Geri-Antics: Modern technology, part II

Published 12:30 pm Thursday, October 26, 2023

By Anne Carmichael

Columnist

We all tend to fear that which we do not understand. Admittedly, I may take that theory to the extreme, but I’ve proved time and time again that an object need not be complex for me to get hurt.

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For example, as a young city-born wife, I desperately tried fitting into my husband’s farm family.

In the summer, the family’s women spent weeks harvesting and canning the produce from their gardens. It was a bonding time, and they enjoyed it.

Eager to be accepted, I showed up for a corn canning event. I failed miserably at pulling silks from the ears of corn, so I was reassigned to cutting the corn off the cob.

When I asked for Band-Aids, one of the sisters-in-law took the paring knife away and gave me a potato peeler. I didn’t lose any more chunks of finger, but I also didn’t meet the requirements for getting every morsel of corn off the cob. I was summarily relieved of duty. The experience left a bad taste in my mouth. I have never used a potato peeler again.

A few years later, I saw a gadget on TV that might solve my vegetable-cutting dilemma. It was called a Veg-o-Matic. The first day I used my new gadget, I managed to shoot a couple of peeled, slimy potatoes across the kitchen, fire carrots from the counter into the sink and seriously cut my hand on the blade, requiring stitches. The Veg-o-Matic sat under the cabinets for months and eventually ended up in a garage sale.

Fast-forward to 2015. A friend was enjoying amazing weight loss by juicing fruits and vegetables in a blender called The Ninja so I threw down $200 and bought myself a ticket to a thinner, trimmer body.

I loaded up on wholesome fruits and veggies and threw them into my magic machine. Fortunately, I ended the project without injury to life or limb.

The Ninja performed flawlessly, turning crispy foods into low-pulp juice. The fault, once again, was mine. I don’t like my vegetables pureed. I knew that. I was also cognizant that I don’t particularly like vegetables, primarily a green scalloped affair called kale.

The Ninja sat collecting dust for almost a year until I decided to put good stuff in it, like coffee, ice, flavored syrups, and creams. I also use it for delicious fruit smoothies – just not as frequently as the frosty coffee.

If there was a car-fax type report included with kitchen implements that listed all the accidents incurred by former buyers, unsuspecting novices like me would be less likely to flitter away our hard-earned money on them.

Sans such reports, homemakers have shared horror stories among themselves for centuries. We’ve also witnessed disasters in our mothers’ kitchens when we were little girls. I have seen my sleepy mother grab a boiling percolator from the stove’s gas burner and, unthinking, placing her finger on the glass viewing knob atop the lid. She immediately dropped the pot onto the table, the glass knob flew off and spewed hot coffee and grounds all over the kitchen.

At a church luncheon, I overheard the ladies talking about a young mother who had attempted to make a batch of applesauce for her baby in a pressure cooker. Sadly, the cooker exploded and she was burned badly by the hot applesauce. I was just a preteen at that time, but I made a mental note to 1) never use a pressure cooker and 2) never attempt to make my baby’s food. That’s why God inspired Gerbers and Beechnut.

As long as we continue to cook, there will be new utensils, new cookware, and new technology to threaten our physical well-being.

Microwaves will explode eggs and manufacture lightning bolts from aluminum foil; crock pots and instant pots will tease us with their innumerable features and we will come home expecting to detect mouth-watering aromas of a hands-free meal, only to find that our food is with still stone cold or that we’ve set it so high that it boiled over and covered our countertops with some disgusting concoction that has seeped down between the stove and cabinets, onto the floor and into crevices where it will not be discovered for months or possibly years. Don’t even get me started on turkey fryers.

As I see it, the only way to stay safe from the dangers of kitchen equipment is to eat out. Feel free to tell your husband I said so.