On Friday, we purchased a kitchen utensil that I’ve been eyeballing for MONTHS now…a mandoline.
We watch an unhealthy amount of Food Network in our house. Our fave shows are Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen and Food Network Star. Sometimes we’ll catch Iron Chef. I love Alton Brown so much, I’d consider naming our fifth son after him. One of the tools they use frequently on these shows is a mandoline. It slices, it juliennes, it cuts with ridges, it even folds your laundry. It’s awesome. I’ve never used one before, but I knew we needed one. I wanted to make zucchini noodles and sweet potato chips.
I decided to try our new toy on Saturday night, which is pizza night in our house. I just knew the mandoline would make it super easy to slice the bell pepper, tomato and onion. Also, my fingers. You saw this coming, right?
We spent a few minutes figuring out how to change the blades and adjust the slicing width. While changing blades, I cut myself. TWICE. Some of you may call this foreshadowing; I called it a teachable moment, and continued.
First up: bell pepper. Slowly and carefully I sliced. I used the hand tool designed to hold your fruit or veggie, so you can avoid injury. This hand tool was frustrating me, so I tossed it to the side…hello, they do it on Chopped all the time. I continued slicing, talking to Evan and Miles as we prepped dinner, when something went wrong. And by something going wrong, I mean I sliced the tip of my middle finger off.
I knew what had happened before I felt what had happened. My words sounded something like, “fingerfingerfinger” and I ran to the sink to rinse it in warm water (BAD IDEA). Then, the bleeding started. I looked at my finger, now missing four layers of skin and gushing blood, and I started to feel lightheaded. I sat on the kitchen floor. Evan gave me a towel, told me to apply pressure, reminded me to keep my finger above my heartbeat and put my head between my knees. And Miles laughed. I looked up at him, sitting in his highchair, oblivious to the murder scene that was my kitchen sink, and I just lost it.
I cried tears of anger and sadness, because in the course of a few minutes, I’d managed to mangle myself in such a fashion that would make it difficult to do things like change a poopie diaper, bathe my son, and wash dishes. I was mad that I had been so careless. I was also glad that I hadn’t managed to injure myself more severely. Yes, sitting on the kitchen floor, finger throbbing, I felt like I’d failed as a parent through my careless behavior. What if I’d lost an arm? What would I do then? I am responsible for this tiny person’s life, and holy cow, that’s a big damn responsibility.
I’ve sworn off the mandoline, mostly out of sheer terror. That tool is the spawn of the Devil. Have you seen how often they lose fingertips on Chopped? But those chefs, highly trained and the best in their field, put on a latex glove and keep right on cooking. Probably because there’s $10,000 on the line. But still; I couldn’t even stand up after lopping off my finger(tip).
We still ate the pizza. We didn’t find the fingertip…so, extra protein? Evan is in charge of slicing the sweet potatoes for tonight’s dinner. And I’m working on my lefty skills.