Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The day I blew up yet another hand blender...

I am going to be honest, hand blenders and I have a love/ hate relationship; where I love them, and they hate me. They are my "go to" gadget for so many things, and yet they are the centre of my biggest kitchen disasters to date. By just over a year ago, and the disaster day in question that I would like to tell you about, I had already laid to rest three hand blenders.

So, on this day with a two year old "assisting" and a baby in a bouncy chair I decided to be adventurous in the kitchen. I am not quite sure what I was thinking, or what went through my mind when I made this decision, but I did. Embarking on a three course "surprise" meal for my husband.

I made the mascarpone and raspberry cheese cake puddings without any problem, allocating the digestive biscuit bashing to my two year old (which he is really good at). On completing the pudding, I started chopping the vegetables and chicken for my chinese stir fry putting them aside ready to be cooked at a closer point to serving. Carefully placing them out of reach of sticky fingers who like to "help themselves". This is when it got challenging, I had googled earlier in the day how to make egg drop soup a chinese delicacy that I have only ever come across in the USA. But I figured it looked easy enough to make, and I happen to love it. By this point the two year old had started to get a bit tired of cooking, and I started to feed him copious amounts of crackers to keep him amused, whilst rocking the baby with my foot, stirring the soup and half looking at the instructions on my iPad. Finally the end was in sight, all I needed to do was zizz it up with my hand blender. I plug it in, turn it on, and a black puff of smoke is coming out of it ruining my soup, further more flames. I am shouting by this point "STAND BACK" as my two year old looks on, eyes wide and mouth open. I unplug it and literally throw it out the door onto the concrete door step. I am livid, this hand blender just ruined my soup, totally destroyed it! All that effort for nothing! My heart is beating so fast, as I am contemplating our near miss experience.
So this is what I was trying to create - Egg Drop Soup!
When my husband trundled in a hour later, he came in with a puzzled look "Err, is that another hand blender?" To top off the hand blender failure, he also added insult to injury with "Well, I don't know how to tell you this, but I actually don't like egg drop soup!"Well good job the hand blender destroyed it then! Ha! And how did I not know that he didn't like it.

As a side note just in case you are wondering the previous hand blending incidents involved making marmalade (it took out two of them) and and more soup making! I am starting to take it personally now as we are averaging about one hand blender a year. Or perhaps it my cooking?
This is the chopper pot.

Then at Christmas last year, my brother in law, hearing about the "incident" agreed to buy us a new hand blender. In my mind I was beginning to think I would never touch a hand blender again as it would be safer for us all. However on unwrapping it I discovered it was Kenwood Triblade Hand blender, which came with loads of additional gadgets. I proceeded with caution, allowing my husband to demonstrate it first. It seemed safe enough, so I embarked on using it. The clever thing about this new blender is that it comes with many attachments (which is what I was wooed by) including a chopper pot (thats not what Kenwood call it).

I have always wanted a food procecessor but having used this new hand blending gadget for nearly a year, I am not sure I need one now. It does breadcrumbs, cheese, soup, the potato masher is a godsend, in fact I haven't come across a recipe that I can't make with the help of my hand blender. The extra blades and gadgets mean that it can tackle almost anything I throw at it, and it has widened recipe selection too. All I can ask is that it sticks with me. We are nearly a year in, and I am hoping that this is "the one". Please let this be the one!

This is what it comes with - the Kenwood triblade hand blender.
This blog post is my  entry into the Tots100/PartSelect ’Love Your Appliance’ competition. You can find more about it here on Tots100. PartSelect is a website that encourages consumers to show their appliances a little love by giving Internet users the know-how to take on repairs themselves, they have over 700 instructional videos. I think that even if I had known about this clever website, my hand blender may have still been past fixing - but you never know!

This appliance gets my seal of approval!

Monday, 11 November 2013

#Blog4Sanitation Competition

Splashdirect are asking Bloggers to tell their funniest or most disgusting bathroom stories for World Toilet day to raise awareness  for Wateraid. You can find out more about the competition here on the Splashdirect blog. For example did you know that every 40 seconds a child dies from water related diseases! Thats a lot - in fact its shocking! So here is my funny story that I will will make you laugh but also make you think too.

Picture the scene, I am about 8 (I am now 31) and big enough to have got everything toilet related down to an art. It was evening, so my parents had long since put me to bed and I being very tired had dosed into a deep sleep as usual. Whilst I was sleeping my parents opened up our house to around 10 teenagers who all sat eagerly awaiting games around the dining room table downstairs. Teenagers were regular visitors to our house when I was a kid, and when I was awake I knew them all very well, and I looked up to them hugely. My Dad was renowned for his fun games like "chubby bunnies" where you stuff as many marshmallows into your mouth at once and still somehow manage to say "Chubby Bunnies". On this occasion they were sat around the table whilst my Mum prepared much awaited snacks and drinks before the games began.

All of a sudden, I burst through the door in my pink dressing gown, found a chair and sat down at the table with everyone else. All of the teenagers greeted me with excited tones and I, instead of greeting them back proceeded to wee all over the chair I was sitting on. Yes you heard me, wee, and not just a short wee, the kind that goes on and on forever, leaving a huge pool beneath my seat. Then I stood up without saying a word and started to trundle back upstairs. I am sure that by this point the teenagers didn't know whether to laugh or just to gawp, mouths open wide, slightly dazed and confused. My Mum, being Mum soon swept in and realised that I was sleep walking and despite my open eyes I was fast asleep.

The following morning over breakfast, and for several years beyond my parents enjoyed (to my absolute embarrassment) regaling the story over and over and over and over again. In fact my brother  is still known to pop into conversation "Do you remember that time when Hannah wee'ed all over the…"not the best thing when as a teenager myself I was bringing home boyfriends. Plus I had the shame of seeing all of the teenagers week after week.

So laugh all you want at my sleep walking misfortune! It has taken me many years to finally see the funny side to this story and to be brave enough to share. I genuinely have no memory of the event itself but with ten teenage witnesses I am pretty sure it happened as said, and I am sure that there are plenty of other people that have clearly mistaken a dining room chair for a toilet in their sleep too!

I am part of the #Blog4Sanitation movement setup by Splashdirect to raise awareness of the importance of global sanitation. Learn more about World Toilet Day.