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Saturday, 27 October 2012

No kitchen is ever too big

Style note. The woman previously known as Mrs BB, Mrs LdP and/or Mrs RR will now be referred to in this blog as VR.

Jury trial should precede the acquisition of any new kitchen appliance, eg, a Tesco blender (£15)

DO WE NEED IT? How come we’ve reached our seventies without having this thing before? Has our life-style changed? Surely not - we live like Auvergnat peasants.

Counsel for the Defence,VR I need it to homogenise certain home-made soups. Cleaning the Magimix food processor (otherwise the love of my life) for this simple task is too onerous. Of course our life style is evolving: 50% of what we now drink comes from Burgundy

WILL WE USE IT? Is it simple to use? To clean? Are the benefits blindingly obvious? Can it be made readily accessible ? (See also below)

CftD, VR. Usage – idiot proof. Cleaning - 10-second job. Benefits – leek and potato soup; I rest my case. Readily accessible – yes, readily.

WHERE WILL IT GO? Any new appliance must be paid for in that most precious of kitchen commodities – work surface. Stored in a cupboard? Forget it!

CftD, VR. Admirably small footprint. Will sit next to the £75 Krups coffee percolator.

Judge. Field trial to begin when?


  1. You'll never look back, but don't over-blend those soups; I prefer them to be left slightly bitty. I wouldn't dare to preach to VR on anything culinary , but as that is a matter of personal taste I reckon I haven't strayed into dangerous territory.

    I've just this minute emerged from a monster meatball cook off. The blender was used to make the sauce. The processor chopped up onions, green pepper, bread, and lardons - indispensable.

    Contrary to your accessibility ruling the forty plus years old, battered Kenwood Chef was dragged from its cupboard to mix the whole lot together before forming the meatballs. That is a machine built the way Victorians built the infrastructure of dams and waterworks, but it is too space consuming, and paint peeled to be out on the top.

  2. Has VR come across the sort of blender that consists of an arm with blades at the bottom. It blends and process soups etc either in the receptical provided or (and here is its chief advantage ) in the saucepan in which the ingredients have been cooked? We use ours all the time for soups. You need only the original saucepan in which to cook the ingredients and blend and finish the soup.

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  4. Sir Hugh: You are missing the point. Neither V nor I are proselytising on behalf of smooth soup; merely providing a modus operandi for creating it. Or, rather, establishing a foolproof method for adding a new domestic appliance.

    The fact that you chose "dragging" says it all. Inaccessible appliances tend not to get used even if you prove to be the exception. To ensure high usage they should be visible. But making an appliance visible (always) means permanently occupying valuable work surface. The equation has to be worked out to see whether this is worthwhile.

    We have, for instance, a sandwich toaster which converts a conventional sandwich into something more exotic. But our desire for exotic sandwiches is limited to two or three a year. Thus the toaster wouldn't be paying its way in terms of work surface space occupied, is stored under stairs and rarely emerges.

    The post is really more about human nature than anything else.

  5. Joe: I seem to have made a booboo here. As I explain the post is not about which is the best form of blender, or whether smooth soups are immoral but rather whether a blender fits satisfactorily into a mathematical description of the kitchen. The post could be about slow cookers, electric carving knives or powered knife sharpeners.

  6. At 15 quid, it's a bargin too! Did you both stand in the aisle at Tesco's and discuss the purchase?

    Blender in our house is used in the summer for frozen fruit smoothies. Freeze chopped bananas/raspberrys/blueberries etc, in small bags.
    Empty bag into blender and add milk, blitz and drink.

  7. My kitchen counter space is severely limited, so no blender for me. I deal with the situation by hanging pots and pans and pitchers and beer brewing equipment from a large rectangular rack that attaches to the ceiling with chains.

  8. HHB: Acquisition: I took a pre-emptive stroke and bought it without discussion. The decision was greatly simplified by the fact that Tesco had only that style on offer.

    RW (zS): But you're tall, I know. I hate the idea of your head playing all those culinary vessels like an upside-down xylophone.

  9. Oh, please don't worry! I've carefully measured each piece of chain to fit the kitchen implement in question, and I only hang blunt objects.

  10. But I must paraphrase and repeat Joe's question, what no Braun handblender?

    Those funny little silicone bags from Lakeland do the sandwich toasting very well using a normal toaster. However, now we only have a toaster of French dimensions, they no longer fit.