For Christmas, my mom gave me a mandolin slicer. Until tonight, I had used it only for potatoes. It probably should’ve stayed that way.
Tonight I made a honey chicken stir-fry that required two sliced carrots. It also required a sliced onion–do you remember my onion fiasco? So, sometimes I think I’m a genius and I get a reality check that proves just the opposite. . .yeah, that’s what happened tonight. I didn’t feel like battling it out with the onion and I wasn’t sure how to slice the carrot (the recipe called for carrots cut into “batons.” Wtf does that mean?), so I got out my trusty mandolin slicer and I slapped on one of the julienne blades.
The first cut of the carrot went rather well. I had a perfect little pile of carrot matchsticks and I thought, I’ll never again slice a carrot by hand! But there’s that damn saying, “All good things must come to an end,” and boy, it’s no joke. Whatever good luck I had with the first slice of the carrot diminished and left me with several chunks of carrot that looked like they’d been chewed on and spit out.
If any good came out of this, it’s that the mandolin slicer chopped the onion beautifully. For that, the mandolin slicer shall remain my friend. However, I can’t ignore that there are two things to learn from this experience. One is, I’m better off slicing my carrots by hand. The second is, I need to brush up on my culinary vocabulary. While writing this post, I took a quick break and Googled “slicing carrot batons” and found an enlightening video on the subject. No longer will I resort to vegetablecide in the name of ignorance.
What I also learned tonight is that, as a novice cook, experimenting should have certain stipulations. Of course experimentation is good–it helps you learn and it helps you grow–but some things require education. All it would have taken was a few minutes of reading up on carrot slicing to prevent ruining a poor carrot’s life tonight. And that, my friends, is a lesson I promise I have learned.