I’m scared of my food processor. I don’t want to get on its bad side (which I believe is the side where it does the pureeing).

It’s a new food processor which we got mainly because the last food processor had started to disintegrate and every time we put carrots in we got egg salad out. It also was a very old food processor, dating from the time that food actually wasn’t “processed” but was instead just sliced or chopped or otherwise mushed together as best we could because we also didn’t have a food musher back then.

At one time, a food processor was on the … umm, cutting edge of kitchen convenience. Today, of course, it’s just one of those conveniences you must have — like a digital pork belly scale, automatic pomegranate juicer, Japanese eggplant corer and panini washer and dryer.

I wanted something simple, a time-saving device that would allow me to spend more time thinking of other time-saving devices I could afford. Instead, I got a food processor that came with a 16-page instruction booklet … on how to get it out of the box. And before I even could open the box, I first had to sign a waiver promising I wouldn’t sue if I got shredded by the cardboard.

Along with the instruction manual for opening, there was also a diagram, an English/food processor glossary and important advice in capital letters that “THE CUTTING TOOLS HAVE VERY SHARP EDGES,” which came as a complete surprise to me since I had assumed that something that makes its living cutting and shredding and chopping would naturally be soft and mushy and squeezable.

We cleared space in the living room and carefully opened the box, having first informed our children that although we no longer do the Twist or any other dances, we still are capable of risky ventures. Then we carefully removed the blades, the pusher assembly, the wide mouth feed tube and the spent nuclear rods.

Once we had disengaged all the pieces, we discovered that the new food processor had its own DVD — a 45-minute DVD, not including the previews, bonus tracks and interview with the director — that explained how to use it. (Unfortunately, it did not have a DVD to explain how to use the DVD.)

The food processor DVD devotes itself, for the most part, to “Important Safeguards!” which we know are important because they come with exclamation points. Among those safeguards was advice to “keep hands as well as spatulas away from moving blades or discs while processing food.” We found this very useful because it was the first time we realized that spatula is actually an English word.

So far, we’re very content with the food processor. It can chop, slice, beat, whip, pulse, fricassee and do crossword puzzles, in ink. Now we’re really looking forward to actually plugging it in.


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