The Cuisinart Stick Blender looks nothing like traditional blender that sits on the counter and makes milkshakes and margaritas, but it mostly does the same job. It is better in many respects. It takes up much less counter space, it rinses clean in the sink and you can blend large quantities of cooked ingredients right in the pot where you’re cooking them, instead of pouring them out, blending them in batches, and pouring them back into the pot to finish cooking.
Cooking can be fun, especially in cold weather: preheat the oven (warm up the kitchen), select the ingredients, chop or slice them, taste them. It’s all part of the anticipation of a home-cooked dinner. Then comes the eating with candles and conversation. The cleanup, though, is not so much fun. By that time, you’re ready to move on to books or TV or putting the kids to bed.
The stick blender consolidates some of your work. Say you have a cold-weather taste for butternut squash soup. You cook many, many chunks of butternut squash (with other ingredients )in a soup pot, and then, to get the creamy consistency the soup requires, you simply put the stick blender into the simmering mixture, turn it on for a few minutes, and watch it turn those large chunks of squash into a delicious puree — in the same pot. When you’re done, remove the blending stick from the blender and drop it into the dishwasher. No extra pots to clean, no mess on the counter, and your soup is ready for its finishing touches. The stick blender saves enormous amounts of time and energy and takes what could be drudgery out of the preparation of an otherwise delicious winter meal.
The blender works so well because it has an extra-sharp, 2-pronged blade concealed at the bottom — but that, too, reveals one of its advantages: the difficulty you have getting all that residue out of the bottom of your ordinary blender is eliminated with the stick blender, whose blade, though recessed, is easy enough to rinse under the faucet. Be careful, though; it’s not too recessed to cut the tip of your finger off. It comes in lots of bright, fun colors, as well as the more traditional white or chrome.
Available from Amazon.