Sunday, February 28, 2021

Having the Right Tools

For some reason at this stage in my life Sunday's are long days for me.  Those who still work don't want Sunday to end because it means Monday morning is close at hand.  There is no mail to fetch and no talk shows to watch.  The weather isn't warm enough to sit outside so therefore, I decided to write another blog to pass the time.  Yay, right?  Don't get excited because it won't be much, but I mentioned I would write about my favorite things every once in a while.  I have several.  When I started writing this blog on December 12, 2012, I reported almost daily what was going on in my life.  I still report the most mundane things, but not as often.  I mentioned very early that I would write about my favorite small appliances and gadgets.  I have done that many times, but I still have a few in mind.  My first review in 2012 was very brief.  It was about the Vidalia Chop Wizard ( and I still love that gadget.  The one I'm writing about today is similar but I use it for different things.  The Vidalia cuts vegetables for certain recipes.  The small squares are suitable for making soup or larger squares for stews.

My idea to write about this gadget began with a Facebook post as many of them do.  It showed how to use an old knuckle buster for decoration.  I really don't know the real name for this.  We always called it a knuckle buster because you had to be super careful using it or you would bust up your knuckles.  It is a cheese shredder, cabbage shredder or potato slicer.  For those who don't know what I am talking about, here is the tool.

This is the decoration I made.  I just turned it upside down and hung it on the wall.  I couldn't find a decent towel to hang, but I will.

It's cute enough.  I probably won't leave it up for too long.  I had just done this, and I saw another post about shredding cheese in one of these and how you should turn it on its side to catch the shreds.  I saw several comments and was amazed that people still use them.  Mine has been in my box of antiques for years.  I suppose it's very portable but I remember them being a bear to clean.

What I use doesn't have a name either.  I should say I don't know the name because everything has a name.  I had a version of this fifty years ago, but only upgraded when QVC presented this several years ago.

It is just a series of disks for slicing and shredding.  It's basically the same concept as the old fashioned utensil with no risk of cutting yourself and it requires almost no effort.  It is so easy, I always shred my own cheese.  Manufacturers put potato starch or cornstarch on pre-shredded cheese along with a product to keep mold from forming.  Some manufacturers even put cellulose on the cheese.  It keeps it from clumping in the package, but I really don't want anything like that added to my cheese.  

First determine what you want to do.  If you want to make scalloped potatoes, attach the slicing blade.  Put the potato in the hopper and shut it.  Then just turn the crank.  You can slice carrots the same way or make hash browns with the shredding disk..

The process is so simple.  It takes all the work out of making these kind of meals. I was watching a presentation by a friend recently.  She said when she compliments her husband on doing a woodworking task he says it's all about having the right tools.  My husband says the same thing.  It's all about having the right tools for the job.  The same is true with cooking and life in general.  Life's coping tools are just as important as kitchen tools or woodworking tools and today mine was staying in my pj's, watching Anne of Green Gables for the umpteenth time and writing another blog. 

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