A tale of two carrot peelers

At Thanksgiving, we forgot our carrot peeler at my mother’s house. Easily remedied, I thought: I would buy another one.

Yeah, because if it were that simple, I’d be writing a weblog entry about it six months later, right? Hah. 

In the Kitchen Gadgetry Section of Target, I went to grab a carrot peeler only to find my choice of thirty-two carrot peelers, ranging in price from $4.99 to a thousand dollars.

I avoided the ones already broken on the shelves (and of course, they were all arranged by brand name, which makes total sense. Don’t you walk into the store thinking to yourself, “I want to buy a kitchen gadget produced by Revere Ware. Let’s see what they’re offering. Ooh, a potato masher!”? I thought so.)

Everyone loves KitchenAid mixers, so I picked up a KitchenAid swivel peeler figuring the technology for those must be pretty simple by comparison.

I brought home the peeler to find it worse than useless. The blade will remain sharp forever, aided by what appears to be paranoia: it swivels away from any contact with a vegetable or fruit skin. If any carrots happen to be reading here, you may send your baby carrots out to play with this peeler with absolute confidence.

The only way I could get it to peel at all was to jam my thumb into the blade, and even so, my thumb was in greater danger than the carrot.

I wrote to KitchenAid and told them they had failed to impress me.

While waiting for a response, I ended up in the grocery store where they sold a brandless carrot peeler for a dollar. I bought it. We’ll just suffice it to say I was able to shred everything in the house that afternoon. My own children fled in terror, and my Patient Husband was the only thing standing between me and an unpeeled world when he told me to knock it off.

Eventually KitchenAid wrote back and offered to replace their UselessPeeler with a EuroPeeler, and would I care to have black, white, red, puce, violet, lavender, blue or paisley? That was far too many choices for someone who can barely think after an entire day of answering questions like “Mom, are there toilets in Heaven?” so I didn’t reply.

At some point, I retrieved the Old Faithful carrot peeler from my mother’s house. Now I had two working ones and one that took up space.

After a few months, I finally replied to KitchenAid with, “Black, if you please.”

Two weeks later, my EuroPeeler arrived. It weighs 5 pounds and fits nicely in the palm. And so help me, although I had no expectations of success, Wolverine and Edward Scissorhands stand on in envy of me wielding that EuroPeeler. My carrots bunch together in terror, and my potatoes shut their eyes. I beg my children to snack on apples just so I can peel them.

It’s unhealthy to care this much about a carrot peeler, right?

But now I need a new cheese grater. You know, so I can have a greater cheese. Do you think KitchenAid  makes a EuroGrater?


  1. Deb

    This was hilarious.

    However, now I need to know if you think there are toilets in heaven.

  2. philangelus

    Isn’t that a blog entry all its own?

  3. Whiskers

    I think there must be toilets in heaven, because when you desperately need one, finding one is such an ecstatic feeling, that it is very close to a religious experience.

    I also know what you mean about the importance of a peeler. I have three, (it’s anyone’s guess why I bought a two pack of peelers with blue handles…), and the one that works the best is the one I took with from my mother’s kitchen when I left home at 19.

  4. Deb

    I think it is…I look forward to the debate. ‘Cause I could argue either side…

  5. cricketB

    I often tell the kids that there’s nothing quite like emptying a full bladder.

    Victorinox peelers are great. They make Swiss Army Knives. I still have them as backup. My favourite, for 15 years, is one with no name that my inlaws bought in Florida. Large enough handle, blade swivels to where it should be, strong blade and frame.

    I’m the person who packs her Henkle knives and good peeler and cutting board when I go anywhere to help cook. I spent too many hours at camps with garbage tools.

  6. philangelus

    People are actually more likely to cut themselves with a dull knife than a sharp one, so it makes sense to pack your own knives. if HAFT had been published, you’d have seen Hal doing the same thing.

    And clearly I need to write a weblog entry exploring the existence of toilets in Heaven. I had no idea it was such a felt need in the philosophic/religious community. 😀

  7. cricketB

    Such a simple thing, that brings so much relief. A reminder of the importance of simple things. (Says she of the newly installed, functional toilet.)

  8. philangelus

    Did you tell your husband he was your hero for fixing it?

