Monday, February 28, 2011

Terrorist blender blade: a smooth operator

Americans beware.  A previously unknown threat, which the Transportation Security Administration is determined to stop, now invades the skies of this great country.  The danger involves the common, everyday blender found in many kitchens across the nation.  Well, not the entire blender, just the threatening terrorist blade found inside the blender.

This blender-blade crisis surfaced when my granddaughter Shannon boarded an airline flight in Dallas, Texas, headed for Denver, Colorado where I retrieved her from Denver International Airport a week before Christmas.

Shannon arrived with a perturbed look on her lovely face.  “I have a funny story to tell you, Grandma,” she said, as we proceeded to the baggage department.

It seems Shannon purchased a blender for her younger sister as a Christmas gift and opted to carry it on the plane rather than add to the weight of her already heavy, large suitcase, which the airline charged her $20 to cart.

At the time she checked the suitcase, she asked the agent whether she could carry on the blender, which was in its original, unsealed box.  The agent told her, “no problem,”

However, when she reached security, a TSA employee told her he needed to inspect the blender, which he promptly did by opening the previously unopened box.  He then removed the blender blade and informed her that she could not carry it on the plane.

“What am I going to do with it?”  She asked, incredulous at this new development.

The TSA agent wrapped the deadly device, put it in a box nearly large enough to hold the entire blender and told her to take it back to baggage, where the baggage agent promptly charged her $30 for a second piece of checked luggage.

Reaching the baggage carousal after she landed, we retrieved Shannon’s large suitcase and patiently waited for the box containing the blender blade.  Luggage appeared and thinned as other passengers retrieved suitcases, but no box.  We waited.  We waited.

Hell, I thought, they lost the darn box.  Sure enough, the last of the luggage from the flight made its way to the carousal but the box failed to show.

Long story short, the airline paid for a new blender and we left the blender blade floating somewhere in baggage claim continuing its threat to the safety of all Americans.

I am not sure how Shannon’s sister Sierra plans to use her new blender, but my less dangerous blender works well for making fruit smoothies.  Here is one how-to.

When my local market puts overripe bananas on sale I purchase several large bunches along with several bags of frozen berries.  Bananas sweeten as they ripen, so the riper the better as long as they are not rotten.  It does not matter what kind of berries: mixed, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries or blueberries; pick what you like.

I peel the bananas, slice them onto a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet and place the slices in the freezer to harden.  This takes about an hour.  Once the slices harden, I place 1/2 cup of banana slices along with 1/2 cup of berries in a sandwich bag.  Remove as much air as possible and place the small bags of fruit inside a larger freezer bag (gallon size works well) and keep in the freezer until ready to use.

When I want a smoothie, I remove one bag of fruit and place it in the blender along with a cup of non-fat milk and blend.  You can use whole milk or low-fat milk or even soymilk if you like.   All work well.  You get a wonderful sweet treat with no threat to your health.

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