Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The one where I throw the Cuisinart at the wall ...

I decided to make latkes for dinner. Peeling the potatoes was a mess. I sent slivers of skin flying in the general direction of the garbage can, but mostly paper mached the side of the stove and the floor around it. I broke two fingernails, imagined what it would feel like to snag a hunk of meaty palm flesh, and decided peeling potatoes is the danger no one ever talks about.

Instead of hand-grating the potatoes, I decided to use a yet-untested grating blade attachment on my Cuisinart. I'm not one for reading directions. Usually I think to myself "All sorts of idiots everywhere [do this thing I'm about to do.] I'll treat it like a pop quiz."

I managed to get the grinder stuck in the bowl -- about two cups of potatoes shredded to the consistency of V8 were trapped beneath this plastic attachment plate, about one cup was on sliced and diced on top. I scooped out the mess.

First I jiggled the contraption. Then I tried to pry the grater loose with dueling forks jammed into the side of the bowl. I pushed and pulled it. I googled the phrase:

"Cant remove the grater attachment on my 3-cup Handy Prep Cuisinart" -- purposely omitting an apostrophe to maximize results. Not even an empathetic "I don't know" from Yahoo Answers.

Apparently no one else in the world has ever had this problem. I found the instruction manual online, though, and it told me that I shouldn't have this particular problem. That I could try gently wiggling the grater, then give it another tug.

Back in the kitchen, I tripped over a broom. Jammed my finger putting away some flour. Got Tofu in my bangs. Our counter space was covered in dishes. I balanced some dirty forks on the mouth of a box of crackers. I kept dropping things: measuring cups, ingredients.

I tugged at the bowl of the food processor. I banged it on the counter. I set the Cuisinart on the floor, stood on the body, and yanked upward on the stubborn piece of plastic. I started talking to myself. I gave myself permission to cry, but didn't take myself up on it. I imagined throwing the fucker at the wall, through a window, off the deck. Ramming my own head right into it. I sliced myself a hunk of cheese and ate it angrily.

"I'm just going to throw the damn thing away," I decided.

By the time Chuck woke up, my face was on fire and I could only scream "I'm going to throw this fucking thing at the wall!" over and over, each time like it was a brand new thought, each time a little more calmly, a little more diabolically. He tried using his strong mail-sorting fingers. Then he tried pliers. He went google-fishing for answers. Nada.

We decided to let the bowl sit, dry out, maybe it will become magically unstuck. Or maybe I'll lift some weights between now and the next tug.

Perhaps you've never noticed that "Latkes" rhymes with "eff these."

Then, suddenly, I became reinvigorated with that competitive surge that has been curiously missing since about ... 2004? I decided I was going to continue making the latkes, using what I could of the potatoes. I had nothing left to lose. So I started chucking ingredients together, not even measuring things out. For awhile I was making half a recipe; then I forgot and started acting like it was a full recipe. I finished about a dozen pancakes about 15 minutes before Chuck went to work.

They were actually pretty good. We had them with applesauce and sour cream.


Sproactually said...

So, other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like that play?

Suber1 said...

I like the part where you realize that the made latkes 2000 years ago, without Cuisinarts.

chuck said...

The potato wasn't introduced to the middle east until about 400-500 years ago, so no one was making latkes back in 9 A.D.

Unless it was the Incas, but if so they weren't calling them latkes, and they probably had Cuisinarts from their spacemen friends anyway.