When a particularly thick and stubborn potato blew out the motor of my electric spiralizer, I pressed every button on the device, hoping to startle it into submission because obviously, it was just confused. One potato could not possibly defeat a finely crafted hand-held appliance that turns ugly vegetables, like zucchini and turnips, into glorious spirals. But when the motor still refused to budge, even after I pressed more buttons, while simultaneously smashing down hard on the potato, I reached a dark place. The kitchen turned into a desert, and only the occasional, un-exciting head of cabbage rolled by and vomited a parsnip.
“Who will eat vegetables that don’t look fun and noodle-like? Who?” I shouted.
Soon, Nate came home, only to find me knee deep in potato peels, with zucchini noodles dripping from boiling pots. He surveyed the kitchen as if everything looked normal and I decided it was my job to show him that he couldn’t be more wrong.
“Look—look at this spiralizer,” I said, waving the device around. “When I press the button—there is no whirring sound—you know? The sound of a motor that’s working? It’s dead! The spiralizer is dead!”
I was really hoping to whip him into a frenzy, but he just calmly grabbed a snack and sat down, thoughtfully.
“Nah. It’s just tired,” he said. “Let it rest.”
I took a deep breath and reasoned that maybe the potato I was trying to spiralize was just too large, so perhaps a rest was in order. The owner’s manual said I could cut up vegetables and then spiralize them, which I was doing, but it didn’t say anything about buying unnaturally large vegetables and trying to force them into the device. I was probably just guilty of buying vegetables so big that even kitchen appliances would stand back and say, “Whoa! That is just NOT happening.” So, I gently placed the spiralizer on the counter and watched it “rest.” I lasted five minutes.
“Nope. I can’t wait. I can’t wait any longer,” I said.
“We could just chop up the vegetables,” he suggested.
But they were chopped already—chopped and ready to be fed into the spiralizer. And, as he could clearly see, the chopped versions of the vegetables were not nearly as impressive as the flowing, colorful, noodle shapes. In fact, the idea that he would suggest that I chop the vegetables, just proved that blatantly chopped vegetables—right in plain view—go by unnoticed.
My response to his suggestion then, was to grab the spiralizer, shake it and say, “You’ve had enough rest! Wake up!”“I have an idea,” Nate said as he stepped in to inspect the spiralizer. I thought he was going to fix it, but instead, he detached the blade and pressed the potato onto the blade, working it with his hands. After several agonizing minutes, a spiral started to appear.
“See? We can do this by hand,” he said.
“What? Like animals? Can’t we just take the thing apart and use another motor?”
That’s when Nate suddenly looked more excited about kitchen appliances than I’d ever seen him look in our nearly 20 years of marriage. He began to brainstorm all kinds of ideas, including this one: We could attach a blade to the power dill and then the job would get done even faster.
“Well hurry, then—get the drill! Get the drill!” I shouted.
“In theory,” he continued, “There’s no difference between a Tesla, a power drill, and a spiralizer when it comes down to it.”
“Wait. . . . you mean we could use a car motor to spiralize vegetables?”
“Yep—way more torque too.”
I began to realize that my problem was not a lack of equipment for spiralizing vegetables, but rather, a lack of a supply of vegetables. I decided I’d need more than a few zucchini and an extra large sweet potato, so I made a to-list while Nate started to take apart the spiralizer. My to-do list included the following tasks:
1) Find the power drill and/or a Tesla
2) Buy more vegetables.
And then, I heard a lovely sound—a whirring, high-pitched sound—and I knew that my spiralizer was working again.
“Yeah—it needed to rest. It’s working just fine now,” Nate said.
But I suddenly felt a little disappointed. I was looking forward to the day when I could finally drive a Tesla down the freeway, while it spewed a colorful trail of veggie spirals.
Your Turn: What is your broken appliance story? Did you replace it, fix it, or do without? Discuss.