Sometimes we grow apart from our appliances. One thing leads to another, and we have to end things. That's what happened between me and my food processor. After many years together, making hundreds of salad dressings, countless marinades and batch after batch of pastry dough, we seem to have fallen out of love with each other.
We certainly had our good times. I always took pride in the fact that I never let the big guy intimidate me. I could always figure out the right settings, the perfect speed and how to fit the various blades properly in their place. And while I'll always hold a special place for it in my heart, I'm no longer willing to hold a special place for it on my counter (it now lives in an out of the way cabinet, collecting dust...). But it wasn't the food processor, it was me.
The change of heart happened gradually. Although now, looking back, I should have realized that things started to change for me years back, while I was in culinary school. There, I was introduced to the wonders of the handheld immersion blender. It began innocently enough. I bought one for my home kitchen, at first using it mainly for pureeing soups (right there in the pot, no drama). Soon, one thing led to another, and I found myself using the immersion blender to make vinaigrettes, sauces, and yes, even smoothies. Yet while my new friend mixed and pureed like a pro, it still couldn't commit to the whole meal. It still couldn't chop. And before I knew it, I was seeing both of them.
Still certain my unconditional love for my food processor would survive, I naively broke down and bought myself one of those mini food processors. I downplayed the $49 purchase, convincing myself it wasn't a replacement, simply an addition. It would be the perfect appliance to take with me when I catered. I never entertained the thought it would become one of my go-to appliances. But right around that time, I started to feel the "weight" of my relationship with the big guy. In retrospect, I guess I got tired of such a big commitment. I began to realize how messy our relationship had become, and I seemed to be the only one ever cleaning up.
So that was the end of one love story and the beginning of another. The mini food processor, the immersion blender and me; what a team we three make. We have our own special routine, a short hand if you will. We often start the cooking process with the mini processor, mincing garlic, shallots, ginger or Italian parsley. Once the ingredients are prepped, I can let the immersion blender shine, mixing as many concoctions as my imagination will allow.
In life we make our choices and our compromises. I realize there are some things I've had to give up. You'll no longer find my food processor and me slaving away in the kitchen, trying to make the perfect pastry dough. Nor do I spend chunks of time expertly grating my imported Parmesan Reggiano, followed by more time struggling to get the bowl and the blade clean. Do I still have my pangs of nostalgia? Of course I do. Sometimes I feel like I've traded in a Range Rover for a Prius. And while I miss the strength and power of the big guy, I'm happier with the convenience and efficiency I've found in my new relationships.
So to my former love the food processor... I'm sorry. But I know one day you'll find your perfect match. You deserve to find a chef who has a huge kitchen, a commitment to making the perfect pastry dough, and full-time help to wash all your blades and parts. I have evolved enough to know that I am not the chef for you.