“Kitchen Competition” Guest Post on The Book’s the Thing

Kitchen Competition by G.P. Gottlieb

In the recipes I post online or publish in my culinary mystery novels, I usually specify whether to use a food processor or a high-speed blender. I love them both and don’t know how I made vegetable and bean dips, whipped up creamy, non-dairy pies and cakes, or quickly pulled together velvety soups before I acquired either piece of equipment.

I never thought of them as anything more than kitchen tools until the day I left my phone on the counter and neglected to turn off the recording function after audio-texting a reminder to myself to buy a jar of vanilla paste. I was surprised to notice that the phone had continued to record and proceeded to listen to the astonishing recording. The following is an exact transcription of what appears to be an argument between my fifteen-year-old food processor and my four-year-old high-speed blender. The food processor (FP) must have been carrying a lot of anger before finally bursting out. “Nobody wants to eat pureed baby food for every meal.”

The high-speed blender (HSB) sounded a little taken aback: “What? Were you talking to me?”

FP: “Yes, I’m talking to you. I’ve just about had it with your higher-than-mighty attitude, and your constant smirking.”

HSB: “I’m not smirking. I’m just a little worn out from making arugula dip followed by asparagus soup, and then, after being scrubbed for a good ten minutes, a lemon cream pie filling that she still hasn’t perfected. I think it needs more lemon zest and another quarter of a cup of fresh lemon juice.

FP: “It took ten minutes to scrub because your polycarbonate sides are a bear to get clean.”

HSB: “Whoa. You’re just trying to start a fight. You know I can be easily cleaned with soapy water and a few seconds of blending.”

FP: “Perhaps for anyone who’s satisfied with surface cleanliness.”

HSB: “Hold on. What’s got you all stirred up? Did I puree your pride?”

FP: “Well, if you must know, it’s because you’re sitting out on the counter next to the coffee maker all day, acting like queen of the kitchen. And ever since you showed up, I’ve been stuck in a back cabinet.”

HSB: “Oh, come on. It’s not like you’re never used. How many times have we heard how you’re the only route to great hummus? Every week you’re out here making cake batters or bread doughs with that separate blade of yours. And let’s not forget about the grating feature. You’re busy with carrots and zucchini every time I turn around.

FP: “You’re just trying to make me feel better.”

HSB: “Exactly. That’s how one ends a squabble like this. What are we arguing about anyway?”

FP: “I don’t know. Maybe I’m just all mixed-up today. Sorry to take it out on you.”

HSB: “Glad to have ‘smoothied’ things over!”

I heard chuckling, and that’s when the tape cut out. It sounded like they’d resolved their differences, but just in case, I used them both for the next few hours. Also, adding zest and lemon juice did the trick and I think the pie is perfect now. It’s for a friend’s birthday.