Saturday, April 3, 2010

How the internet and a little ingenuity saved my life!

Okay it didn't save my life, but it did save a bundle of money and calories... On the heels of our recent magic bullet blow-up, juicer-gate, Kevin Trudeau's Ultra Mega Memory (or what is Super Mega Memory) tapes, and a closet full of exercise implements that would make the Marquis de Sade blush--all As Seen On TV, or more appropriately as seen on late night TV when your faculties of reason and discernment are half-asleep--I am happy to announce a small victory against this dastardly tide of gadgets. With a little ingenuity, and paradoxically the Internet, I managed to turn back the clock in our kitchen to cooking 1.0. And I saved us about $200 in the process. Johnny, I know you'll dig this part the most, but for the rest of you read on for a fabulous tip on how to clean your own super-mega magic thing...

Allow me to introduce, the blender. Yes, that modern yet retro, that sleek yet 70's item that you probably have stashed in a closet since your wedding or since you replaced it with some newer and much more expensive culinary gadget that promised it would do away with all the other gadgets that came before it and that was touted as what the French call "le must de la cuisine".

Well I'm happy to report that I just talked Debbie down from her Magic Bullet, Health Master, Vita-Mix infomercial buying mania with a simple, yet elegant steel and glass blender by Oster (imaged here) and the power of a little thing we call the scientific process. Here's how I did it:

1) Leave the product's flashy website and flash video demonstrations (though this is where I did get that cleaning tip I'll tell you about in a second) and go to a reputable resource like or Read a few reviews about the different products. Concentrate on the negatives.

2) Drop a carrot, an onion, a few stalks of broccoli and some water in the blender you have and see how good of a purée it makes. Add salt and pepper to taste and heat.*

3) Drop a banana, a couple clementines, a dollop of yogurt, a few ice cubes and some water in the blender and see how good of a smoothie it makes.

4) Review your recent bank statements and see whether spending $300-400 on a super blender makes sense.

5) Buy a $5 Good Housekeeping blender recipe book used from Amazon promising over 150 sensational recipes on soups, appetizers, smoothies, baby food and more.

6) Do a little victory dance as the ineluctable power of your demonstration sets in.**

* If you try this, you'll understand the need for #5.
** You may want to skip this for the sake of better relations.

I have to admit that I got a bit lucky because it just so happens that way back in the early 21st century when I bought my blender at Target I grabbed the stainless steal and glass pitcher one by Oster, more because I thought it looked good than, as it turns out, because it was recommended as one of the best. The point is, these blenders go for about $60. With depreciation, the recipe book and avoiding buying one of those other gizmos, I reckon we saved well over $200 with our little admittedly pseudo-scientific experiment.

So what's in it for you? Those of you who have already shilled out for some other gizmo? Those for whom it is too late to benefit from our experience and sage advice? Well, here is a great little tip to make cleaning your own personal blenderizer thingy "simple comme bonjour": after you blend, do a quick rinse then add warm water and dish soap and blend that for a few seconds. Can't you just see and feel the potentially lost years of your life just anti-oxidizing away?

By the way, no need to send me a thank you card as there is no address down here in Margaritaville where we will soon be wasting away... from all the calories and money we save of course!