The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Stick blender

stick blender with two rolesBack in the eighties I was given a blender. A large device that stood on a stand with an orange plastic cap over the hole in its lid. And, to keep it company, a nifty compact electric whisk with two metal prongs for whisking stuff.
“These are essential in any kitchen.” I was assured.

Both rarely left the darkness of the cupboard to perform as I didn’t really cook. But I liked having them just in case I caught the cooking bug.

Many years later Danny reconstituted some semi solidified paint using the electric whisk with a slow and steady hand. The little white plastic dot on the base of the left hand whisk was stained yellow for ages.

Then we discovered a small stick blender on one of our Christmas Eve forays to John Lewis in Norwich. We bought the basic one and this little daemon is used constantly to make soup.

A couple of weeks ago I was sweating over four pints of béchamel sauce, trying to avoid lumps. Danny has a horror of these and has several gruelling tales of his mother’s battles with bobbly sauce.
“She even tried using a sieve once. Of course it didn’t work.”
Behind closed doors, I’d trifled with sieves myself.

Then I had a rare, fleeting moment of pure logical thought. If the stick blender makes lump free soup why not use it to make a smooth béchamel?

I shut the kitchen door and plugged in the device. It worked. Perfect béchamel that you could bathe in. A discovery almost on a par with the wheel.

I fired up the computer and discovered that almost everyone else in the world had been using their stick blenders to make lump free sauces except me. Perhaps the instruction manual, tossed unread into the compost bin, had pointed out this key fact.

Now our stick blender has two roles. I’m wondering what else it can a stick blender legally do?

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Velvet Goldmine

    Soap making? Brilliant idea. Also intrigued by its use in papermaking.

    Must try and be a bit more inventive with mine.

    Hello Sharon J

    Good point. Ours lives at the back of the cupboard. I bet that it would be used more if it was out all the time.

    Hi Belinda

    Thanks for the ideas. Smoothies “ yummy. Hummous too.

    Hi Casalba

    I must try making béchamel with olive oil, far healthier. Thanks for the tip.

    Hello Organic Viking

    They™re great and I™m now discovering that they are even more useful!

    Hi Pamela

    I must check out the Bamix! Although ours “ the bottom of the range Bosch is great.

    Liquidisers are handy. Ours comes into its own for making egg nog when one of us is peaky.

    Hi Wendy

    That spreads sounds delicious “ thanks for sharing! Must try this as an alternative sandwich filler.

    Hi Veronica

    Great tip. But where did I put the long plastic container??

    Home made mayo is delicious but can be a nightmare to make.

    Hi Kethry

    It has been a discovery that has reaped the reward of stress free béchamel. I™m almost willing it to go lumpy so that I can do the trick with the stick!

    Hi Elaine
    I always wondered what those were for exactly. Thanks for the tip.

    Hi Kate(uk)

    I must try cornflour. Thanks for sharing.

    Hi Jane

    Wow. It must be the Rolls Royce of stick blenders!

    Hello Plumsource

    For years Danny banned the idea of having a food processor as we have so little space. Finally I insisted on getting one and it is a marvel, cutting food preparation time massively. Particularly good for chopping herbs, slicing vegetables etc. This and the slow cooker are superb additions to a busy kitchen. Unfortunately it is bench bound and can™t do the weekly shop.

  2. plumsource

    Thanks for the tip re sauces. Generally I get irritated by my hand blender as I’m trying to do silly dry things with it that get all stuck inside the bladey bit like making breadcrumbs or pasting chickpeas – gggrrr! Then you have to try not to cut your fingers as you poke the gunk out. I really need a food processer / proper blender but I don’t know where to start with big grown up machines. Any tips on what the different ones do? Cut, grate, mash, whisk, make cakes? Wash the dishes? Can one machine do all these things? And do the school run? x

  3. I have had my stick blender for 22 years which makes me feel very old!

  4. Kate(uk)

    Use cornflour not plain flour and you will never make lumpy sauce ever again, even without a blender.

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