Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Five: Mix and Stir Edition

Oh dear! Over at RevGalBlogPals, Songbird tells us:

In a minor domestic crisis, my food processor, or more precisely the part you use for almost everything for which I use a food processor, picked the eve of the festive season of the year to give up the ghost. A crack in the lid expanded such that a batch of squash soup had to be liberated via that column shaped thing that sticks up on top.

Can you tell this is not my area of strength?

Next week, I'm hosting Thanksgiving. I need your help. Please answer the following kitchen-related questions:

1) Do you have a food processor? Can you recommend it? Which is to say, do you actually use it?
Oh yes. In fact we have two! The big one now lives in the pantry much of the time, but it's invaluable when I do get it down. It's an 11-cup Cuisinart that we bought not long after the Great Big Mall opened near City of Lakes. I use it especially for making piecrust, grating potatoes for latkes and at other times when a recipe says to use one. When we moved here, Onkel Hankie Pants prevailed on me to get a KitchenAid mini-processor which doesn't take up as much room on the counter. I use it very frequently for chopping onions and similar tasks which I wouldn't use the big one for. Both of them work quite well.
Oddly enough, I was making squash soup yesterday too! But the recipe told me to use the blender, so that's what I did, ladlefull by ladlefull. The recipe (from church) also encouraged the use of a handheld stick blender, which would have been nice but I don't have one.

2) And if so, do you use the fancy things on it? (Mine came with a mini-blender (used a lot and long ago broken) and these scary disks you used to julienne things (used once).)
Mine came with three discs for slicing and julienning, plus a plastic blade which I'm not sure I've ever used. I don't do a lot of julienning, but I do use the slicing disk, especially when I maked scalloped potatoes for the shelter -- 24 servings is a lot of slicing but it goes really fast with the processor. I don't know if this makes any sense, but when it comes to electric things I feel the simpler the better, so I prefer to have a mixer, a blender, a processor rather than one item with a lot of attachments.

3) Do you use a standing mixer? Or one of the hand-held varieties? Both, actually. The standing mixer lives in the linen closet most of the time (when we got a toaster-oven, it needed to move) but I like it for making big cakes and cheesecake. The hand-held mixer lives in the cupboard by the refrigerator and is used much more frequently. I got the stand mixer from a refurbishing place in Florida over the 'net. I was happy to have it, but soon realized it was not ideal for some of the most common tasks, such as making whipped cream (unless you're having about 40 people for strawberry shortcake!) So, the handmixer, same brand.

(And isn't that color delightfully retro?) Songbird posted a photo of a beautiful aqua KitchenAid, but I am posting a different retro color, which is the one Sisterfilms will be receiving soon. I won it in a sweepstakes drawing at an online cooking store and got to choose the color, so I asked her which she wanted and she chose this. It's been waiting in its box ever since for the kitchen at Chez Landlord to be ready to receive it, and it's going to be wending its way there very soon now!

4) How about a blender? Do you have one? Use it much? Yes, we have one. The first one we bought in 1975 to make baby food for SonShineIn (aka Comrade Landlord) and it lasted until just a few years ago. The base was Harvest Gold! (Another kind of retro, I hope it never comes back!) A couple of years ago I got a new one, same brand, for Christmas because OHP wanted to be able to make smoothies. It came with a mini-processor attachment which I'm not sure we've ever used. I used it for the squash soup pureeing, and I also use it to grind up the crumbs for aeblekage.

5) Finally, what old-fashioned, non-electric kitchen tool do you enjoy using the most? I don't know how old-fashioned it is because it does have silicon-covered wires, but I love this little whisk for making white sauce, gravy, etc.

Bonus: Is there a kitchen appliance or utensil you ONLY use at Thanksgiving or some other holiday? If so, what is it? I was going to say my trussing needle, but actually I do use it sometimes for roast chicken. So I'll have to go with the rosette irons that I've only recently begun using to make these amazing Christmas treats. Well I remember my first sight and taste of one at the Christmas concert at Salem English Lutheran Church in Waseca, MN! It was very un-Minnesotan of me to grab the only one on the plate.


Processing Counselor said...

The treats look great! My address is...

Sophia said...

They do look yummy. Are they hard to make?

I also like the pretty whisk.

Songbird said...

Oh, but they are darling! Irresistible!