Sunday, September 7, 2014

Summer Saved!

Someone saved my summer right at its official "end". I didn't actually know my summer needed saving but on Labor Day, it was salvaged nonetheless. Here's the skinny:

Last May my Oster blender, the one I've had for about twenty three years, finally gave up the ghost. It served me well and had a very good, long life but I finally burned out the motor. Right at the beginning of proper milkshake season. Of course I had to get another blender but the question of what kind (another full-sized one, one that was more of a single-serving drink maker, or maybe an immersion style) was a bit insurmountable and it dragged on. We eventually got used to having a little extra counter space with the blender gone, so footprint became another factor to take into account. Weeks of consideration, on-line research, and stopping into kitchen wares stores from time-to-time, stretched into months. Nothing seemed quite right, though, and the summer months ticked by one after another. And milkshake season drew closer and closer to its end.

A Brief Word About Milkshake Season: This is a completely arbitrary designation on my part. Actually, I should call it "Prime Milkshake Weather Season" but that just adds two more words to say. Basically, it just means that I enjoy drinking milkshakes more during the months of June through August than I do at other times during the year. That's not to say that I don't drink milkshakes in the winter, spring, or fall; if I talk about having a milkshake in deep December, you cannot sue me.  

A Brief Word About Milkshake Season ends.

I made several kinds of ice cream this summer but none of them was the straight vanilla that is my favorite for milkshakes. Thus, the impetus for deciding on the new blender was lessened. Actually one of the main reasons I didn't make a decision was that the available options, within my price range, were just plain ugly! I mean, lots of plastic, several unappealing pastel colors, and shapes that weren't pleasing to look at. I just couldn't imagine myself crafting a milkshake using any of the machines I was looking at. Also, the more expensive models (out of my immediate reach) were just too danged powerful and much too big.

And suddenly it was Labor Day and I hadn't had a milkshake all summer. Michele and I spent the day visiting with her father and step-mother. I've mentioned Connie upon more than one occasion here. She has been my gracious benefactor of several beautiful kitchen tools and items that I use frequently. We were talking about ice cream, milkshakes and such when I told her about my blender dilemma. She told me about her Waring blender and how, years ago, she had to take it all the way to Brooklyn to have it serviced. The repair people begged her to sell it to them, which seemed to surprise her. I told her that depending on how old the blender was, and what kind of shape it was in, it could be worth some cash to collectors. It was around fifty years old, she said. Um. Yeah. That's going to be of interest.

Then she asked me the question that saved my summer: "Do you want it?" After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I consulted Michele, whose only caveat was that we maintain a more cleared space on the counter. Mentally, I shifted bottles, salt grinders, and tools until said space shone on the visualized counter. "Yes. I'll take it!" I retrieved the blender from their kitchen counter and immediately realized that all my concerns had just evaporated. It is a thing of beauty! Please to observe:

Seriously, it's beautiful!
Once I got it home and cleaned it off, it fit on the counter exactly as I'd envisioned. Over the next twenty-four hours, I made a batch of double-vanilla ice cream and had my first homemade milkshake at the end of milkshake season and my summer was finally complete!

Chilled milkshake glass at the ready.

Carefully scooping.

Load it up!

Agitate well.

Pour.

Savor.

And Summer is saved!
The only thing I need to do is replace the rubber gasket on it because the current one is old, cracked, and leaks a bit. In looking up parts I discovered that this particular model of Waring Bender is probably from the 40s or 50s (and maybe even the 30s), so it's more likely at least sixty or seventy years old!

I'm proud that Connie has entrusted it to me and I promise to make many milkshakes, and memories, with it.

Currently listening to: Patrick O'Hearn - Homeward Bound

P.S. The above song is rather appropriate because I'll be headed home to San Antonio next month.

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