Refreshing, but fatal

This blog entry is a eulogy – and like all good eulogies, it starts with a poem.

     Gone after twenty years,
     With one soft and fatal gasp.
     My kitchen partner, who knew no fears…
     Gone! After twenty years.
     A void, and yet there are no tears,
     And to my neck I raise no asp.
     Gone. After twenty years.
     With one soft and fatal gasp.

What words can I use to describe my long time kitchen companion? Reliable? Tireless? Efficient? All of those, and more. Yet, now that I think of it, undeniably more sluggish lately; struggling to do what had once been so easy … so effortless.

Now those struggles are over, and my kitchen helper is still and lifeless. And, here, my confession: it was all my fault. I alone am to blame. Dessert was my idea, and it was the dessert that was fatal.

Mea cupla.

The recently departed, dear, little three cup Cuisinart was a wedding gift, and over the years it made falafel with us, velvety soups, dips, salsas … too many things to list. It wasn’t the biggest Cuisinart in the world, or the fanciest, but it was always there.

Reliable. Tireless. Efficient.

Easy to clean.

It was killed by two frozen bananas, which have become staples around here. An early commenter on 222 million tons shared this tip, “Sometimes I wait too long for my bananas to get that perfect balance of yellow and brown, so I freeze peeled bananas and then use it later for milkshakes! No need to add ice-cream or sugar to make it slushy or sweet.” It was wisdom we incorporated into our lives, to the detriment of our trusty little appliance. Mami, if you read this blog still, know that you have blood on your hands too. Cuisinart blood.

The silver lining on all this is that our marriage has outlived yet another wedding gift; another milestone has been crossed. We now know that our love is stronger than a three cup Cuisinart, romantic words that may well end up on the family tombstone – a lyrical epitaph indeed.

Garbage ulesAnd now to practicalities. We will need to dispose of the body; of the sad, tiny Cuisinart corpse. In Japan, that would have been easy. There was a shop that bought old appliances that could be salvaged for parts, and if they didn’t take it, the prominent poster over our garbage bin had information to steer us right. Here we’ll have to do a little research. And of course, although it’s a little soon to talk of such things, we will need a replacement – and if any of you have tips in that department, please share them in the comments. It may sound disrespectful, but we were ready for an upgrade anyway.

As a final act of remembrance, I feel I should share the recipe that killed the Cusinart. Usually, people refer to this treat as “one ingredient ice cream”, but in our home it has another name this week.

One appliance ice cream (serves 2)

One ingredient ice cream


  • Two frozen bananas
  • One Cuisinart


  • Remove bananas from freezer.
  • Slice finely with a heavy knife.
  • Place slices in Cuisinart and let sit for a few minutes, to give them time to soften (especially important if your Cuisinart is on it’s last legs).
  • Pulse on high until the bananas have the consistency of soft serve ice cream, or until smoke comes out of your Cuisinart.

This simple dessert is rich, refreshing, loaded with potassium, made with no animal products, and potentially fatal.

The last picture of it before it died.

The last picture of my kitchen helper before it passed on. RIP, little friend.


27 thoughts on “Refreshing, but fatal

  1. My condolences on your fallen friend! Frozen bananas would indeed seem a rather formidable foe! Frozen banana “ice cream” is a favorite around my place as well – but we substitute the Cuisinart with a simple blender in our recipe. (all the other ingredients are the same)

    • They are great tools – looking forward to filling the void in the kitchen with a more powerful model (like your shiny new toy). Re freezing bananas, as nice as the one ingredient ice cream is, what I really love them for is smoothies (esp. with home made soy milk). It’s the perfect quick breakfast when you’re on the run.

  2. I’m laughing. I’m crying. I’m so sorry that you lost your beloved Cuisinart – but for a good cause! My marriage (so far) has outlasted just about EVERYTHING, save, maybe, my great-grandmother’s counter-top electric pancake griddle (it’s REALLY old…like 1940’s old, but stillworks great), and I wonder how much life it has left. There’s that strange “electric smoke” smell that my mother’s electric hand-mixer (switch broken…only works on whip setting) also emits when frothing something with gusto. I still can’t believe that either one still works. I have a hard time throwing ANYTHING away that still works.

    I will think of your Cuisinart when I use these precious Old Lady’s. RIP, little guy. And many more happy years of marriage for you two!