  9. Ivy

    I would come down on the side of no, for a rather odd reason. We are told to hang a mezzuzah on every door, except the bathroom door, because the bathroom is ritually impure. Why would Heaven have a place for the ritually impure, or the need for it?

  10. Lane in PA

    There are no toilets in Heaven because little white doves come and take “it” all away. Or so I was told in kindergarden.

    And regarding the issue of vegetable peelers, if we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we build a really great peeler? I totally understand the anguish over this. I just hope that Heaven has the perfect kitchen tools. 😉

  11. philangelus

    Lane, what are the doves doing with it?!? 0.o …? Making nests?

  12. cricketB

    Compost (properly treated) for the gardeners, what else? So there will be lots of really good vegetables to cook with, and we’ll appreciate the perfect vegetable peeler that’s also there. (Actually, in Heaven you don’t need a peeler. The dirt washes away easily, and the skins are always perfect texture.)

  13. Lane in PA

    Um, gee, I hadn’t thought that far ahead.

    You suppose the doves take “it” into outer space and leave “it” on the Moon? Which would mean the Moon is not made of green cheese after all…oh my! Those poor astronauts!!!! I’m glad they wore boots.

    I think I will concur with Ivy that toilets are not needed in Heaven. And that Angels aren’t really eating Philadelphia Cream Cheese on bagels like they show on TV commercials. 🙂

    Sincerely, I think your children ask great questions, and I thoroughly enjoyed your post. It was humorous and gave me a good laugh. The real lesson is that Name Brand doesn’t mean Quality. KitchenAid and Cuisenart have been a big disappointment lately in their “cost cutting” manufacturing tactics in China, and using cheap plastic parts to replace heavy duty metal parts. My KitchenAid standing mixer lasted 2 months and burnt up, literally, when I asked it politely to grind a bit of beef to make hamburgers.* KitchenAid did replace the machine, but I don’t use it for anything except making cookies now.

    *Yeah, I even bought all the attachments. I have gone back to good old Manual Labor when grinding meat or slicing veggies. I need the exercise. LOL!

  14. philangelus

    Okay, clearly I need to weigh in now on the toilets in heaven problem.

    Yes, there are toilets in Heaven. I’ll give some reasons why:

    1) We know Enoch and Elijah went into Heaven with their bodies in the Hebrew Bible. We also know the Archangel Michael took Moses’ body into Heaven, and we can assume from what happened at the Transfiguration that thereafter his being dead was remedied.

    2) After resurrection, Jesus was in a glorified body *but* he self-reported as being hungry, and he ate.

    3) Both Judaism and Christianity look forward to a general resurrection of the dead. We have no reason to assume that these glorified resurrected bodies will not eat. In fact, we know that Adam and Eve in their pre-fall bodies also had to eat.

    4) Based on that, it becomes obvious that there will need to be some kind of process of elimination. It will not be shameful: it’s just something that materially based bodies do.

    4A) if Angels do have “subtle bodies,” they don’t need to eat (as self-reported by the Archangel Raphael in the Book of Tobit) and therefore one assumes they wouldn’t have that same consideration.

    5) Therefore, there are toilets in Heaven, but they were not made by KitchenAid.

  15. Lane in PA

    Quote: Therefore, there are toilets in Heaven, but they were not made by KitchenAid.

    Well, that’s a relief! (Pun intended.)

  16. philangelus

    You know, last month I wrote to two childhood friends that I’d lost track of and wanted to regain contact with. It’s going to be my luck that both of them are going to show up here today and think either, “She’s totally nuts, I’m outta here,” or, “She’s totally nuts, just like I remember her being.”

  17. karen ^.,.^

    i’m going with “She’s totally nuts, just like i remember her being ” — and “Boy have i missed having her friendship these past years!!”

  18. Ken Rolph

    I prefer simple tools, combined with skill. But current shopping makes it difficult. I recently wanted to buy a replacement peeler. The choices were either branded complex “designed” utensils or a package of simpler ones. The smallest number I could buy was 3, tied in a row on a card. That should last me the rest of my life.

    It’s becoming harder to find simple tools. Currently I’m trying to track down a narrow bottlebrush. This has turned into a month long safari. We are surrounded by stuff, but it’s all what THEY want to sell YOU.

