June 6, 2013

Consider the Cuisinart

Copyright momskitchengadgets.com.

Consider the Cuisinart.

I found a really nice Cuisinart at an estate sale a year or so ago.  Small.  Just right for two people.  I brought it home and stored it down with my 1939 toaster.  Then I considered it a long, long time before I thought about using it.  I brought all the parts out, and laid them out on the counter.  Slowly I put it together and attempted to grate a carrot.  There was a great silence.  Nothing happened.

Even more slowly, I took it apart and put it together again perhaps thinking that in my enthusiasm I had done something wrong.  Eventually, I figured out that I had the bowl in the wrong place.  At least there wasn’t silence the next time, but it wouldn’t grate my carrot. 

I called upstairs to my dear Geezer who came down to consider the Cuisinart.  Deciding what we needed was an instruction manual, he ordered one online.  Eventually, after a very long wait, it came. Even with these faded instructions in hand, we couldn’t make it grate carrots.  I put it away in disgust, but the Geezer went up to research the Cuisinart as a grater.  It appeared that we didn’t purchase all the parts when we bought it.  G went on line this time to order parts.

After another not so many month wait, a nice fat package arrived.  Inside there were little things, flat things, round things with spouts, plates with holes in the middle, and holders.  We thought we were in business.  I put the whole mess away, this time with the 1939 Sunbeam Mixmaster whose dulled grater had inspired me to buy this used Cuisinart in the first place.

For a while last winter, I researched summer salads.  Carrot raisin salad is one of my favorites as is cucumber onion salad.  There are also roasted beets with gorgonzola, slaws, chopped salads, or endless minced, sliced, or diced veggie salads.  I knew I was on a roll if I could ever get the machine running.

Summer finally came, and I faced the elephant in my kitchen.  I brought out all those many gathered together parts and lined them up on my kitchen counter with the instruction book.  I brought out the carrots and cucumbers, washed and peeled, they waited on the sidelines.  I put the machine together and pushed the button.  Nothing happened.  And a second time.  After enthusiastic jiggling, finally the third time it worked at last but it turned the cucumber to water not slices.  I was laughing at this point.

Once again, I took it all apart, rinsed its parts in hot soapy water, read the printing on the pieces, and turned one of them over.  Back together, it sliced the cucumber.  Like magic.  The salad was done in moments.  I washed the parts one more time and stuck a carrot in.  Out the spout spit little carrot bits.  It was very dramatic.  Exciting.  All over the counter rained golden carrot gratings giving everything a uniform orange glow. 

I’d forgotten the bowl. 





  • Keeping those on the Midwest and east coast in my thoughts.

  • Himself:  Still slow and crankily taking his Dayquil and Nyquil.

  • Herself:  It’s D-Day today.

  • Reading:  Still doing the J.K. Galbraith.

  • Balance:  After a two hour staff meeting and conference call yesterday, I’m staying home and working here today.  Yesterday got some cookbooks out, and that too felt good.
  • 13 comments:

    1. I bought my first Cuisinart about thirty years ago -- mail order from Macy's. (Very daring.) I used it often, especially after my husband began having trouble with chewing.

      Three years ago -- with only my daughter and me in the house -- I bought the smaller version, and still use it quite often. I put the old one in the basement, as I knew I would need it if I made pastry. I don't think it survived the flood.

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    2. I have a tiny one just for me and I had long learning curve to use it. I admire your persistence.

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    3. Love the little cuisenart...but I have recently discovered the Chefn food chopper ($19 on amazon prime) / no frills, no electricity a great chopper. Very intriguing engineering on this simple machine. Happy chopping!

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    4. Too funny. Did I say that? Guess I am not a compassionate friend, although I do appreciate a good laugh (at your expense??).

      Machinery baffles me. I have a machine that makes smoothies, but I have not yet used it to chop carrots. Dianne

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    5. Your account of the successful carrot prep, sans bowl, gave me a good laugh.

      Thanks for suggestion about sending info to Ronni Bennett.

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    6. I used to have a chopper of sorts and it finally wore itself out. Glad you figured this out....but wonder if it would have been less expensive and time saving to have bought a new one? Just asking....

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    7. Probably it would have been easier, but look at the number of comments. :) I could also turn this into a nice story. :)

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    8. I think it's wonderful that you and the Geezer can bond over the Cuisinart. :)

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    9. I have to admit that I've been using my Cuisinart only to make bread crumbs at Thanksgiving. Well... actually my mother does most of the cooking so I haven't really had the need to use it. Oh wait! I also use it to slice cucumber and burdock root for my mother. It's invaluable for that. However, every time I use it I have to remember to make sure I'm using each part correctly or it doesn't start. Drives me crazy sometimes.

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    10. What fun, and do keep writing humor. That's your calling. Dianne

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    11. You asked about the Samantha Power book. I am further into it now and can see why some judged it worthy of the Pulitzer.

      I think this award is given to jounalists, so it is not correct for me to judge it on its historical merits, although it was assigned in one of my history grad classes.

      She does us all a service by bringing the whole story together. Whether some of these examples in her book merit the definition of genocide can be argued (and have). The real issue is to define genocide operationally, i.e. how do you measure it. Always tricky, although not tricky for those undergoing it. Dianne

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    12. Bully for you! Bet it makes you feel good to be the one who figured it out at last. But it did give you a nice story to tell. Would you like us all to send you a few veggies to dice and chop and liquify? ;-)

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    13. Thank you I am now totally convinced that I can survive without a Cuisinart.

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