bash n' chop
i was watching a cooking show - you know, one of the many with a perky hostess, smiling toothily at the camera and blissfully dismembering chickens, chopping onions and throwing things into hot pans. hot pans that will be cleaned up by dweebs hiding just off camera, possibly being shouted at by the hostess when the camera stops running.
anyway, i digress.
something the perky hostess used during her show caught my eye. i've bought things before that i've seen on these shows -- like that serrated chopping knife that was supposed to revolutionize your life. it cost $95.95 fergodssakes and i used it for a while. until i realized my old knife was superior.
anyway, ms. perky had finished chopping up her pile of turnips or whatever and then she pulled out this gadget that had me leaning forward in my chair. it was like a knife, but it wasn't.........it was a knife scooper thingy!! i've always wanted one of those knife scooper thingies but i never bothered to remember to buy it the one time every three years i found myself in a williams sonoma. in fact, i shop at williams sonoma so rarely now that they've stopped sending me catalogs.
good thing, too. why on hell the earth needs another glossy catalog filled with shiny crap that will just end up in a landfill is beyond me. but this was one piece of shiny crap that i just had to have............until i discovered that i already did.
see it there, in between the plastic bags and the coffee filters? buried in a kitchen drawer (and we've remodeled the kitchen twice since we moved into this house 23 years ago) i saw it this morning. i've been looking at it for years, my eyes glancing over the box as i reached for the pleistocene-era liquid saccharine that i keep on hand for when my father visits (note to self: saccharine is supposed to cause cancer in rats, but dad is 87 years old so this stuff must be good for you!) tucked just underneath the wax paper and the oven mitts, just behind my multivitamins and dr. michael murray's omega RX 300 sooper dooper fish oil capsules there it was........
..........the original bash n' chop.
still in its box and plastic sleeve. with the original price tag on it.
from a date back before my son was born.
i mean, i'm gonna used this damn thing. it's endorsed by graham kerr. for any of you alive in that era, graham kerr was known by the moniker 'the galloping gourmet'. he was the original perky cooking show host. after julia child, of course.
throughout all of this, i keep thinking: how could i have overlooked this, sitting in a drawer? isn't that crazy that we humans can be looking at something all these years, and not really SEE it?
but that's life, folks. and the same goes for what's inside. our potential. what bash n' chop do we have lying around inside our spirits, just waiting to be let out and show its stuff? what hidden talents and lights are we hiding under a barrel?
i'll let those metaphors lie. but just in the past few weeks i've begun to notice parts of my spirit that haven't seen the light of day in eons. we all have this unused life, this unspent energy that's just waiting for us to notice. a part of us that's lying, stuffed away in some drawer, covered with dust and wasting away.
don't you think it's about time you pulled those moth-balled old parts, flapped them out in the sunshine and let them breathe?
anyway, food for thought.
meanwhile, tomorrow night, when i get ready to dice a handful of garlic in preparation for my favorite lorna pasta*, i'll reach for my 'new' bash n' chop. but i'll be thinking, too, about those useful parts of myself that i've reached over, pushed aside, and haven't noticed in a long time.
(named for a dear family friend who introduced us to this simple but delicious dish)
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 head garlic (or 8 - 10 large cloves)
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lb. spaghetti
Heat oil on medium. Slice garlic cloves into thin slivers. Place in oil and cook gently for a few minutes until slightly golden. Do not burn. Cook pasta according to directions (make sure it's al dente!) Cut basil into a chiffonade. Place cooked pasta in bowl and pour garlic oil mixture over. Toss with basil, cheese, pine nuts. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper and serve.
Top image is a magnet, a gift from my wise little sister with a very good sense of humor