    • I was actually thinking of your family and it’s recent ice cream withdrawal as I started to make this … though my attention quickly became focused on the smoke (which I at first thought was steam rising off of the cold treat).

      May your aging appliances last long, and your marriage longer.

      • In electronics lab (back when I was still in college), we referred to that as “magic smoke.” It was magic because once the smoke escaped, the project usually ceased from working.

        We are freezing bananas as we speak! It’s a great solution for ones that are slightly past their prime (rather than becoming rose fertilizer). We throw them into green-or-fruit smoothies instead of ice (along with silken tofu) to thicken them up.

        I will certainly try them as “ice cream,” though I don’t know why I haven’t done it yet! (We already make “popsicles” out of frozen bananas and a fork. John hates bananas.)

      • Actually, we throw the bananas in the freezer when they’re at their prime these days – keeps the fruit flies away.

        And, now that you mention it, there was a very magical, transcendental feeling about that smoke. Like those ghosts that emerge from cartoon characters after they’ve been squashed. Maybe, like some VW Beetles (most notably Herbie), some Cuisinarts have souls.

  3. My sincerest condolences! Not just for the loss you have come through, but for the many, many more you will now suffer as you attempt to replace this loyal family member with one of the new appliances. Sadly, I too have lost old friends such as yours, and their longevity is to be mourned. The new models have marched in and out our door in anywhere from a week to 11 months, as all are designed and made to be seen and never used from what I can tell. Frail beauty without substance. Perhaps they are a sorry but fitting analogy for today’s marriage statistics.

  4. Not sure how I missed this but I am glad I read it. I have ‘killed’ more appliances than I care to admit. This is not confined to the kitchen as printers and a computer, phones and our burglar alarm have all been felled by my strange force field. I can’t blame bananas or anything else; I don’t even have to touch the darn things either. I feel your loss. As for a replacement, if you can get a Magimix Cuisine 5200, your life will be complete. I LOVE mine. It’s a bad boy that looks great and does all the tough jobs with ease – frozen bananas would be no problem. Trying desperately not to kill it.

    • I feel a little less guilty knowing that I am in good company – though I do feel a little guilty about my feelings after having done some research on the Cuisine Système 5200. I may be in love, and it feels just a tad wrong so soon after the demise of my little friend.

  5. A shame to lose such a valuable kitchen companion, but know that he (she?) went down fighting those bananas like there was no tomorrow! (In this case, there really was no tomorrow.) My 4-cup Kitchen Aid food processor was a wedding gift 2 years ago. I thought I would have broken its blades when I tried making homemade cat food with whole pieces of chicken thigh–bone and all! Kitchen Aid is a good brand and decently priced. I also have a Kitchen Aid standing mixer that’s well over ten years old and had no problems with it (also a freebie–my mom gave it to me, but it actually belonged to my sister. Not too happy when she found out mom gave away her appliance, but she had already moved out of the house! ;)

    • Thanks for the tip – will take a look at the Kitchen Aid offerings. If they can grind bone, they should be able to handle our needs.

      Mmm – home made cat food – no wonder they can wait for you to wake up naturally.

      • They actually didn’t like the homemade cat food and preferred the dried and canned stuff we usually feed them (Science Diet for senior cats.) I was disappointed they didn’t like it, but at least it saved my food processor from an early demise! :D

  6. I am deeply sorry for the loss of your Cusiniart, and even more sorry that I had unknowingly been an accomplice to this crime…. :( Hope you have now found a new kitchen companion. (FYI, I use a T-fal food processor)

    But as it may seem wrong to admit, I am glad I read this entry to know that I have somewhat made it into your life as your coffee table, desk, and box-shelves have become precious members to our home:) We will most likely be moving again next spring, and they will come with us as well as the wedding gifts that we hope to someday outlive. By then, we will have a new addition to our family, too— expecting on New Year’s 2013!!

    • Congratulations! As my baby shower gift (and out of gratitude for the many moments of frozen banana-derived joy in the past several months), I officially absolve you of any guilt in the death of the Cusinart. It hasn’t been replaced yet, and I’ll take a look at the T-Fals when I get back home (am toiling away in KL for a few weeks). Looking forward to seeing pictures of 赤ちゃん on FB in 2013. Eventually, I’m sure she, or he, will come to appreciate those box shelves as much as my cats did.

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