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Conquering a blender

So, a week ago, I was making hummus from scratch. I was using dried garbanzo beans to start with rather than canned — and by the way, two cups of dried garbanzo beans yields six cups of cooked; this means that if you want two cups of cooked, you should start out with 2/3 cup of dried — and I was relying upon the opinions of more qualified individuals than myself as to whether or not the garbanzo beans had been cooked enough.

“Sure, why not?” the more qualified individuals said after they’d been cooking for an hour, so I drained them and dumped them in the KitchenAid 5 speed blender we had been given as a wedding present almost eight years ago.

Perhaps this setup tells you all you need to know about what the above photo represents. Perhaps you even see the little black rubber clutch with its teeth all broken?

Well, anyway, we now know that the garbanzo beans were not, in fact, cooked enough.

Thankfully, we immediately discovered that replacement clutches were not hard to come by; it’s part #W916840 and can be ordered off of the Sears website. I bought two just for good measure, and they arrived on Wednesday.

The instructions which arrived with the part made it sound very simple; screw off the old coupler, screw on the new one.

Perhaps you have also noticed the abundance of tools in the photo above, including a second pair of needlenose pliers intended to brace the axle on which the clutch turns while we were attempting to get it to screw off (and telling it, constantly, to screw off). The wounded finger is Megan’s; she got nicked by a metal shaving from the base of the clutch (pictured above, having separated from the actual rubber portion).

After a couple of hours of trying this and that, we finally got it off with more or less brute force — using the large pair of pliers, I bent the metal base away from the axle and thus also away from the threads. It then just popped off.

We then tried to attach the new coupler, and in so doing made a fascinating discovery which explained immediately why we had been having so much trouble. You see, in the case of this particular part with these particular threads, what we had assumed to be the universal constant of “lefty-loosey, righty-tighty” simply did not apply. In fact, it was exactly the opposite. Not that the instructions which came with the part even gave so much of a hint regarding this, of course.

The good news is that a) the blender works again and b) nobody else ever has to lose the war for want of this particular horseshoe nail. If you can’t get the coupler off, try turning it the other way. It may change your life.

Hummus, anybody?

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