Masher, ricers and scary visions

I am an easy mark — a patsy. The marketing folks have my number but I am getting smarter. I know the game. I know how it works. Sometimes….just sometimes, I can make it through unscathed but not always.

I am a visionary. I can envision things. If I see something beautiful, I can envision me wearing it or using it. For example, if I see lovely drinking glasses, I can see myself entertaining. I am a wonderful hostess (in my vision) with lovely friends (these are real although there are usually a few celebrities at these affairs). The weather is perfect and we are in our screened-in porch which seems a lot bigger than it is. I have foo-foo drinks in these lovely glasses on a carefully balanced tray. Of course I am younger than my birth certificate states, too. If you are going to have fanciful visions, make them good.

soft surroundings model

This is how I envision myself serving at my wonderful party.

The marketers call it selling a lifestyle rather than a product. It happened again in the beginning of December. I was flipping through TV channels, killing time until a program I wanted to watch came on. I never watch shopping shows. That would not be a good idea. However, Wolfgang Puck was on one channel and I was intrigued. I thought it was a cooking show but I found out it was a shopping program. Oops!

I was fascinated with the cooking tools that came as a set. There were many different tools for under $100 with something free thrown in (kinzu knives maybe?). They were, of course, superior to anything you could buy in a store and this was a one-time opportunity that was about to expire.

garnishing-setThere were demos. He made wonderful decorative radishes. I could envision myself displaying veggie trays with decorative radishes instead of wilted parsley. I had on a beautiful outfit with shoes that I can’t really wear.

There was what looked like a vegetable peeler but it cut julienne-style carrots and cucumbers and other vegetables that were just gorgeous. I could envision serving them. There were fruit ballers in different sizes. I could just see my beautiful fruit tray. This would be the best party ever.

wolfgang-puckpotato-ricerThen it came out. He demonstrated a potato ricer. It’s very important (according to Mr. Puck) to use a ricer instead of a flat masher or (heaven forbid) a mixer because there wouldn’t be any lumps. The consistency would be airy and light and not at all gummy. (I never realized how gummy potatoes were. Mixers make them gummier.) This was a beauty. It came apart to clean and was guaranteed not to rust.

It could only be purchased in the set. A long time ago, I had a potato ricer but it rusted from non-use. I don’t know how that could happen but it did and I threw it out. In fact, in the last 40 years I only used the ricer once or twice. I don’t even remember how it came into my possession. Most likely, it was a gift. Despite the fact that I could envision me throwing elaborate parties using all these spectacular devices, I just knew that I never would but I wanted that ricer.

On New Year’s Day we have a crowd here for the traditional pork and sauerkraut meal and I always serve mashed potatoes. I really needed that ricer so the day would be perfect.

During the weeks before the event I searched all the nearby stores looking for this perfect tool and couldn’t find it anywhere. I had already missed the “opportunity” with Wolfgang. I didn’t have time to get to the specialty stores. I didn’t want to order on-line in case I wouldn’t get it in time.

Magically, New Year’s Day came and went. The mashed potatoes were made with a flat hand masher as always and yes, they were slightly lumpy. There were no decorative radishes. In fact, I forgot to get out the wilted parsley completely. Amazingly everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the meal. The urge for the ricer has passed.

Then I saw an ad for the perfect eye shadow. You need to use three different colors and blend them properly. I know this is not going to happen but I can envision my new lovely face. Maybe if I wait long enough the urge will pass.

Photo credits: Cooking tools from and younger fantasy me in flowing dress from Soft Surroundings

24 thoughts on “Masher, ricers and scary visions

  1. Oh my goodness how I laughed at this.You had me at the tv commercial.I am the same way and so is my boy and his dad.Over the years I have recieved every Ronco product you can imagine as gifts.Then I sell them at my moms garage sale in the summer because I hate clutter.This was too funny.


  2. My husband gave me a hand potato masher for Christmas. I’ve been using an electric mixer for, well…ever. I wish someone would have captured the look on my face. I will not mention the ricer to him for obvious reasons, but he would certainly appreciate your knowledge of a ricer and your effort to find one. Glad everyone enjoyed your meal!


  3. My must-have kitchen tool is a pastry blender. It’s a necessity for creaming shortening into flour for biscuits or butter into confectioners sugar for cake frosting. I bet that puppy would work a charm for mashed potatoes, too!


  4. Kate, you look mah-vehl-ous! You don’t need those gadgets. People will just gravitate to you for that shimmering green dress alone.
    (I confess. I succumbed to one desire – All-Clad cookwear. I swear my life would not have been the same without it. Still, I put off the purchase for about 10 years.)


  5. My mother bought a ricer on atrip to Cnada many years ago. I guess they are a fairly common kitchen tool in Canada and England. I have actually been thinking of getting one lately. Or I can just keep getting my Hubby to mash the potatoes!


  6. I am a sucker for kitchen gadgets that end up never being used. I bought an entire set of sausage making parts for my KitchenAid mixer and have never used them.


  7. Luckily, I had a bad experience with rude operator that was “standing by” so the infomercials are not motivation enough for me to get up, get the phone, and make my dreams a reality…..I have Internet ads for that 🙂


  8. Lumps. Potatoes MUST have lumps. I am not a fan of the creamy fluffy kind, either. I, too, have been intrigued by the ricer, but I keep reminding myself that I like lumpy potatoes. It works. I haven’t bought a potato ricer… yet.

    My flowing svelte self emerges when I watch these ads, too. My meals are picture perfect and everything that occurs that evening is worthy of a bestselling novel – a la F. Scott Fitzgerald.

    Back to reality. My family and friends seem to like me, svelte or not. My food seems to be tasty.

    I panic when I see the latest and greatest new gadget or makeup or dress destined to make me magically appear in an image that makes me something of a dream. Ah… marketing. I get it.

    Thanks for sharing. It was great fun and definitely something many of us can relate to.


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