I’ve been looking for an antique or vintage wire-type pastry blender for a long time, something like the one I grew up using. Though all the fancy pastry blenders out there are heavier blade types, the wrist movements I learned to make as a girl are hard to remove from my muscle memory, and you just can’t use a blade-type blender in the same way. When I was just out of college, I found a new wire-type one at the now-defunct Bowl and Board in Cambridge—a great store—and was thrilled; but years of use wore it out quickly, and from the get-go its wire was never as heavy-duty or resilient as my mom’s. It would get bent out of shape with every use, and was, after many years, simply lopsided, though still usable. It was when the wires started coming loose from the handle that the trouble started. I had to junk it and its wooden handle in favor of a plastic-and-wire OXO one.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the OXO, but today I found what I’ve been looking for all along: the exact same pastry blender Mom had, but with an orange instead of a black handle. Paul and I took an after-lunch walk down to the Seaside Shop that Christine and some other local artists, apiculturists, and collectors have opened up down by the Lion’s Club, and this jumped out at me from a basket of knick-knack antiques. At $5, it was a buck cheaper than the pound of local honey I bought.
(Mom, is yours an Androck, too? I know you still have it…)
Now all I have to do is make sure that this one doesn’t meet the same fate that our old reliable one did: the little nut on the end refusing to stay on, despite repeated fixing by my father. I guess eventually the threads are just stripped to nothing, and you have to replace the inner rod, or the nut, or both.
Maria Grace, who sold me the blender and the honey, has blackberries in her yard, and offered to bring some by if the rain hadn’t made them moldy. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s officially baking season!