No, the title is not a misspelled reference to a Waring of the Marcus variety. I’d be hesitant to describe Marcus Wareing as wild for that matter, as I’ve only ever seen him as the cool, calm professional – he’s like the Chef Whisperer! – in any of his appearances on the telly – including yesterday’s spot on the Beeb’s Breakfast program where he was plugging his new cookbook, Nutmeg and Custard. Hmm. Perhaps a future addition to the cookery bookery? We shall see! (He did make mention of a recipe for Pesto Popcorn which made me sit up and listen. If only I could convince Him Indoors that there was a place in the world for savoury popcorn, other than, of course, the rubbish tip…)
The Waring in question was an unlooked for surprise in the post, from the ever lovely H.I., and it is truly a worthy heir and successor to the blender throne. The Kenwood is dead, all hail the Waring! Long live – PLEASE – the Waring! And I swear I only lamented my blenderless kitchen once or twice since the untimely death of the former, with nary a whinge, wheedle or nag in between. Apparently, H.I toyed with the idea of getting the Blender of Great Awesomeness but rejected it in the end, on the basis of its rather stern and austere appearance. This, I feel, showed great restraint on his part as, given the opportunity, I know he would remake our kitchen into the likeness of a laboratory, all clean lines and antiseptic surfaces. Oh, the travails and hardships untold which this poor man must endure living cheek-by-jowl with a Daughter of Disorder and Chaos…
If asked to describe this blender in a single sentence, I’d say that it was straightforward and no nonsense. I would then disregard the single sentence criterion and continue blithely on with superfluous others! There are two speed settings, high and low, powered by a simple, lever switch. The accompanying instruction book was more of a pamphlet, providing a refreshing change from the instruction bibles one often receives with the simplest of electronica these days. Bemused, I counted the pages. There were six, to be exact, written in large text, which is a strategy that any student facing a a next day deadline for a 20 page essay will recognise – double spacing and large font can help stretch a meagre paper to its minimum page requirement! Short and succinct it may have been, but it didn’t need to be anything else; everything you need to know about this blender and its care and upkeep can be found on those six pages. The new blender definitely feels smaller than the old Kenwood, not just in terms of footprint but in volume, but, since I’m not producing food on an industrial scale, I won’t count it as a strike against it. In terms of appearance, its retro styling really appeals to the anachronist in me. This is a blender that would have looked completely at ease on my mother’s and grandmothers’ countertops.
I was a bit leery about cleaning the appliance, as the blender’s jug is one, discrete piece and I’d grown used to the removable base on my dearly departed Kenwood. In fact, the completely detachable base had been the Kenny’s selling point when we bought it all those years ago. Now that I’ve had a chance to use and clean the Waring, though, I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised. The solid jug means there are fewer parts to go wrong or puzzle pieces for me to lose. It also means that there will be no more leaks at the base from poorly threaded o-rings. Of course, this also means that I have to be extremely diligent about cleaning it promptly. No more enjoying the fruits of my labour before tidying the kitchen or I might find my shiny new blender permanently encrusted with glue-like residue from blendings past!
For its inaugural blending, I went with an old ‘un but a good ‘un: the easiest applesauce in the WORLD. (NB! This isn’t a review of something new per se, it’s more of a revelation! A gift for you, your oven and blender alike!) A tip of the hat to Marion Kane and the Toronto Star for this one – I wheel it out every autumn at the peak of apple season. You’ve got to try this. It’s dead simple – you don’t even have to peel your fruit. Core them, yes, but that part’s a doddle. Simply cook them in their skins and whizz them right up. Once blended into silky smoothness, you’ll never know that the peel had been left on AND you’ll get an applesauce with a little extra colour and fibre. Your colon will thank you. You can serve it warm or cold with or without a dollop of thick cream, you can use it in place of oil to create lower fat versions of baked goods, or you can smear it on hot, buttered toast for an approximation of the divine apple butter that my father used to make. I promise you’ll never buy a jar of insipid applesauce from the grocer ever again.
Easiest Applesauce in the WORLD
Adapted from a recipe by Marion Kane, Toronto Star, year unknown.
6-8 apples, unpeeled, cored and sliced (I used a mixture of Worcester Pearmains and Bramleys, but this method lends itself to just about any sort of apple type pokemon.)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp brown sugar (more to taste – I just like mine a bit tart)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional!)
1. Preheat the oven to 180F/350C/gas mark 4.
2. In an oven proof dish with a cover, combine the 4 ingredients ensuring that they’re well blended. Cover the dish and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. The aroma of the baking apples will be glorious.
3. Once baked and bubbling, allow the apples to cool before whizzing them up into a silky, smooth puree in your fully functional blender.