Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tupperware classics: Quick Shake

A couple of years ago, someone at Tupperware decided the Quick Shake needed a bit of a revamp. It was redesigned and repackaged for the naughties as a smoothie maker. Frankly, you mess with perfection at your peril, and like New Coke, the gussied-up Quick Shake was soon airbrushed from history, and the original reinstated.

The Quick Shake's printed scale makes it a handy measuring jug for up to 500ml of liquid, but it is when you add the little blender wheel and seal that it performs the real magic. Pop the wheel in, snap on the seal, and then you can beat eggs in a few shakes, and whip cream in a few more. Many a 1960s housewife Quick Shaked (Shook?) her Yorkshire pudding mix for maximum airy magic, and many still do.

The Quick Shake of the 1970s was probably solid opaque orange. Then it went clear, and for many years had a dark blue seal as seen here -- or a hot pepper red for the occasional limited edition. It now comes in "custard", with just an orange blender wheel as a subtle call-back to its 1970s glory days.

I have shaken Bloody Marys and Martinis, and at one memorable Tupperware spa party in Highbury, I shook olive oil with rock salt and a spring of rosemary from the garden for summer sandal foot lotion. You can also save a fortune on frappucinos by shaking your own. And don't forget the air-tight seal allows you to keep the contents fresh until if you need them: one of my more outdoorsy hostesses cracks half a dozen eggs into the Quick Shake and packs it with the camping gear, dispensing the beaten eggs as she needs them for camp breakfasts.

The Quick Shake is still one of my best selling items, and most fondly remembered by customers. And I don't just supply complete Quick Shakes: every month or so, I get a breathless and panicky voice mail or email, from someone whose Quick Shake blender wheel was lost in a house move, or whose Quick Shake seal has lost the little flip-cap or been melted on the hob. I supply both pieces as spare parts, and you know what, I usually just pop them in an envelope without even asking for any payment. The idea of an incomplete Quick Shake is too tragic, and I am happy to put it right. It's what any Tupperware Man would do.

E86 Quick Shake 500ml in custard and orange: £9.90
Spare blender insert and flip-cap: usually free

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