For my birthday, my daughter decided to bring my kitchen up to modern standards, and gave me a food processor.
Having on my conscience the bread machine and the juicer that I bought, grew weary of, and subsequently gave away, I was leery of food processors. In my experience, most counter-top conveniences took up more space than their convenience warranted.
Besides, I had my faithful Chinese chopper, a gift from my mother-in-law on Christmas, 1969. With that fearsome implement I had over the years chopped hills of onions, mountains of zucchini, and entire sierras of rhubarb, and I still had all my fingers. I thought I was keeping things simple, by staying away from food processors.
The spanking-new birthday present was sitting untouched and reproachful on my counter when I brought in the last couple of eggplants and the final crop of banana peppers yesterday. Intending to make a version of samfaina, I fished an onion out of the fridge and then, looking at the pile of veggies waiting to be sliced, decided to get started on the food-processor chapter of my life.
I peeled the onion, sliced it in half with the Chinese chopper, put it in the food processor, pushed the \”pulse\” button, and bzzzt! it was reduced to shreds in the twinkling of an eye. While the onion was sauteeing, I put in the two eggplants–they were small, so I didn\’t halve them–and bzzt! in a nanosecond they were turned into pulp. The good old Chinese chopper came in handy for seeding the peppers, but when I threw the whole mess of them into the processor, bzzt! they were cut into teensy bits.
Thanks to those whizzing blades, everything–onions, eggplants, peppers–sauteed with an unaccustomed evenness, which gave the contents of the frying pan a pointillist look, where my old hand-chopped samfainas had been more cubist in style. It looked neat and orderly. It looked professional.
And it was finished and ready to eat half an hour before the main dish was done.