Sunday, December 14, 2008

Man versus Machine

These go to eleven.
-Nigel Tufnel

Sunday mornings I make the girls pancakes while Misseswether sleeps in before church. The girls love my pancakes because I load them up with chocolate chips...which now that I think about it could be the reason they are hyped up like crazed squirrels during mass. Hmmm, maybe I need to rethink this...

Anyway, I mix the pancakes up with a whisk in an old steel bowl. Misseswether always chides me about this because it seems like too much work. When she makes pancakes she uses her KitchnAid Stand Mixer to make the batter. This thing kind of intimidates me because a) it has enough horsepower to drive a large boat upstream against a heavy current (assuming you have a long extension cord or maybe a generator to keep it powered) and b) if I somehow broke this mixer Misseswether would feed my crushed and oozing remains to the crows. She really likes her mixer yet she keeps trying to get me to use it.

So after once again being teased by my wife for not using the mixer to make the pancakes I decided I should give this gleaming beast of chrome and white enamel a try. This afternoon I was making refried beans from scratch. Mmm, I love the way the house smells as I cook them up, the onion, the garlic, the beans and the bit of bacon grease... It's perfect for a cool, Texas winter day.

When it came time to smush the beans I was reaching for the masher when I saw Misseswether's mixer standing there. It always reminded me of some evil troll squating on the kitchen counter, all hump-backed and toothy. I decided then and there that I would master this beast and tame it to my needs. I loaded up it's bowl with the beans/onion/garlic mixture, snapped the mixing paddle into place and clicked it on to it's lowest setting.

Whiiirrr The paddled just pushed the beans around without mashing them. That wasn't any good. After few moments I clicked the speed up two more notches. A few beans were getting a bit squished now, but most continued to just roll out of the paddle's path.


Bumping the speed up some more helped a bit. Now seven or eight beans were smushed by the paddle. Obviously the answer was more speed.

Click-click-click-click-click-click-I'M BLIND!

So, turns out taking the mixer up to full power was NOT a good idea. Mushed pinto beans suddenly covered everything within a four foot radius of the mixer. My glasses were coated, turning my vision into a brown (though wonderfully-smelling) blur. The walls, the cabinets, the floor...everything was decked out in a layer of suprisingly difficult to clean up bean goo.

Luckily Mambowether is still young enough to be excited about helping when I ask her to lick food off the walls. I don't know what I'll do when she can no longer be tricked into cleaning up my messes. Oh well, I figure I have another year to eighteen months before she catches on, assuming Miniwether keeps her mouth shut and doesn't spill the...uh, beans (sorry about that) to clue her little sister in on my parental manipulations.

Unrelated, I'm going to take my yearly holiday break from blogging now. Poppawether and Mommawether just arrived from Minnesota and I have a bunch of vacation days I need to use or lose. So I'm going to put in some major amounts of family time over the next few weeks. There will be occasional mini-posts of stuff between now and Jan. 11th. I have a few big adventures planned so I'll have plenty to write about (says the guy who just turned thirty seconds with a stand mixer into nine paragraphs) upon my return.

For now I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a wonderfully happy New Year. I wish I could I've give y'all candy canes. Alas, you just have to settle for knowing I really treasure each and every one of you. The great feedback I get from you keeps me blogging. I can't believe my ramblings have touched so many people. Yet every week I get e-mails from strangers who tell me how my blog inspired them to explore the little creek behind their house and even though they ended up lost and unexpectedly spending a night in the woods they had a GREAT time. This brings me a lot of, not that I caused people to get lost in the woods but that I made people realize there are moments of adventure all around them. It's an exciting world, friends. Go out and explore it!

Adventure! Excitement! High-velocity bean goo!



Wildcat said...

so. what kind of adventures do you have planned?

Jim said...

LOL. Thanks for the belly laugh. (good thing no one was around!)

Izzy G. said...

It's astonishing that you made it past childhood, Blast. Lol.

Merriwether said...


Seven different doctors say the same thing!

Jon said...

Don't you have 50 cans of dehydrated refried beans or are those just for a special occasion?

Merriwether said...


Well, I wanted to try and dehydrate my own...


Lone Star Chris said...

a merry Christmas to you as well!

Anonymous said...

Oh, this is too good - TOO GOOD! :)