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Nothing Like the Holidays to Bring Out the Strangest Electric Kitchen Tools

Have you ever tried to make a milkshake in your blender?

One of a kind, never will be matched. I am talking to one of my favorite people. He was the best at what he did and nobody can possibly do what he did or even come close to his commentary or subject matter in the always interesting and humorous fashion he presented it for the short segment on the long running show 60 Minutes. That would be the great Andy Rooney.

I think I have a little of him in me. Bringing up something in life that happens to most everybody but is never talked about much. George Carlin was very good at that sort of format but of course he had to be censored depending on the venue he was presented.

One of the funniest things Andy Rooey did was his bit on blenders. I think that at one time or another most have got this machine as a Christmas gift or something you got at your wedding reception. The funny part that Andy Rooney brought up to attention is why blenders had more than low, medium and high speeds for use. He actually found one that had 15 speeds. I believe it was a Westinghouse and each speed had a term on it: mix, blend, chop, stir and the one that really was funny that he pointed out was Frappe. Imagine 10 more speeds on top of that to help you with your culinary creations.

Have you ever tried to make a milkshake in your blender? You’re only to be slowed down with a chunk of ice cream that you would have to manually break down with a spoon or fork until it would come out smooth and drinkable. Even restaurants, ice cream shops end up giving a little manual mixing help to reach their finished product.

Now we have the wonderful food processor that will virtually live up to its capabilities that are advertised. That brings me to three other electric appliances that in the 1960s were commonly found in the average households: electric toothbrush, electric knife and electric can opener.

These are three products of that age that were never perfected. Let me start with the toothbrush. How lazy were we? To have to use something that would rotate up and down as you guided it to your mouth, which would come in handing if you didn’t have your fingers to perform a single task. After all these years this product has been on the market, the best they can come up with is a brush with round rotating brush, which makes it a bit more efficient than the standard straight brush.

Like the dentist would tell you, flossing is the trick. They also have a mouthwash that claims to make your enamel more solid with regular use. As important as your teeth are, they should have put more truthful techniques as advertisement for your dental routine.

Just a thought, one of the ones that kills me are scrubbing bubbles. The scrubbing bubbles in your bathroom cleaner. Come on, give me a break. If this was true, the scrubbing bubble product would surpass and be the only way to conquer all those gross buildups that have to be attended to or your bath will become one big toilet bowl, and smell like one too. Anyway, back to the second appliance. This one is really a total joke. The electric knife. I don’t know anyone even uses this product anymore.

Through the years I witnessed people at the table, especially on Thanksgiving demonstrating this machine on their prized bird. Only to come up with thick and uneven slices laid out on the platter. But nobody really cares, just happy that you got through your struggle and your probably drooling with knife and fork in hand, and ready to pig out on an already all day wait on the total package, put on the table for your feasting. I’m sure most people have determined that all you need is a nice, sharp carving knife to tackle your hunk of meat.

I personally bought my parents a Sears electric knife when I was 12 years old. I’ll never forget how my dad would break it out for Thanksgiving or Christmas, on turkey or ham and witness the butchering of this meat.

The slices were all different sizes and shapes. It does cut the meat, but not like its advertised.

I really think it worked better as a hedge trimmer in the garden.

The third appliance that everybody uses, or at least did at one time is the dreaded electric can opener. I never see one made for household use that worked good. Although there were a few gourmet expensive types that were good if you take hold and grip it good. You will get the can opened in one rotation, which is the goal you count on.

I think the trick is to make sure you plunge that blade down, make sure the blade is all the way in and start the cut all the way around. For some reason most of the time, one or two spots where the blade doesn’t want to cut, which makes you go back, punch it down in that area.

In restaurants there is a manual opener, big and quick and most of the time performs its duty the first time. It just takes a little muscle to know how to operate it property.

The marketing on the home model took off with an added convenient knife sharpener, which looks good and puts a good edge on your knife but in most cases, end up dulling their knife or in some cases people end up rollercoasting. .… this is the kind of stuff that Any Rooney would talk about, but these are mine.  

The toothbrush, forget about it. The electric knife is an antique. Invest in a quality set of kitchen knives and learn how to sharpen yourself and the can opener, get what you paid for.

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