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' 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.

and should.

*lorna pasta 
(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


  1. this was fun to read...thanx,, i think I came by way of The Tiny Leaf,,,but anyhow I am gonna think about what ya said...gonna look in some old "cabinets" and find some "stowaways"...

  2. ah amanda! what a great piece of writing! you use so MANY terrific metaphors to end up taking about not food at all. and the part about not seeing what is clearly waiting in view: wowwowwow.

    i will remember all this. that alone is proof of good writing. and good teacher.

    it's nice to visit you here this morning. i'll be back more often in the new year :)


  3. Wow, the "galloping gourmet" ... it's been decades since I last heard that name ...

  4. the "galloping gourmet"!
    heard he used lotsa butter, cream and egg yolks!

    there's nothing in my cabinet other than a corkscrew.
    ok, i'm exaggerating ;-)

    thanks for the *lorna pasta :-)

  5. I totally agree with you about parts of us that we keep hidden away. Your posts are always interesting whether they are about Greek goddesses or forgotten choppers. Thanks for your sweet comments.

  6. PS that pasta recipe is a keeper.

  7. Bash n' chop looks like a lethal weapon!

  8. I have a bash and chop I use with dough. A lovely metaphor, Amanda, punctuated by the yummy pasta recipe.

  9. I share your views. Excellent writing. I enjoyed reading your thoughts so well presented.

  10. I'm not a hoarder of material things, but you certainly have got me thinking about spiritual hoarding!
    I love your recipe and admit I had to look up "chiffonade"
    ** BIG SMILE **

    I might make this for lunch today

  11. Good, funny, and thoughtful post, as always, Amanda. Me, I still have a clover of garlic from my daughter`s last visit (I hate garlic, sorry), which I look past, and I also think my old knife, the one with the broken top, is still the very best. Those unused talents I have, hmmm, must think about them. Our German first TV cook was called Clemens Wilmenroth. He invented the Hawaii Toast, a culinarian highlight.

  12. Hi Amanda...I like what you have shared here in this post and the recipe too.

    Sorry but until this post I had never heard of a 'bash 'n chop' and am living happily without one.

    I meditate daily and I feel that this helps me to keep my heart singing and my spirit in good health.... though I am far from perfect and of course have times when my spirit is flat.

    x Robyn

  13. Brava, Amanda! BRAVA!

    Hilarious and fitting that you dug up the ancint treasure hidden for generations!

    Having children who've left and returned as if our house has a revolving door, I got a great laugh out of the magnet.

    The recipe sounds divine. I must find a good Bash n' Chop before I try it, though.

    The lesson hidden inside the humor is so important. Many thanks for imparting it in such a clever fashion.

  14. Hilarious story and opening image! We have a drawer in our kitchen that we call “utensils from hell.” Those are the ones we almost never use but can’t toss either.

  15. I loved this! Yes, parts of us remain dormant, and it's great to bring it out and wipe off the dust.

    I'm a sucker for infommercials. I've bought exercise videos, kitchen stuff, skin creams. I've made a deal with myself - no more buying from informmercials! I hope you enjoyed your old/new toy.

  16. I found one of those in my drawer the other day - I think my husband had to have it. You left some food for thought as well as a yummy recipe. Thank you for that.

  17. OMG - $95 - what were you smoking? That was lots o' money back during the GG days. It actually looks like a cool tool.
    So true about what we overlook as if it weren't there. Like our own gifts. Nice recipe and food for thought.

  18. glnroz -- thanks for dropping by! if you find some 'stowaways' that are useful, let me know ;-)

    kj - thank you for your kind compliments - i love seeing you in these parts. thank you for dropping by♡

    lorenzo - ah, so you remember graham kerr!!!

    cherry blossom girl -- hey, a corkscrew is a crucial piece of kitchen equipment!

  19. loree - you are a sweetheart ♡

    and i'm so glad you like the recipe. sometimes simple is best ;-)

    tess - now that you mention it, the name is especially violent!

    rosaria - you're right - i think actually this thing is actually called a 'dough scraper' -- but those tv cooks use it to scoop up other stuff too!!

    philip - poli efharisto♡

  20. ooh janet -- let me know how it turns out!

    hey, good for you not to hoard're way ahead of me. i have to regularly go through my 'stuff' and create 3 piles: trash, recycle or keep. getting better at it over time....... ;-)

    geli - clemens wilmenroth and hawaiian toast?? wow, now that sounds like a short story idea made in heaven. must look him up!!!


    robyn - i admire you for meditating regularly. i try to do it for a while, then i tend to step away for periods. i like what you say about it helping balance one's spirit. i believe that.

    jo - haha!! you're right! imagine what archaeological expeditions can lead to in one's own home? ;-)

  21. sarah, that's brilliant. a drawer with utensils from hell. i'd love to know what those look like?! would a garlic press be among them? ;-)

    julie - i'd love to hear more about these things you've purchased through infomercials -- maybe in an upcoming post?!

    nancy - so a bash n' chop was hiding out in your home too?!

    sister - the knife was a more recent purchase -- one of those wusthof large chopping/slicing knives with a serrated edge. it actually does come in handy, with tomatoes!!


  22. Panda-I'm going to try the "Lorna " pasta recipe-now that we Minnesotans are starting to come out from hibernation. It seems fairly simple-ingredient-wise.I've even been refreshing some of the pasta recipeis from the Dianne Seed pasta cook book.
    The "Child-Proofing" magnet has always been one of my favorites.

  23. thanks dear little sis with the good sense of humor! great to talk today........let me know how the recipe works out for you. and that diane seed cook book -- still one of my all time favorites!!!

    love you xxxx

  24. C'mon Amanda - that was a Bash Chop an Mesure for crissakes. It was the obstreperous carrot model - that's why you paid 95$ for it. (they saw YOU coming right enough) Anyway, when do you need the basher part - for the cooked spaghetti? Χα Χα, γελαω.

    Your mates are easily satisfied an' all. So WHAT hidden goodies have you found deep within yerself, or whatever?

  25. bob -- the obstreperous carrot model??? NOW you tell me! ;-)

    my mates are easily satisfied (aka my family) having put up with my cooking for decades now -- they actually like it most of the time!

    hidden goodies - well, now - that's the subject of a whole other post. or maybe not.....

    and the bash part? for crushing garlic!


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