Monday, March 23, 2015

Appliance Appraisal #5!

In my second appliance appraisal, seen here, I showed what I use to make great applesauce.  But what do I use to get each apple peeled, cored, and cut to be put in the crock-pot in the first place?...Well, I've used a variety of gadgets in order to cut down on time.  Some I've used with success, some with moderate success, and some when the apples are just perfect.

Here, in the Pacific Northwest, we are able to get apples in abundance.  Often the produce store greets us with huge wooden crates filled-with an assortment of apples, and sometimes for even as little as 29 cents a pound!  For such a price, of course, I grab as many apples as I think I can manage.  The most obvious tool to use on a large quantity of apples is an 'Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer', like this one from Pampered Chef:     
I must admit, though, that I have a love-hate relationship with this appliance.  If the apples are perfectly shaped, this gadget can work like a charm.  Unfortunately, I don't usually find the most perfect apples, and then I'm left with a mess and end up cutting/peeling what didn't work after I've already put the apple through the gadget.  Another cause for frustration is that sometimes I'll use it with great success for a couple of apples (and wonder why I never use it) and then the rest of them come-out all crooked.  Which, again, defeats the whole purpose.  Somehow, I have been given two of these gadgets, but I end up rarely using them.  Let me know if you would like to borrow one and give me insight on the magic formula for it's usage!  So, my honest opinion is: "to be used when necessary"...meaning, when the apples are perfect. 

The next step down from this gadget, is just a hand-held corer and slicer, all in one.  I think this could be a great tool, if one doesn't need to peel the apples, in the first place.  If peeling isn't necessary, then it would be pretty easy to find the center of any given apple and come-up with nice cuts to be thrown into the crock-pot.  For me, personally, I need to peel all of my apples.  So, once I peel them, I don't save much time in using this gadget, as I end up wanting to re-cut some of the slices into smaller slices anyways.  Final opinion: "meh, my hands do a better job".
So, what do I end up using, the most?  Just a good, old-fashioned peeler, knife, and my hands!  I've become pretty speedy with the minimum and I enjoy the fact that I don't have to switch back and forth between appliances (especially when my hands are all sticky), only to go back and use my hands/knife/peeler combo.  There have been many Seahawks games that I've attended at someone's house or my own, with a bag full of apples, a large stock pot, knife and peeler.  In no time, the apples are finished and ready to be made into applesauce, all within the fun and excitement of watching our favorite team with friends and family! 
So, how about you? Have you mastered the 'Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer'?  Have you found another gadget, altogether?  Do you find some food preparation more manageable with just a knife and your hands?

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