An essential culinary tool, and my arch enemy
Most reputable chefs and cook book authors require, as part of the cooking process in a recipe or two, the use of a Cuisinart. This is a food processor. It chops, it dices, it pulses, it splices. With its invention, this machine ushered in an entirely new era of cooking. At home chefs could re create amazing culinary delights previously only found in restaurants and pastry shops. Wonderful soups, delicious pastry. Its all possible with the amazing Cuisinart.
I hate the Cuisinart.
The other night I was working very late in the kitchen. John was traveling, the kids asleep, and I was preparing for guests the next evening. Hummus was on the menu, for dipping various vegetables and crackers. Hummus is such a simple recipe when you have a Cuisinart.
Only, I am Cuisinart impaired. I know the reason it has such a very special way of 'clicking' itself together is so multi-thumbed individuals, people with low IQ's and children cannot operate it - thus saving them from sliced fingers and slashed multiple thumbs.
I cannot make the lid click into place. And because it is made of plastic, I am terrified that if I force the click I will break it, breaking the essential kitchen tool and causing an irreconcilable difference between myself and my Cuisinart loving spouse. He can create in the kitchen with the Cuisinart.
What does this say about my dexterity, my IQ?
First, I must stir the tahini that has separated. I spatula it into the bowl of the machine, the blade securely in place. Then comes the latching of the lid. Only, for me there is no latch. No click. So I reposition the bowl. As I remove the bowl I realize that the blade will now not be put back into its place properly-it will be bumped up and over the tahini, causing the oil of the sesame substance to drip down into the bowels of the machine.
I cuss. And then I feel guilty, because even though no one is around, I know Heaven hears me in my weakness. And heaven alone sees my ineptitude around this fundamental kitchen tool.
The mess cleaned up, the blade put back, the bowl on correctly, the lid latched with its affirming click. I pulse the machine on.
when I use this kitchen gadget I don't care how the food turns out. Just hearing the sound of the machine properly doing its mixing or chopping is confirmation that I conquered the complexity of the Cuisinart. I have successfully engineered the beast!
After the tahini is mixed, I must go through the process all over again; put the bowl on securely, put the blade in correctly, add ingredients (garbanzo beans, garlic, tahini and a shot of cumin seed along with salt, pepper and olive oil).
And though I've checked my mechanical bearings, I come up short again. The lid will not click...it mocks me a second time.
I swear once again...only this time I don't feel guilty.
the same humiliating result. The same mess of a solution. The bowl is disassembled. The ingredients spill over, the blade moves from its vital place.
Cuisinart failure again.
After the humiliation subsides and the cussing streak ends, I carefully correct the mistake I've made before. The blade in its sweet secure spot, the ingredients are replaced, the lid clicks in just like it should. As if it were that simple.
The pulsing and mixing commence. Hummus is the end result.
and my hatred for the artful Cuisinart is heartily reinforced.