I have a new toy…

In the unending quest to find something I can have for lunch that isn’t going to send me into a semi-coma for 4 hours – and being something of a gadget-hound – I recently bought a Breville Blend-Active Sports Bottle Blender. In an outbreak of tweeness, I’ve just made my first smoothie but, hey, don’t worry, I’ll still talk to you.



This blender is a classic example of designers thinking outside the box – and it works brilliantly. £19.99 from Misco.

And the bottles have a moulded-in groove that, when aligned with the user’s thumb, puts the stubby nozzle in the perfect position for drinking** – ideal for the visually-impaired or the simply gormless. The nozzle, too, is the perfect size for sucking out a smoothie (and you do need to suck, a little, as the bottle isn’t squeezy, for obvious reasons).

What’s that you say? Not obvious? Well, OK – if the bottle was soft enough to be squeezy, the vortex created by the blades might suck in the sides and – possibly – chew up the bottle.

The nozzle cover seals it well and – equally important – locks in the open position. No need to hold it with a finger.

You get a pair of 600ml bottles and – I’ve read – 300ml versions are available. And whatever they’re made of, they are very easy to clean. They appear to rinse clean, but a little detergent and a touch-up with a bottle-brush will ensure they are (the mouldings are free of crap-holding nooks and crannies).

And that was the main attraction. Occasionally, smoothies aside, I get the urge to have a smooth soup (most of my soups are chunky), and it’s very easy to whizz up a portion without having to drag out and set up the heavy blender than goes with my Kenwood Chef – and then dismantle and wash the bugger.

But, getting back to the post-lunch semi-coma, this has been going on for the better part of 20 years, no-one knows why, or can suggest a solution, so for years I’ve just had one meal a day, in the evening.

Thing is, though, I need a high-protein diet, and packing it into one meal is getting difficult, which is why I’ve put meat and fish back into my veggie diet, to the detriment of my bank balance. An often-overlooked virtue of vegetarianism is its cheapness, as long as you avoid veggie convenience foods and, as they’re mostly worse than dog food, that should be no hardship.

So, anyway, I’ve digressed – again! – if I eat lunch my afternoon is gone. But, I thought, could I cobble up a fruit-based smoothie and add, say, cottage cheese, for the protein content?

Got to be worth a try, and that’s why I bought this thing. Will it work? Dunno, but watch this space…


4 thoughts on “I have a new toy…

  1. As you know, Ron, codeine and other opiate analgesics can make swallowing difficult, so I love soups as well. Wouldn’t be without a stick-blender, which goes right in the pot to make beautifully smooth soups, as well as sauces and purees. I’m on my third one. (Philips) Another bonus is virtually no leftovers! I’ll make soup of everything left in the fridge. If there’s leftover takeaway curry, it’s mulligatawny. 😀

    • Actually, I didn’t know that about opiates – it explains a lot!

      Not keen on stick blenders (got one but rarely use it), but I’m a whiz with a balloon whisk, for sauces, for much the same reason I prefer a knife to a processor – keep the skills alive for as long as I can. OK, sensibly, I should use my processor a lot more – results are very good and it’s blindingly fast, plus easy to clean – but it has no soul, no poetry! Using it gives me no pleasure at all, whereas a knife does – 8″ chefs’ knife with a wafer-thin Solingen steel blade and rosewood handle – the perfect tool for everything from the softest herbs to the toughest swede.

      Plus it’s hard to give up the habits of almost 60 years, but it’ll come.

  2. Totally get you on the spiritual aspect of hand prep. Bought a beautiful sashimi knife a few weeks ago. Sharp as you like, I love it. Promptly cut myself to ribbons on it, not in use, but because I stupidly tried to catch when I inevitably dropped it. My manual strength, feeling and dexterity are buggered.

    Another favourite gadget is my old Panasonic SD-253 breadmaker, which has been turning out 3-4 loaves a week for us ever since I found out that mass-produced bread is a health hazard. Newer models are not so well engineered, apparently. Don’t know what I’ll do when it finally gives out. I’m toying with the idea of picking up a secondhand one off Ebay. People buy them and use them rarely or never, it seems. They let them gather dust at the back of a cupboard. Fools! I’ve had so much top-quality bread from mine, and dough for hand-shaping into fancy loaves, pizzas, naan, focaccia, and the excellent baps which are part of my identity.

    I haven’t got to grips with the mincing machine I was bought for Christmas at all! I suppose I’m daunted. How silly is that?

    • I use a Kenwood Premier Chef for bread – just for the grunt work. Getting back into making my own after most of a year off as it was too painful to stand. Still not fun but fed up with mediocre bread. Managed to get some in the freezer so I have leeway if I’m not up to it on a particular day. Not happy with the current batch of flour, though – it makes very soft dough that collapses when it’s slashed.

      I cut myself badly when I got my current knife. I prefer bolsterless blades but that leaves the heel exposed, and it promptly opened my finger. Still, that’s why we have superglue!

      I’ve got two mincers from when I made my own sausages (must do that again, and black pudding), an electric one and a stainless steel hand machine which – no surprise – I prefer. Electric’s much easier though.

      My kitchen – and knives – plus a Kindle with all my recipes

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