My blender tried to kill me. At first I didn’t notice anything wrong … I hardly use it as the food processor is always my go-to blend device, but I cracked that while making sunbutter a few weeks ago, and while it still works, it tends to leak liquids all over the bench. So I’ve used the blend stick attachment a few times lately. Most recently was a batch of tomato and watermelon gazpacho, which tasted awesome immediately after making, but the leftovers went bad in 3 days. This did NOT happen with the batch I made at mum and dads … weird … so I made a second batch. And noticed a funny smell. From the stick blender attachment. More of a funk. ‘Uh oh’ I thunk. So I gave it a good rinse. And while draining it, I noted it was making a sloshing sound. The blend stick retains fluids, I realise. Uh oh.
Turns out the bit that whizzes about allows liquids to enter the internal compartment. Not just liquids it turns out, but mayonnaise too. I made mayo with it 3 weeks ago. It was still inside the stick blender. And when I made gazpacho, it went inside the stick blender too. And came out again. Cause not only can liquid get in, but it gets out through the same hole. OMG THAT’S GROSS I THINK I’M GOING TO BE SICK, thinks I, as I had just consumed a ‘fresh’ cup of blended gazpacho. Good news: I didn’t die. Bad news: totally trashed (as in ‘put in the bin’) my stick blender. After dismantling it as much as I could, identifying what was once mayonnaise (it resembled something I’d once grown in Biology class) and realising that there was no way of being able to ever clean it properly, I declared it far too dangerous to live (and stupid … who designs these things to be leakable but not cleanable?!). If you own a Sunbeam Stickmaster, I suggest you take a really good look at the stick blender part of it … mine was about 6 years old, it’s quite likely they’ve changed the design, but have a look and see whether liquids can get inside, cause if they can and you can’t properly clean it, you may want to rethink using it.
I don’t have this problem anymore. No more stick blender and a cracked food processor bowl (they’re part of the same set) meant it was time for a new blending device. Choice Magazine (subscription or pay as you go service, good reviews/content) reviewed food processors in Sept 2012 and rated Philips Viva Collection Food Processor HR7762 90 (RRP $129 AUD) and Cuisinart FP 14DCA ELITE 14 Cup Food Processor 46852 (RRP $649 AUD) equal first. You’ll note a MASSIVE difference in the price tags. Other than that, the biggest difference is that the Cuisinart has almost double the power (1400W vs 750W) and more than double the bowl capacity (2.6L vs 1.2L). What this basically means is that you can whip up a much larger batch of sunbutter in a lot less time with the Cuisinart. The Cuisinart was well outside my budget though, and to be honest, if I had a lot of money, I’d have purchased a Thermomix (AUD RRP ~$1939!!) (Dear Santa, what happened to my Thermomix?!).
So my shiny new toy (actually, not that shiny and it has a nice black and purple finish) got its premier workout today. Up first … sunbutter of course! If it couldn’t do sunbutter, it was going back to the store. As per other food processors I’ve used (my little now deceased one and my mum’s bigger but probably not much more powerful one) it took forever to get the sunflower seeds to form a paste, but it did get there in the end, and it didn’t die in the process.
Next up was leek and broccoli soup. The Philips website and the box the Viva Processor comes in are a little misleading – they say 2L bowl .. what I suspect this actually means is that the bowl when filled to the rim can hold 2 L, however the instructions on the inside of the box, and on the jugs themselves, state that the maximum you should fill to is 1.2 L. Choice had actually specified 1.2L capacity but I thought they’d gotten it wrong as Philips stated 2 L on their main advert page, though on the specifications tab that I didn’t think to look at, it does say 1.2L max capacity. Sigh. Furthermore, you probably shouldnt fill it to 1.2 L either, unless you only use the pulse function very hesitantly, otherwise when turned on the liquid will shoot out the sides and down the outside of the bowl. This happens with both the food processor bowl and the blender bowl. Oh I had some fun with that 😦
Overall, I love my new food processor. It’s compact and fits nicely within my very limited bench top space. It is easy to clean (bonus!) and comes with a lot of different attachments for shredding and zesting and even a chip maker (hello sweet potato fries!). For $129 AUD (I actually paid $124 at Harvey Norman) it is excellent bang for buck and I’m a happy little camper as my gazpacho and I will not have to suffer the repercussions of mouldy mayonnaise again.