Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Try to keep your raging jealousy in check....

I begin with a story of my stupidity. Last week, I was trying to make the legendary Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Pie to be served with some of the exquisite St-Valentin strawberries. The recipe says to begin by mixing the dry ingredients in your blender. I knew better, that my blender requires liquid first to function properly. But did I listen to my instincts? Nooooo! But I guess I learned my lesson when SMOKE started pouring out of the base of my poor old Cuisinart! Am I am idiot or what? (Shh. That was a rhetorical question, thank you.) Instead of crying over burned blenders, I took it as a sign from the gods/goddesses of kitchenware that it was finally time for me to pursue that holy grail of blenders...(gung, gung, GUNG)...a WARING! The reviews I read encouraged me to stay away from the kitchen models and spend the extra money on a professional/commercial bar blender that would crush ice effortlessly and last long enough to bequeath to my progeny, should there ever be any. The trouble is, the cost was a bit prohibitive, starting at about $130 and heading upwards to nearly $400! But then this beauty entered my life:

Ok, so it's a refurb in a color that some might find offensive but that I find charming and kitschy-cool (think Jadite, think...MARTHA!). But it's a Waring Pro and more blender than a gal like me will probably ever need, and all for the rock-bottom price of 66 bucks! That's half-price, friends! And look at the sexy, svelte curves of her vintage beehive design, and if you could feel her substantive weight, her sturdy character that promises a relentless work ethic, you'd say to yourself, now THAT'S a blender! Try not to hate me 'cuz I have one and you don't.

To make you feel better, I will share an excellent recipe for you to make in whatever humble little blender you might have. This dish comes from my friend, Becky, who is both a brilliant philosopher and an imaginative cook. When the summer starts to swelter but the garden-fresh tomatoes aren't ready to make gazpacho yet, this is the chilled soup that will fill the bill. Apparently, Becky reworked a classic Fannie Farmer recipe and came up with this simple yet delightfully refreshing soup that is nearly the color of my new blender and tastes like you're eating a cloud...a tangy, creamy, cool, green cloud. ;-)

Cucumber-Avocado Soup

one good-sized cucumber (preferably English and seedless)
two ripe avocados
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup half and half
salt (to taste)
lemon juice (to taste)
fresh chives (to taste)

Peel, slice, and seed the cuke. Peel, halve and pit the avocados. Add both to the blender. Add the chicken broth and half and half and blend until very smooth. Add enough lemon juice and salt to please you (you might try 1/4 cup lemon juice--I think I ended up using the juice of two lemons--but it's all about balance, says Becky the philosopher). Add some fresh chives, starting with about two teaspoons or more to taste, realizing that the chives will take awhile to fully flavor the soup. I also like to add a good pinch of cayenne. Then chill the soup thoroughly. Garnish with sour cream and another sprinkle of chives.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is it Waring Pro? I had one just like that but with a stainless steel body and a black lid. I bought it about 20 years ago and gave to my sister. She still uses it a lot for fruit smoothie and things like than for her children. After all those years, it is still in a great shape. It is a sturdy machine. It is one of few things I am really happy with purchase. –Jill-
P.S. I still had not tried the brioche; I don’t bake much during spring and summer but when the weather cool down, I will definitely try it.
P.P.S Your pies look so good! They look so tempting!