Out for dinner and suddenly you need another gadget!

Remember that first apartment?  It was pretty basic. The front window was cracked.  The sink was irreparably chipped and stained. Shared bathroom down the hall. Only one burner on the stove worked…  You remember. How exciting it was to have a place of your own.  A nest!  And you were compelled to feather it!  To fill it with furniture, décor items!  You needed stuff! Cutlery!  A cat! You were an adult, striking out, taking the world on with a smile! 

Fast forward to another phase in your life when you feel trapped, restricted, choked by the very items you so enthusiastically gathered around you all those years ago and since. It’s stuffed into closets and cabinets and drawers. It’s under the bed, in the garage, the storage shed. 

And then one fine day, you read a blog, or watch a show or pick up a book and realize that you are not alone!  Minimalism!  It’s all the rage! Declutter! Unburden yourself of the detritus of your life!  Simplify! Streamline!  

Did you?  I did. And it was going great. Until I was invited to the home of friends for a fabulous dinner. The sea bass was extraordinary, and the salad!  Oh my!  It was spiralized!  All minimalism went out the window and I was off and running ordering yet another gadget to clutter my life. My acquisition angel was having a tussle with my minimalism angel.  

The only possible resolution to the Angel Wars would be a Tool Library.  Having such a thing locally would not only solve the problem of the young person starting out, keen to try every flashy gadget, but also the veteran gadgeteer who is dealing with storage issues!  If one could rent a gadget to discover whether it is essential enough to invest in one’s own, or just perfect to rent once or twice a year, or something to forget about entirely. One could rent canning equipment in season, a Crock-Pot, a food processor, a mixer, a spiralizer, a pressure cooker, deep fryer, sous vide machine with stock pot…  How grand!  When people think of tool libraries, their minds tend to go to band saws rather than sewing machines, log splitters rather than quilt frames, but if you think about it, the possibilities are endless! They say the average drill is actually used for thirteen minutes in its entire life. One wonders how many minutes the average spiralizer is used…

But I did it. Full bore, Kiitchen Aid attachment. So I am determined.

My first effort was just playing with the vegetables I had on hand, just to see how it worked.  I spiralized some potatoes. A sweet potato, a hard pear, some carrots.  I submerged them in water to keep them from discolouring as I went along. Hmmm….  Now what? Have a cup of tea. 

I took out a large cookie sheet, covered it with a ream of parchment paper, invited the neighbours to help me eat it all, and hoped for the best.  I dried this haystack off, tossed it in a scant bit of olive oil, arranged it on that cookie sheet, sprinkled an herb mix and some Parmesan cheese over all and baked in a 450 degree oven for half an hour. I tossed it again about half way through. I had my doubts about whether I should have added that pear, but, as luck would have it, it turned out great. Tasty, some of it crispy.  All good. So, from this I learned that pretty much any combination of ‘that which can be spiralized’ will probably be grand! 

Or try the following recipe from www.aspicyperspective.com:

{Raw} Beet and Sweet Potato Salad

YIELD: 4-6 servings

PREP TIME: 10 minutes


2 large sweet potatoes

1 bunch beets (3-4)

4 scallions

1/2 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkins seeds)

Garlic Lime Vinaigrette


Peel the sweet potatoes and beets. Then use a spiralizer to cut the veggies into long curly strips. Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut the pieces into manageable lengths.

Mix the beet and sweet potato ribbons together in a large bowl. Then cut the scallion tops on an angle to make long rings. Sprinkle the salad with scallions and pepitas. Serve with your favorite vinaigrette.

Or this one:

Garlic Lime Vinaigrette

YIELD: 6-8 servings

PREP TIME: 3 minutes



1/3 cup olive oil

Zest of one lime + 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 1-2 limes)

1 clove garlic, minced

2 Tb. honey

2 Tb. heavy cream – though I wouldn’t go out and buy heavy cream just for 2 T. A squirt of mayonnaise, perhaps. 

Salt and pepper


Pour all ingredients into the jar with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. ground pepper.

Screw the lid on tightly and shake until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I am hoping that I have convinced you to unbox that spiralizer you got for Christmas and are storing in your basement, OR to buy a spiralizer, OR to fire up a group to lobby for a tool library in South Dundas!  It just might be time to listen to our better angels.