New dog Iris is a bundle of energy who spends most of her day racing around the back yard romping and wrestling with Zim. By the time nine p.m. rolls around, she's pretty much spent for the day. She curls up on a blanket on my recliner and goes out like a light, sleeping so soundly that I can easily pose a piece of kitchenware on the side of her head and take my time getting a ridiculous picture.
The kitchenware in question is called a "swirl mixer," which was first introduced in the 1930's by Rochow Swirl Mixer in Rochester NY. The graduated aluminum cup is stamped with volume markers from 1/4 cup to a full cup, and the curved lid with the interesting spiral shape stamped into the lid fits the cup tightly. The idea was to pour mixable liquids into the cup, cap it tightly with the lid, and give it a few shakes. The spiral shape at the top supposedly encouraged the liquid to swirl and mix more thoroughly.
I'm sure they have a million uses, but I can tell you what they are excellent for: Scrambling eggs. Crack a couple of eggs into a Swirl Mixture, add a bit of milk or water as you wish, and give it a couple of good, hard shakes and you have perfectly blended eggs for scrambling.
As long as I can remember, there have been Swirl Mixers in my kitchen. My grandmother had one. My mother's got two of them: a one-cup size like the one shown above and a two-cup size. When I was a kid, they were everywhere; I'd see them all the time at rummage and tag sales, selling for a dime or a quarter. Although I don't see them quite as often as I used to, there are still millions of them out there.
And what, you might ask, ever became of the Rochow Swirl Mixer company?
They're still in business, selling and distributing kitchen equipment in Rochester NY. They don't maintain a website and they seem to concentrate mostly on imports. Up until a few years ago, you could buy a brand new Swirl Mixer from the Vermont Country Store, but the item seems to be discontinued now.
But no matter. Keep your eyes open at the next church rummage sale if you're going to look for one. Betcha you find one or more on the kitchenware table.