1 Broken Scooter, 4 Iron Cots, 1 Used Ford, 3 Cats, and 1 Small Room

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Rohit Singh
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Sat, 11 Mar 2006

You Can Tell A Cook By His/Her Tools

When dad went on his first overseas trip, in the early 90s, he brought back an interesting oddment, a British potato peeler. It was different from the typical Indian peelers of the day, with a translucent red plastic handle and a thin but sharp blade. Indian peelers, in contrast, had ugly wood handles and a serrated blade that somehow went bad pretty quickly. For all of dad's gift-choosing prowess, however, mom never got used to it. So much for phoren stuff.

When I came to the US for grad school mom had bundled, with all the other sundry kitchen stuff, a brand new desi potato peeler. I used it for a while but never with really good results. Then one day, I noticed this funky potato peeler in the mall. It had a really beefy black soft-grip handle and its blade, unlike Indian peelers, didn't jut out from the handle; it actually was hinged between two anchors, the handle running through the entire length of the peeler. This hinging business let the blade swing a bit. Now, it's a very scary concept if you have a peeler with a blade that's not very stable- the first time I was sure the blade will jump off the potato and instead peel the skin off my finger. But no such thing happened, the swinging business lets the blade follow the potato's contours much better, making it a breeze to peel nice rings off the potato. Almost like the swinging business with new Gillette blades.

The peeler was made by Oxo. Later, I swapped my painfully useless can-opener for an Oxo can opener. Again, I was floored by how easy it was to use. Oxo makes really good stuff, there is an article in LA Times about them.

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