Meditations

An Ode to the Swirl Mixer


I’m not much for kitchen gadgets. Please, I don’t need a quesadilla maker, or a frozen pop maker or any other ‘-maker.’ I like simple tools that function well.

Like the swirl mixer. My grandmother and mother both have an old aluminum swirl mixer in their kitchens, and use them often. I have a plastic one, which doesn’t seal thoroughly and is therefore not of much use.

What’s a swirl mixer? It’s a handy lidded cup with graduated measurements that’s perfect for blending ingredients. The Mirro company made the aluminum swirl mixer years ago. It’s no longer available, except for on eBay, where I scored the one below.

Grandma uses hers to mix flour and water as a thickener for sauces or gravies. I use mine to make super easy homemade salad dressing. It’s also handy for making a quick batch of homemade butter. You could also use it to shake up a small quantity of whipped cream. Or single-serve cocktails.

What kitchen tools do you find essential? What tools in your grandmother’s kitchen are also in yours? (I would include an old Mirro cookie press, Ball canning jars and a pastry cutter on my list.) Share your gadget stories below!

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