Sunday, June 25, 2006

the most expensive cookies
or, the sad, sad state of our household appliances

Lauren's mom is taking the train up tomorrow, to pick up a spare car and drive it down to LA. Tonight, Lauren decided to bake a double batch of one of our favorite cookies, an almond/lemon cookie that uses a cup of pulverised almonds. This job requires a good blender. Sadly, there appears to be no such animal in existence.

We haven't had a blender since our last (a $40 Black & Decker, with a glass jar, looking like Serious Kitchen Equipment if anything ever did) was savaged by an attempt to make artichoke soup a few weeks ago. Previously, I had bought us a decent-looking Kitchenaid, that lost its ultimate battle against ice it was meant to crush. But once the B&D bit it, I announced I would never buy another blender, let the Gourmet or Bon Appetit bastards do their worst!

So, we were left to grind almonds into almond flour with a second-hand Braun coffee grinder that has been serving as my works for the past year, since I went whole-bean. The grinder succumbed, the blade unscrewing itself and leaving no threads behind.

This was at 9:30, with barely a half-hour to get to the Target of Death and acquire something with which to grind almonds, and (in my mind more importantly) coffee.

Target sells a narrow range of blenders, and most of them had obvious flaws (for instance, being those previously proven unfit for the task). We settled on one, for 20 bucks, when Lauren spotted another, for 14. "If it's gonna break anyway..." her argument began. Despite myself, I recognized the truth of her words. If you're an American, and if you live in a place like Turlock, and if you want to grind almonds, you're going to have to buy a blender that is going to break in a year or two, because that's all that you have available. And we bought the damn thing, the 14 dollar blender, and it pulverized the almonds.

Oh, and we bought a $20 coffee grinder. Now, just think of that: the coffee grinder was 30% more expensive. All it will do, allegedly, is grind coffee.

Ah, me. My parents owned an Osterizer as old or older than I am, as long as I can remember. They may still own the damn thing. Whatever one may say about the New World Order, its blenders are unspeakable.


KOM said...

Coffee grinders make pretty good spice mills, as well. If you can get rid of the microscopic grounds.

Which you can't.

A friend of mine had a digital uber-blender that must have cost $100+. Still, one night of Daquari's, and the motor burned out.

Turlock or Manhattan, $14 is a pretty good price for a doomed machine.

This Girl I Used to Know said...

Blenders are crap. I am not sure why anyone bothered inventing the things at all. Their primary design - to crush ice - almost invariably destroys the machine.

Hummus killed our last blender. I just buy hummus at the store now, and live a blender-free lifestyle.

Robert Kirkman said...

We don't have an Oster-style blender any more. We have a "stick" blender for some purposes, and a heavy-duty food processor for others (like hummus and a truly excellent cold tuna sauce for pasta). Both of the machines are made by Braun, and both have survived some serious abuse. Ah, that German engineering . . .

(We use a mortar and pestle for spices, and we never bother to try to crush ice.)