Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Back to basics: the whisk & can opener

My electric hand mixer died.  The whisk came out.  It has been awhile since I've used a hand whisk to mix heavy whipping cream..  Talk about an arm and wrist work out!  If I whisked cream every day I could use enough calories to afford to eat it.  Giada De Laurentiis admits that she had one arm, her right, that was far more muscular than her other due to the constant whisking that she was required to do in cooking school.  I believe it!

This morning the whisking job was not so hard....just waffle batter which I beat with a whisk anyway.  So far I haven't any plans for whisking a dozen egg whites for angel food cake but if I do, I'll pull out the Big Gun -- the Bosch!  He's still running like the Macho Man he is. 

I used to keep a hand-crank beater like this

for times when the electricity was out or when I wanted to beat something quickly.  I ought to look into purchasing another one.  The gears on the one I had before got messed up and I didn't think I needed a replacement.  Plastic gears just don't hold up.   I do love a whisk, but I'd like to find a stainless steel variety.  I like to throw mine in the dishwasher and that makes for a little rust on the ones I own now.  Not nice.

While I'm talking about tried-and-true basic kitchen tools, there's another Kitchen Helper I'm proud to own.  Just this month I decided it was time to retire my Swing Away hand can opener which I had been using in my kitchen for the likes of 10-15 years.  It still worked, but wasn't as sharp as it once was and tended to leave some of the lid attached to the can.  I thought surely I'd never find one like it out there with all the years that had passed by.  Isn't that the way it is?  Well, I went on the Amazon website to look at the can openers that people are using nowadays and to my surprise, I found a Swing Away just like mine!  For $8.99 I replaced Old Reliable with New Reliable.  I even bought four more for stocking stuffers for my kids!  The eyes rolled a bit, but I know one day they will appreciate their Swing Away as much as I do.

"Cut round on the top near to the outer edge with a chisel and hammer."  Directions on a can of roast veal in 1824


  1. I love the older tools, I have them and I use them, they are always reliable too! Come say hi :D

  2. The electric can opener that we received as a wedding gift died last year after 30 years. I thought I'd die too -- I'd watched my mother buy a new electric can opener every other year for the last ten years and they were all awful. Oddly, hubby came home with a can opener just like yours -- it's amazing! A far cry from the old manual can opener that was also a wedding gift and that hurt my hands. These new ones are soooo smooth! My wedding gift hand mixer is still hanging in there though, and I'm crossing my fingers for another 31 years!

  3. That's the can opener I use, Jody. Love it. I also love that it doesn't take any counter space and it is quiet. Mr. Handsome's mom gets a kick out of it.

  4. A chisel and a hammer!!!??? OMG!
    I prefer the swing away and hand whisk...I need a new hand can opener, now that you mention it...

  5. My mixer died too and I found a lovely, looked like new, hand mixer with a whisk attachment at Value Village for $4.99. I was pleased!

    I use the same can opener. It works great. And uses less space than the electric.

    Those instructions from 1824 are hilarious! I'm thankful for modern conveniences.

  6. You know one sooo appreciates a good tool, when you have to use it all the time. It is really little things like this that makes life happy. Clarice

  7. I have gone through many hand-mixers. And about 10 years ago I bought my Bosch....I love that thing! Yeah for those can openers! I have never owned an electric. I prefer those, they don't take up counter space. I have an antique hand mixer...but it is really antique. Not so sure I would want to use it in actual food. I remember my grandmother sitting down with a big mixing bowl tucked up under her arm and just mixing away...it was a wonder and I have never ever been able to duplicate it.
    Happy New Year!


  8. I need a new hand mixer. The one that died recently worked for thirty years! Now I have the mix master-ish thing that my daughter gave me when she was overloaded with wedding gifts. I can't cram my big double batch bowls under it. It doesn't work for mashed potatoes if you make enough to feed the masses. My mom insisted that the beatersin your picture were the only possible tool for whipping cream but I don't have the patience. I have never had an electric can opener. I love the one I have, purchased at the grocery store. You are a good girl, making waffles. I had ice cream for breakfast!

  9. How you brought back good memories to me. Thanks for sharing.
    Have a blessed new year.

  10. I'm with you ladies....I prefer the hand-crank variety of can opener because I like my countertops as clear as possible. Plus they are just so easy to use. I do think I'll buy a new electric hand mixer as soon as I get to town again. For now, I'll get by with the whisk or the Big Bosch.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments. I enjoy reading each one. Happy New Year to you all.


  11. I think this is a really good article. You make this information interesting and engaging. You give readers a lot to think about and I appreciate that kind of writing. Best Electric Can Openers in 2018


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