  19. philangelus

    THe problem with the narrow bottle-brush, Ken, is that they don’t want you to clean your narrow bottles. You’re supposed to throw it away and buy a new one. They benefit more that way.

    I was figuring you’d be weighing in on the toilets in heaven thing, actually. 😉

  20. Judy

    My absolute best peeler is an “Oxo Good Grips”. We had some no name ones for years that work really well, but chew holes in the base of my index finger. The Oxo peels like a dream, and doesn’t dig holes in my finger. Don’t know the cost though, I got it free with a cooking magazine subscription.

  21. cricketB

    Bottle cleaning:
    Read how it works — really neat! (Note: Price may be in $Can.)

    Unfortunately, they don’t have peelers there. If they did, though, they’d be great! Mr. Lee is serious about helping good inventions get to market.

  22. cricketB

    More from Lee Valley. (This time, I searched for “brush” rather than “bottle”. I could make a dozen wish lists from that store.)


  23. Ken Rolph

    I don’t want to clean narrow bottles. I just stick those in a dishwasher upside down on a spike. No, we have plastic pipes under the sinks and baths. These seem to collect a grey bio-scum which grows and eventually stinks. I need something narrow to get through the six holes in the grate. The normal bottle brushes I find in shops have a turned over wire end, which gives a good brush on the bottom, but makes it hard to get through a small hole.

    I now need to take apart the S-bend under the kitchen sink. It is getting blocked because of a lost narrow bottlebrush end. The plastic handle just slipped off when I pulled it upwards. I don’t know why they can’t make adequate simple tools these days.

  24. Ken Rolph

    ” the existence of toilets in Heaven”

    I did some thinking about that divine dunny. I noticed that you slipped up slightly when you talked about the resurrection of the dead. The exact phrasing is resurrection of the BODY. This is in opposition to the idea that we will become fluffy essences or immortal souls, floating around in the ethersphere. It is ultimately impossible for us to imagine this, but we do have a few clues. Mainly Jesus. He was recognisable and not recognisable, and he ate fish.

    It’s all tied up with what we mean by eternal life and perfection. Most people seem to push the idea that if heaven was perfect then we would not like it because it was perfect. A logically self destructive position based on a very limited and static idea of perfection. Is eternal life about the length or the quality of life?

    We are resurrected as bodies, but how will we be different? Currently we are ruled by the second law of thermodynamics. We are small islands of organisation in a world which is drifting towards the heat death of the universe. We take in masses of material and only use some of it to maintain our own organised existence. The rest is waste products (heat, water vapour, gases and solids). Would the new heaven and new earth have the same laws of physics? If it did, how would it be different to here?

    If there were different laws, our new bodies may not need to eliminate waste. That leads to some very complicated thinking. The only other thing we are told about heaven is that there will be no marriage. So we lose the rumpy pumpy yet get to keep the thunderbox? That seems a very odd idea of heaven to me.

  25. philangelus

    Milton floated the idea that angels can have the equivalent of intercourse, actually, “as air mixes with air.” I don’t buy it, myself, but hey, it was Milton and he’s ten times smarter than I am.

    I have no idea whether entropy is the result of the fall, but Ivy will pop in shortly and tell you that entropy is necessary and therefore it will exist in Heaven. She and I actually had that discussion a couple of years ago.

  26. class factotum

    I love my red Kitchenaid peeler (that I bought 10 yrs ago)! The handle is nice and smooth, unlike the potato peeler my mom has had since I was a kid that has the sharp, sharp handle edges that hurt my hand and the dull, dull blade that does not peel.

    My husband’s parents, on the other hand, have no peeler at all. I had to peel the apples for the pie at Thanksgiving with a paring knife, which would not have been so bad except their knives have not been sharpened since, oh, forever. Not to mention that my husband actually likes apple desserts with the peel still on and you would think that would be enough for his “You are the only joy in our life how could you marry HER?” parents, but no, his mom wanted me to peel. Maybe they are trying to drive me away.

  27. rose823

    I just tried the Europeeler on Friday. You weren’t kidding, it’s great! It’s the first peeler I’ve been able to use properly–peeling away from myself.

    1. philangelus

      Yeah, I love that silly thing.

      I guess the FTC would probably make me state that I didn’t receive any other freebies from the company and they didn’t even give it to me for review purposes. 🙂

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