Monday, December 26, 2011

Let's beat some eggs

Sometimes you need just a little whipped cream.
Do you remember hand-held egg beaters?

When I was a kid, it was the only thing my mother had for beating - whatever. She didn't have an electric mixer until much later, and I don't recall her ever using a whisk. Maybe that's why she didn't bake a lot.

An egg beater isn't just for eggs, of course. It's perfect of thin batters like cake or pancake batter, or for whipping things like cream or eggs. 

The funny thing is that I don't recall my mother ever using that egg beater for cooking. The only thing I remember her using it for was when I was allowed the indulgence of a bubblebath and there was a froth rather than a tub full of bubbles. Mom would use the eggbeater to whip up more bubbles.

Good thing she didn't have an electric mixer, or I might not be here today.

That egg beater was used for cooking, though - when I was a child-sized sous chef, it was my job to use it for mixing whatever needed mixing. As a kid, I thought it was a fun tool to use.

As a adult, I thought it might be useful once in a while. So, a few years ago, I bought one of those old-fashioned egg beaters, just like the one my mother had when I was a kid. I thought I might use it when an electric mixer was overkill, but a whisk would be too much work for my aching wrists. You know, like for making whipped cream by hand.

Okay, I'll admit that I have a nitrous cream whipper, but sometimes I want a small batch, and other times I might want a few different flavors. Yes, flavors. I like adding flavors besides vanilla. Here's one that I particularly liked. Hazelnut or almond liqueur is also great in whipped cream. Raspberry syrup is also really interesting.

The old-fashioned eggbeater I bought years ago had a nostalgic charm, but it was unpleasant to use. I tried it a couple times, but it simply didn't do the job as well as I remembered.. Maybe I was a little more forgiving when I was a kid.

So when OXO offered me an egg beater to test, I figured I'd give it a try. It couldn't be worse, right?

To begin with the OXO beater was completely redesigned. Okay, there were two beaters on the bottom and there's a handle to turn, but that's where the design similarity ends.

I gave it a little test drive, and the vertical handle made a heck of a lot more sense. It was actually pleasant to hold onto.

Instead of being a one-piece unit, the base comes off, and the beaters  come off the base for easy cleaning if you got really messy. The whole base is dishwasher safe, too.

But the big improvement is actually a little thing - a wire. That wire elevates the beater blades just a little bit above the bottom of whatever bowl you're working in. Instead of the blades bumping against the bottom - or you trying to hold the beater above the bottom of the bowl - the blades stay elevated on their own. Genius.

I'm not getting rid of my stand mixer, and I'm not getting rid of my electric hand mixer, either. But for those times when I might otherwise decide to hand-whisk something, this little beater is going to be handy. And my wrists won't be complaining afterwards.

Would you like your very own beater? You would, wouldn't you?

I just happen to have an extra one, and it might have your name on it.

Here's how to win an eggbeater: 
  • For the mandatory entry, leave a comment here. Tell me what your favorite old-fashioned cooking tool is. Or tell me about a weird kitchen tool your mom had.
  • For another entry, tweet a link to this contest. Come back here and tell me that you tweeted
  • For another entry, follow @dbcurrie on Twitter. Come back here and tell me that you followed me.

That's it! Maximum three entries per person.

Contest is now CLOSED and the winner is Wanda!

OXO supplied both the eggbeater I tested as well as the one I'm giving away. I was not obligated to give a positive review.