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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Blender

Note: I have added a new feature that you may have already noticed. At the end of each blog there are three pictures or three links of similar posts from this blog's archives. Clicking on one of them will take you directly to that post. I hope you find this feature useful.

Next to my slow cookers my blender is likely right up there as one of my least used on a regular basis kitchen appliances. Usage tends to be quite seasonal with higher use during the summer months, preserving or doing bulk canning sessions. A couple of weeks ago someone on one of the Yahoo!® groups I read mentioned using canning jars with the blender. It was as if a light bulb went off!

Blender & Jars

When I got my blender ages ago it came with two mini jars (red arrow) with lids that I used quite a bit for grinding coffee before getting a coffee grinder. I use the jars mainly for grinding herbs. The white lid shown in the picture is a Bernardin® storage lid for mason jars available where ever canning supplies are sold. The heavy plastic jars screw onto the blender fitting then are turned into the blender seating. Standard (70 mm) two piece mason jar lids fit these jars.

I did a bit of research after hearing about the mason jar tip. One source said that at one time a mason jar with lid was included with every new blender along with instructions for using it. Now it makes perfect sense to mix sauces and dips directly in the container you want to store them in. Many sauces and dips need to sit for a period before serving so the flavours meld together. Grinding herbs directly into storage jars eliminates that fine powder from going everywhere when the blender pitcher is opened. More importantly there is a lot less mess and clean-up using the smaller storage jars.

Method

I make a lovely vegetable dip for the Super Bowl party using the mason jar method. If you don't have a mason jar a recycled mayonnaise jar or any jar that a mason lid fits will work. I spooned the sour cream, herb blend (garlic & onion) and Miracle Whip® into a 500 ml (pint) mason jar leaving about an inch headspace (1). Then I screwed on the blender fitting (2) and inverted the jar with fitting onto the blender seating (3). I held the top of the jar while blending just as I would when using the regular blender pitcher. I stopped once mid through the blending to give the jar a good shake. When the dip was fully blended I removed the jar with the fitting from the blender and inverted it allowing the contents to settle for about 5 minutes (4).

Ready for Refrigerator

After the contents settles a little I removed the blender fitting and placed the plastic storage lid onto the jar. The jar went into the fridge while I did the clean-up of washing only the blender fitting and two spoons - no spatulas, no bowls, no large pitcher, no funnel. There was no mess or spills either. It was quick and convenient!

This really was a case of having the equipment but not using it to its potential until I was reminded of the possibilities. True I had been using the method for grinding coffee and herbs but there is so many more possibilities when it comes to sauces and dips. So check your blender to see if you can use this tip. It will save you time and ultimately money with less clean-up.


8 food lovers commented:

Amie said...

that's really cool! I've never heard of anyone doing that before!

Beth said...

What a great idea! I'm going to have to try that. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi GG:

I have had my Hamilton Beach blender for about 20 years... it has been sitting down in the basement on a shelf..

Well, I brought it up yesterday, and had a ball grinding up things..

It also came with a container for mixing drinks... so now I have the blender bottom, and the cutting edge in a permanent spot in my kitchen.. will be making some dips today...

Many thanks for this great tip..

Lynn

Garden Gnome said...

This really was a case of having the equipment and not using it. I'm so glad others are finding this tip useful!

Anonymous said...

You've just taught this cook a new trick! I checked in the kitchen and found out that (yes!) I have two jars (a small and large) that fit perfectly on my blender. The large one will work perfectly for making smoothies, and the small one will be great for chopping small amounts or making salad dressings. Thanks!

Karen said...

Now I need to go to the thrift store to see if I can find a blender.

LindaG said...

First, thanks for the link to this post. :) second, my new replacement blender did not come with the small jars (I was quite disappointed), but I do have some canning jars I am not using at the moment so I will definitely see if they fit the blender collar.
Now I wonder if you have dip recipes on your recipe tab. ;)

Garden Gnome said...

You're quite welcome Linda. Some jars like salad dressing (eg. Miracle Whip, Renee's) are the same size rim as canning jars so they work also. There are dips under the dip label and the cloud at the bottom of the blog. Enjoy :)