in a delicate perfect balance. Sam of Becks and Posh invented this term and I think it's rather clever. If you want to know the story behind the word, you can read it in her words here. To sum up for our purposes, she has asked the Food Blogging Community to write about their favourite appliances/utensils/tools.

When I first read about this event, I thought it was a great idea. I have so many great tools in my kitchen that I love and I love proselytising . But that is in fact the problem: I have SO many great tools and I love them so much. Like Sam, I love the Salter electronic scales my husband gave me for Christmas this year. Functional, stylish and oh-so-useful (it converts between Imperial and metric measures, liquid and weight, at the touch of a button) it was a serious contender. And what about the new (old) Peugeot coffee grinder I bought the Critic for his birthday?

But in the end, I knew there was only one item I really could nominate: my Braun immersion blender with all the bells and whistles and attachments. I use it several times a week - making baby food out of fresh vegetables, liqueifying soups, whipping cream, chopping herbs and making small quantities of sauce...the list goes on and on. I had always wanted one of these babies but put it off for ages because some of its applications were already covered by other appliances in my kitchen (the beater, the food processor). But last year I succombed to the temptation. I didn't even wait until Christmas or my birthday and get someone to buy one for me. I just went out and bought one. I knew I was pregnant and figured that with good luck I'd have a use for the small purée cup for making baby food. I was right: and it does a great job. Not only that, but it has made my soup-making a dream. I just stick the wand in the soup, whish it around on high speed for a minute or two and hey-presto I have a smooth lovely soup. And the best part is the cleaning: the wand pops off the motor and I can rinse it immediately under running water, no dried-on-vegetable-gook failing to be cleaned by my crappy dishwasher. Every time I use it, I hum happily.

And for my one cheap item? The cheapest of items in my kitchen and one I also seem to use weekly at least: a plain old wooden reamer. It does a better job than any other lemon squeezer I've ever used and is dead easy to clean. And I figure that if it dries out or gets damaged by the dishwasher it'll be cheap to replace. But in fact, it has lasted for years now and still works as well as the day I bought it.

To see Sam's choices and her summary of the other tools of choice in the blogging community, check out her post here. And now I'm off to update my Amazon wish list...

Addendum: I have just noticed that the Amazon price for my primary choice is under the $25 limit for the cheap item. So both my choices are under $25. Well, call me the Frugal Gourmet...

Posted by Meg in Sussex at June 30, 2005 2:34 PM | TrackBack Print-friendly version

Meg - frugal - yes - but think of all that you'll save - you'll be able to spash out on something else! I too have a Braun immersion blender , maybe an older model than yours, which was a close contender for the star of my post as well.

For soups and making indian curries they are the best thing ever. Hopeless for making mayonnaise though (or maybe that's just got something to do with me)

I've never owned a reamer - didn't even know what they were called. Perhaps it is about time

thanks for joining in and sharing - I hope to get the round up done sometime close to the end of next week


Posted by sam on June 30, 2005 at 7:26 PM

Sam, when I read your comment I had a sudden panicky doubt: it is called a reamer, isn't it?? But yes, according to the food companion Juicer entry:

An old-fashioned form of this tool is the reamer , a ridged, teardrop-shaped tool with a handle.

Whew! I don't know where I picked up the word, probably my grandmother. Anyway, I highly recommend it because I find it easier to use and quicker to clean than the usual lemon juicers. That said, you have to fish out the seeds afterwards...but nothing is perfect in life!

One thing your meme made me realize as I assessed my many appliances is how many of them are useless space-wasters. I think I'm going to have a grand clearing out of the cabinets this weekend and just get rid of anything I haven't used in a year or more!!

Don't know if I can post the list online, though, as some of them were gifts... ; )

Posted by Meg in Paris on July 1, 2005 at 4:21 AM

that's a good idea
i think i have to get rid of my bread machine

Posted by sam on July 10, 2005 at 1:13 PM
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