Last week I wrote about the conundrum I was in while shopping on the internet for a mandolin — a tool that makes easy work of slicing fruits and vegetables. Trying to find a mandolin that was a cut above the rest (did you spot the pun?) was not an easy task because there were soooo many choices. I finally ordered one that was 20 dollars, easy to use, and made by the Japanese company Kyocera who specializes in razor sharp ceramic blades (caution — consider using cut-resistant gloves).
When the package arrived, I was filled with glee like I was a little kid who expected a toy to be in the box. That got me thinking; as adults we do not use the word play very often. Why not? We get serious and focused and busy and think of tasks like slicing vegetables as work. Well, to heck with that attitude.I wadded up the idea of “adults can’t play” and flung it over my shoulder and with sheer delight, opened the box to have fun with my new toy.
There it was and I was so excited, I dashed into the kitchen and looked in the fridge for vegetables to cut up. I found mushrooms, cucumbers, and potatoes. I started with the mushrooms but they crumbled into little pieces and my spirit sank in disappointment. I tried a cucumber but the slices were so thin I could fold them in half. This was not overly helpful since I don’t use vegetables sliced paper thin in my everyday cooking. I fiddled around with the thickness setting and then tried a potato. Now I was getting somewhere. The slices were about ⅛ inch thick and I cut up the potatoes lickety split. Then I remembered the reason I wanted to buy a mandolin in the first place – to make caramelized onions. Later that afternoon I went to the store to buy sweet onions grown by a local farmer.
When I returned, I heated up my electric skillet, melted some butter, adjusted the setting on the mandolin to “thickest” and cut the onions with great speed. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to use the mandolin and the uniformity of the slices was truly something to behold. Curious to know how long it took me to peel and slice one onion, I set the timer on my phone and sliced away. I did this on several onions and the average time was 50 seconds. I made a batch of caramelized onions in less than 30 minutes from start to finish. The $20 was well spent.
“It’s fun to have fun but you have to know how.” — from the Cat in the Hat~!