The Indispensable Kitchen Boat Motor

This week’s Thankful Thursday is about a kitchen appliance we received as a wedding gift many years ago.  When we opened, I don’t think either one of us knew what it was, exactly.  It’s become more commonly used now and even some famous chefs and tv chef personalities will bring one out and use it from time to time.

Technically, it’s called an Immersion Blender.

You can see the backside of it here.  It’s resting after doing some work in this batch of apricot jam.

For the first few years, we used this to try to make smoothies.  Back then, I suspect, that was its main selling point.  The idea is that you can put all your smoothie ingredients (or milkshake ingredients if you are feeling more indulgent) in the tall cup that it came with and blend away.  You get a blended drink without the hassle of getting out your big blender and doing the same thing.  Well, it didn’t seem to work that well for us and we’re not big smoothie drinkers.

So, it got put away.  For a long time.  I think I even considered giving it away during one of our impending moves.  The only thing that saved it was its smallness.  It doesn’t take up much space.  It’s not a hassle to pack up and it’s not heavy.  It waited patiently for us until its appointed hour.

I don’t know if I saw it on tv first or if I actually thought to do this myself.  What I do know is that I was making a vegetable soup one night.  At the end of the recipe, you were supposed to put all your stuff in a blender and puree it.  Now, as everyone knows, there are a few problems with this:

1.  you have to get the blender out of the cupboard and onto the counter where there is no space

2.  you have to pour boiling hot soup into the blender

3.  you have to put a towel on top of the blender carafe BEFORE you turn it on in case HOT boiling soup escapes to injure you or at least make a mess of your kitchen

4.  you probably have to do this in batches because you’ve made more than 4 cups of soup and you can’t fill the blender more than half full or you’re at a higher risk of a soup explosion which means

5.  you have to dirty another bowl or pot because clearly you aren’t going to put it back into the original pot with the unblended stuff

6.  when you’re done, you have to clean the blender carafe as well as everything else it’s dirtied

For a minute, I was tempted to skip the pureeing step.  But, I usually like to follow directions and so I went to the cupboard to get out the blender.  That’s when I saw the immersion blender.  Hmm…worth a try, right?

It was brilliant!  After I got the fact that you have to have the entire head of the blender immersed (haha, it is called an immersion blender for a reason) or else hot food would spray all over, it was very easy.  No mess.  No extra dishes.  No doing it in batches.  Brilliant.

This week, I have especially appreciated its time-saving and mess-saving features.  I used it to puree my peach butter. I used it to puree the cooked figs for my fig jam.

I used it to puree my cooked tomatoes before putting them through the food mill.  It only took me several minutes to run it through the mill to get the seeds out (I’d already taken off the peels, remember?)  That tomato sauce was the best I’ve ever made.

See how smooth it is?  I did all this without getting out any extra bowls or utensils.  And there was no mess to speak of.  It just needs a gentle washing and it’s ready to go again.

We affectionately call it the boat motor and I am so glad we held on to it.  Neither one of us remembers who gave it to us as a wedding gift, but if you remember and you are reading this–Thank You.  We Love it.

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Posted on August 25, 2011, in Cooking, Stuff I Use, Thankfulness and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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