Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Our Life In Books: Herbs Ride Again

Ooooooooo! Today, Eleanor and I went thrifting together, and do you know what I found? This:

That's right! A Moulinex herb grater!

Well . . . ours is the 1970s version of this model, so it's bright orange, but basically still the same. If anything, this is certainly a reflection of the awsome effect that Susan Patron's The Higher Power of Lucky is having on my culinary soul. Good grief, the descriptions of food were awesome in that book -- and they weren't necessarily all descriptions of good food, mind you. Lucky has descriptions of dishes from the entire Food Spectrum, from the cheese-in-a-box fried in bacon grease, to diner food to tartes aux pommes. Bar none, the passage that intrigued me the most was the description of the Frenchwoman Brigitte's use of a hand-held herb grater like the one above to sprinkle just about everything with parsley.

It sounded delicious to me when I read this; how the sprinkled parsley gave everything "a freshness, and herb-ness to it." But what I couldn't visualize was how it was possible to hold the grater with one hand, turn the crank with the other, and manage somehow to not have the herbs fall right out of the little feeder on top.

I mean, come on -- you have to manually push cheese into a rotary cheese grater. And onions into a food processor. Did Brigitte have to prop the grater up on the counter with her elbow to keep a hand free to shove the parsley into the grater? Did she jam it all down deep into the feeder? If so, wouldn't the grater jam up? What gives?!?

Sheesh. I mean, I trully can not believe there was such a kerfuffle over the word "scrotum" in this book when there was also THIS conundrum to figure out.

So, you can see why -- no matter what the current state of our overstuffed kitchen cabinets -- buying an herb grater became an Intellectual Imperative. You know. Up there with finding out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.

Upon arriving home, we stuck the grater in the dishwasher and waited breathlessly for it to get clean, and once it did so I stuck some parsley in to try it out.

And then . . . drumroll, please . . .

The parsley got completely jammed up in the grater's teeth! Awwww, nuts!

But then . . . my son tipped the grater's cardboard box upside down. Out of the box floated a tiny scrap of paper with about five different languages in it. One of them was in English, and instructed us to turn the grater's handle in a pattern of two forward turns followed by a backwards turn. Whoa. Wax on, wax off, Daniel-san.

The new method worked! As I type this, we have an entire kitchen sink covered with charmingly miniscule flakes of parsley. Now all we need is a kitchen sink full of garlic bread to go with it, and we're set.

4 comments:

als said...

Hey Brooke (and any other 'Burghers), look what I just found!

The Thrift Shop Romantic An entire blog and website devoted to thrifting in Western PA. I wish I'd found this sooner . . .

Could you post a reply so I know you found this comment and link? Otherwise I'll feel like I need to email it to you . . . - Abby

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atli092 said...

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Thanks,
George - Herb garden plants

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