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There were never any "good old days" — they are today, they are tomorrow
A 35-year-old dream fulfilled 
4th-Jul-2011 07:55 pm
ohh shiny
Pirate and I went to the Alameda County Fair on Saturday with a goal in mind (beyond "garlic fries and a corn dog", that is), which we accomplished.

I am now the happy owner of a Vitamix. [Pirate: WE. We are now the happy owners of a Vitamix.]

I've wanted a Vitamix since I was six or seven years old. My grandparents had a booth at the Oregon State Fair* every summer — apparently they sold enough pianos during the fair, or possibly got enough solid leads they were able to follow up with after the fair, for it to be worth having a booth. The easiest way to entertain the visiting grandchild (because OF COURSE one's visit to one's grandparents is timed to coincide with the State Fair) is to give her $20 and send her off to look at the other booths in the Commercial Building.

Punch needle embroidery! Fried rosette cookie irons! Vitamixes!

So I've been wanting one for almost 35 years now. But it's a chunk of change, and we were doing our best to muddle along with inferior $40 and $80 blenders... and destroying them. Literally. The Oster we bought based on Consumer Reports' recommendation literally sheared off at the place where the drive shaft met the container. And the KitchenAid I got as a replacement SUCKS. (Omigod does it suck. Picking collard fibers off one's teeth while drinking a green smoothie is unpleasant. It will be going back to Bed, Bath & Beyond tomorrow.)

The first thing we tried, to inaugurate it after getting home from the Fair, was a blended† margarita. Quite nice, but not what you'd call a serious test.

For dinner tonight I made a raw blended soup, or savory green smoothie if you prefer. Fresh tomatoes, lemons (peeled), celery, collard greens, carrots, a gypsy pepper, and a beet, with a bit of miso and a couple of dashes of Tapatio hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Plus ice. Turn it on at the lowest speed, increase the variable dial up to 10, then switch to High and blend for a couple of minutes.

Wow. Smoooooth. I'd tried doing a raw soup with beet in it in the Oster and found it unbelievably pulpy. Not pleasant at all. (Drinkable when strained through a nutmilk bag, but that's a hassle.) So it's lovely to have it come out this smooth and even and emulsified.

So, so pleased. We're going to be drinking a lot of smoothies in the days to come, I think. Plus the cookbook that came with it actually has a number of recipes that sound worth trying, so trying those out should be fun.

* Not the Oregon Country Fair, which I don't think would really have been Grandma & Grandpa's scene.

† We both prefer our margaritas on the rocks, in general. Use decent tequila and triple sec (note, "decent" is not synonymous with "expensive") and fresh citrus juice and you don't need to turn it into a slushy to mask the taste of harsh ta-kill-ya or nasty sticky cheap triple sec and "sour mix" (a.k.a. "evil in a bottle").
5th-Jul-2011 03:03 am (UTC)
Oh, good, I'm not the only one with a serious hate-on for sour mix. The only time I've ever been tempted to send a drink back, someone used it in what was supposed to be a Tom Collins.
5th-Jul-2011 03:44 am (UTC)
Collins is the only time I reach for the sour mix on the job. That and a Lemon Drop.

But... ugh. Most of what's available is just HFCS crap. I mean, there's güd sour mix with real ingredients out there.

It's just that 9/10 of the time that's not what's in the bottle.
5th-Jul-2011 04:37 am (UTC)
Isn't it supposed to be lemon juice, powdered sugar and fizzy water? And gin, of course.
5th-Jul-2011 05:16 am (UTC)
If you've got ultrafine sugar, you can do it as you've described. Regular sugar won't dissolve properly.

Sour mix proper is made with lemon juice and simple syrup. The syrup makes sure the sugar dissolves in the the drink properly.

Bartender pro-tip du jour. :D

But yeah, you order a TC in a low-rent bar, gin, HFCS sour mix, & seltzer over is gonna show up.

Edited at 2011-07-05 05:20 am (UTC)
5th-Jul-2011 03:14 pm (UTC) - Just remembered...
Powdered sugar has cornstarch in it for texture. It will make the drink cloudy. Ultrafine sugar is pure sugar that has been milled down to a powder and dissolves well in drinks.

I knew there was a reason to differentiate the two, but couldn't come up with it last night. :D
5th-Jul-2011 03:07 am (UTC)
Tapatio.. mmm. Sour mix.. bleah.

How easy is the Vitamix to clean? I recall it being hard, but that was back when I was a wee child and it was rarely in use. I've been sticking with immersion blenders since other blenders, as you much more eloquently say, suck rocks.

Also: have you tried smoothies with garlic? It would be harsh raw, but I'm thinking roasted garlic would be good with greens, adding a bit of sweet and tang. Yes, you've drawn me into the smoothie world.
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