Flagrant abuse of power


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.

13 thoughts on “Flagrant abuse of power”

  1. Mmm, num nums. When I was in middle school my parents got me an electric peeler that did essentially the same thing. I swear I made fresh french fries every night for a month. I wonder if I still have that thing… Oh, I have a good idea though. Slice an apple like you did the thin potato strips, fry it (possibly after battering with a sweet vanilla batter), then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Kind-of like a "healthy" version of funnel cakes.

  2. Shawn's the same way with the user manuals…I'm sure you've read my blog entry about me buying an epilator and Shawn being the one to read the manual on it.

  3. I have naturally curly hair, but for some reason I still received two (2!) curling irons as gifts when I was younger. Both of them had a warning label saying "Not to be used internally"…. gAaAaAhhhhh!!!

    My parents used to have a similar crankable peeler but I don't remember it having as many fun features as yours. Ohhh…will you make a continuous strand sweet potato nest with a salty/sugared chili-lime sprinkle? And then eat it, and tell me that it's REALLY not very good so I should stop thinking about how much I want one?

  4. Tina, I will do that for you.

    In an update, I was trying to disconnect it from the counter while very sleepy on Saturday morning and I jammed my ring finger right on the slicing blade and cut it so badly that I had to apply pressure for almost 15 minutes to stop the river of blood pouring out. So that sucked.

  5. We still have an antique iron apple peeler that works like a charm, but only does the one thing. I have a saladacco for the shoestring thing.

    And Claudia SO did not buy you those rollers.

    Hey, did I mention that Chef Achatz came to my table and made dessert all over it? And didn't do it for anyone else?

  6. Theres a place near me famous for their deep fried hot dogs. They are amazing. Just eat it before the oil seeps out and the whole thing shrivels up!

  7. I don't know what to say. It all sounds so magically delicious. I am more excited about the prospect of sweet potato strings though. Something about that just speaks to me.

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