I’ve been eyeballing this gadget for about a year, ever since I canned my apples and had to peel sixteen bazillion (actual number) apples to make apple butter. I had previously tried to do it with the peels on, then food-milling them out, but that was a big fat effing mess, so I went with peeling. And I had to core them. My poor little hands were RAW from the effort. So when I saw this on the Williams Sonoma website, I was enthralled.
But I couldn’t bring myself to drop the cash on it, since it seemed so one-dimensional. Given a gift certificate to A Cook’s Wares, though, I saw it again and it wasn’t even a question. It arrived yesterday, and Chris and I couldn’t wait to take it out for a test drive. I bought some apples, but I loathe out-of-season apples, because regardless of what anyone says, they’re mealy.
I took it out of the box to assemble it, and it looked like this oldy-timey invention, operating on a system of cranks and levers and screws. Naturally, as a child of the computer age, I was endlessly confused. I’m not much for instruction manuals. Chris loves them with his whole heart, and will read them like they’re porn for hours before touching the actual machine they refer to. I will sometimes attempt to use the machine before I’ve even finished unpacking the parts, based on a visual idea of what I think it should look like, and a careful two-second glance at the picture on the front of the box. If, God forbid, it doesn’t work, I’ll almost always resort to a quick Google before I’ll actually open the manual. Because I really just need to know how it works, not to sift through pages of “helpful” instructions like “The Federal Government recommends you do not ingest your blender” or “Do not bathe while holding your toaster oven, especially if it’s plugged in.” And I don’t want to be told to “begin assembly by removing the plastic bubble wrap on the outside of your microwave.” I’m not stupid, just impatient. So I threw screws on the new apple-peeler in a manner that I thought was at least vaguely accurate and they kept falling off. I determined that, at this point, it would be the best idea to just grab an apple and stick it on the prongs and see what happened and where additional parts seemed to be required.
Eventually, Chris suggested that I make a minor adjustment to my technique (reversing it completely), and it worked a treat. We ate the apple, and then stared at the machine. It wanted to DO something. I grabbed a potato, and we found two completely awesome uses for it:
Super-thin carnival fries that were spun off in one continuous piece, fried, and topped with a parmesan-garlic sprinkle. De-friggin-licious.
Then I had an idea that would appall the American Heart Association so much that, if they’d seen it, I’d be shot on sight. A spiral sliced potato, deep fried, and strung through with a piece of deep fried bacon. And served with BBQ sauce, obviously.
It brought tears to my eyes. Our new machine is the coolest thing we’ve ever played with, I’m pretty sure. We look forward to deep frying apples, making candied lemon, and possibly doing this potato again, only threading it with a hot dog while it fries and just dipping the whole thing in ketchup. Gross? Sure. Delicious? Almost certainly. Ooooh…I just thought of another one. Stuff the potato with a bratwurst, deep fry, top with sauerkraut and spicy brown mustard, and eat with a dark German beer.