Monday, January 17, 2011

Ashley Versus the Blender

It was like an old western showdown...
On one end of the kitchen stood Me. Feet apart hands twitching at my sides, a steady glaring eye on my opponent.
On the kitchen counter staring me down was The Blender Kevin got for Christmas a couple years ago.

Who would break first? Who would be the victor? Who would be the sissy crying when her dreams of blended recipes were spilled or spread all over the floor....

I was really hoping this time it wouldn't be me....
But that blender is no sissy.

It all started yesterday .... with a Sunday morning that was THE OPPOSITE of the relaxing and enlightening experience that most of my Sunday mornings are. Kev had gone to a birthday party games night for my brother in law Andrew and because of the roads and such had decided to stay over night at my sister's place.
Fine by me, I was so worried about him driving home in the worst blizzard we've had since 1994.

So instead I woke up at 4am and at 5am and at 6:30 am with both of my kids back and forth crying over this and that until we just hauled all our cranky behinds out of our blankets and headed downstairs to the fireplace to think stormy, cranky, early morning thoughts and screech at each other when our feet ended up in each other's cushion space on the couch. (sounds lovely doesn't it? very Norman Rockwell and such....)

Finally after everything else in those unholy early hours that could possibly go wrong did, I decided I NEEDED a cup of coffee... BADLY.
Then I went to the cupboard and like Mother Hubbard found it bare... BARE BARE!!!!

No coffee left except those lovely beans Keri sent me! (Hurray!) Except I have no coffee grinder (Boo!)

But then I thought of the blender. It had crushed my candy canes for popcorn back in November and Grandma had seemingly set it up with not trouble at all... so, why not try that????

Now here belongs the disclaimer that appliances and myself do not always mix well. Actually any kind of technology or machinery and myself don't do well together. 
In plainest terms, Anything that requires some sort of skill or coordination to operate beyond the simple machines we learned about in grade 4 is often beyond me and results in disaster. (and sometimes even the simple machines are too much.)
I'm serious. It took me several unsuccessful attempts to use my bread maker before I chucked it in the back of the pantry for almost 2 years before I got brave enough to try it again. I once broke down and started crying when defeated by an electric can opener that I couldn't get to work in University (although that can opener had it out for me I swear.) and I asked for a sewing machine as a wedding gift and I STILL haven't started taking lessons on how to use it... I'm chicken.(that's almost SIX years folks.)....
You should've seen me when I started learning how to drive. ( which I only did at the age of 21 out of the sheer necessity of having to learn so I could drive myself to the hospital if need be in order to birth my baby).
"You may require.... more... than the standard 14 hours of learning time to get your licence."

That's what my instructor said to me after the first lesson.
I kid you not.

Anyways I digress....back to the blender. 
I pulled the evil thing out of the cupboard and proceeded to try every combination of ways that it's many parts could possibly fit together but everything rattled loosely and I pinched my finger VERY hard trying to secure the base.
Finally I just dumped some beans in there and threw the ON switch.

Well, wouldn't you know it, those beans were crushed....and then sent into orbit around my kitchen.... and when I got the jar off the top of the blades, the few grinds I had saved came falling out all over the counter tops and me....sobbing, hysterical, barely-sane me....who now had coffee dust in my sleepy eyes... now mixing with my tears in lovely brown streaks down my face.
"I hate you! " I muttered at the blender and it had the gaul to just sit there on the counter like a cat licking it's paws in total indifference.

Well today, NO MORE.
I was going to master that wanton beast or be killed in the process and my challenge today was Smoothies.

Smoothies: those delicious berry blends that hippies, health nuts and those who can afford booster juice love.
I wanted to love them too.
I wanted to whip out my subservient kitchen appliances and make fresh delicious smoothies for myself and my family... now is that too much to ask?

I gathered my ingredients. I used alot of peppy self talk and and I set the pieces of the blender out on the counter and just for good measure, gave them a pep talk too.

"OKAY look blender" I don't like you and you don't like me, but I've gotta find another way to get an extra couple of fruit servings into our diet and your gonna do it for me and your not gonna give me any trouble about it! RIGHT?... ( I almost added the "Yes mom?" that I say to my kids.)

I rolled up my sleeves, wiped my brow and figured those pieces out without any personal injury.
I put in handfuls of this and that
A little honey
A little soy milk
and when I was done I said a little prayer and hit that switch.

It whirred.
It pulsed
It blended
And a smoothie was born.
I fed it to everyone in the house for lunch including the baby who ended up half purple but very happy.

I went to wash the pieces and disassemble them first.... I guess I was a little zealous in my "righty- tightening" cause now I couldn't get it apart, but I prevailed and in the dishwasher it went.

I couldn't keep the smile off my face....
Look, I'm even blogging about it now.

Maybe I'm a little too optimistic, maybe it's the sweetness of that smoothie, but I'm feeling good and I think I'll maybe call the library tomorrow and inquire as to when those sewing classes start up?



  1. Awesome post! And aren't smoothies the best?! I make them for Monster all the time b/c he can be the worlds worst eater, but if I get a delicious smoothy in his belly first thing he often eats better and is less monster-ish.

  2. ps. I pretty much drool like a fool everytime I open your blog and see your delicious looking loaves of homemade bread. I always think about how I could no doubt happily eat a whole one in a sitting.

  3. I will bring you some!!!!! and some friendship bread too!
    Our family almost goes through a loaf a day!

  4. Ashley!! You are so entertaining, especially because I can often relate...& always, because it reminds me so much of your Mum!! Your sense of humor will stand you in good stead, in the frustrations of everyday life. Keep smiling, & keep sharing!

  5. Okay, two words... instant coffee! Now I can already hear the coffee snobs out there starting to snicker, but in a real crisis, caffeine is caffeine! All you need is a kettle with hot water and that is one appliance that doesn't require a pep talk. You could also have avoided the finger pinch and that nasty coffee dust in your eyes! I'm just saying, it's an idea! Good job on the smoothies!

  6. thanks Auntie Shirley!
    Thanks Leah for the advice!



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