We use our blender alot. Not so much for smoothies—though I go through smoothie fits occasionally and always find it surprising that the boys may not eat fruit and yogurt in a bowl, but burred up in the blender, they’ll consume the combo by the pint.
Instead, the blender works on chili sauces of all kinds, hummus, vegetable pestos, soups. I’d watched with envy as Melinda Randolph, the chef/owner of 2223 Restaurant in SF, pureed her soups in her huge blender. My old blender could not do that. And, when asked to puree sauces made from dried chilies, the blender left bits of skin that would need to be strained out. So I could rationalize buying a new, really powerful blender.
The Blendtec arrived just before tomato canning season. For the first time, I did not have to use a food mill. Yippee!! Instead, I just put the cooked tomatoes (I never peel them, just cut them in chunks and rarely core plum tomatoes.) and onions in the blender and let ‘er rip. Smooth, no skin remnants; no seeds. Easy, easy! It saved at least an hour I would have spent turning the old food mill. Chili sauces? The same, perfectly smooth.
Most recently I was making a lentil soup. Usually, I would not puree it but for some reason this time the combination of ingredients looked unappetising to me. Whirrrrrrrrrrrrr! And it turned into a thick, delicious puree. These machines run hot: they can make your soup and heat it so you never have to clean a pot, and cold: they can crush ice or frozen fruit and turn it into soft-serve ice cream. A friend, having read the description of the Blendtec thought it might be happiest powering her snow blower.
I’ve also been using the blender lately to grind sprouted wheat berries for whole wheat bread. The trick is to do small amounts and to chill the grain ahead of time. Then it doesn’t overheat while grinding. Peter Reinhardt in his Whole Grain Breads recommends a meat grinder. But mine, a KitchenAid attachment, went missing in the late 1970s when I stopped making sausage. Little did I know that in 2010 homemade sauce would be the new, “it” thing to do. That grinder is yet another piece of equipment to add to my list of “Edited Equipment I Wish I Still Had.”