Look, Learn and Process…

My food processor, now around 20 years old, took advantage of my momentary absence  last week to dance its way off the kitchen worktop, yanking the plug out of the wall and shattering some components of high functional importance when it crashed onto the floor-tiles. At the time it was working at normal speed, kneading dough… how messy was that?

IMG_1042I browsed around the internet for a replacement, and having selected what seemed to be a popular choice, I read the reviews.

Instructions are a bit crap…

Superb processor, but instructions leave a lot to be desired…

Fantastic, once you get the hang of which pieces go where…”

Undeterred, (because instructions are to me what personal modesty is to the Kardashian women) I sent off for the machine of my choice and it arrived the next day.

I was impressed; food processors have become a lot smaller in the last 20 years, and although there were still quite a few accessories, many of them were multi-functional.

I turned to the instructions.

Uh-oh… diagrams and illustrations. My stomach began to sink.  Spatial ability is not my strongest point; I know this for a fact.

IMG_1035Not one single accessory was labelled. There was no “this is the slicing disc, the grating disc, the kneading tool…” neither on the accessory nor in the instructions.  And so far as assembly went, the diagrammatic instruction showed various numbered components hovering above the main core of the machine, which my husband later explained represented the order in which they were to be assembled. He didn’t seem to have the same problem as me identifying which parts were which … but then he’s an engineer.

I turned to the part of the instructions where it showed you what each unidentifiable component was to be used for processing  … wait for it … which unidentifiable food item. I managed to identify a carrot at first glance (though it could have been a parsnip) and a wedge of cheese (principally because of the holes in it). You don’t actually see that many holes in cheese, except in Tom and Jerry cartoons, but I was fairly confident I’d made the right assumption.

IMG_1031I didn’t know what the round things were… possibly coffee beans, or black peppercorns. Probably the black peppercorns were the smaller ones beneath though. Anyway, on the basis that you wouldn’t actually ‘grind’ peas, I opted for coffee beans for the large ones at the top of the section and the jury remained out on the illustration below it.

I was stuck for a while on what looked like a baby’s bottle,IMG_1029 but my husband, who later rattled through most of them, instantly, identified it as a cucumber.  I’m not sure I’ve ever had occasion to process a cucumber, but at least if I want to in the future, I  now have the wherewithal so to do.

IMG_1036After a lengthy study,  I gave up on a crumpled square box.  At this point I didn’t see the ears of corn adorning the side of the box, but in any case I tend not to process cornflake packets, or any other cereals for that matter.

Two speckly things, one of which resembled an acorn wereIMG_1028 eventually identified as potatoes, one half- peeled, and I guessed the things looking like garlic cloves were probably onions. I have another smaller and much simpler device for processing garlic anyway.

IMG_1033 - CopyI identified a soup dish with a soup spoon for the blender tool, and also the illustration for fruit smoothies and vegetable smoothies. But some marbles had me foxed until I noticed the frosty symbol above them.  Ice cubes?

And then there was this pot on top of a fire, but I realised later that this was in fact a pot of soup with some vegetables at the side.IMG_1034

Therefore the previously identified soup dish and spoon (above) must be a frying pan and a pile of pancakes. Well, to be honest, it was my husband who identified the pancakes…yeah okay, and the soup.

IMG_1036-001The gold ingots were also identified by my husband as chocolate squares.  He’s good isn’t he?  Though even now he’s still  mystified by the ‘smaller than coffee beans’ item, since we both believe that it’s the illustration beneath that one which represents nuts.

Unless of course they’re differentiating between shelled and unshelled nuts? Yes, that will probably be it.

I was greatly reassured, however, to find that I had no problem with the accessory for whipping ice cream and scrambling eggs.  And in fact, now that I know what all these things are, I can’t for the life of me see why it wasn’t perfectly apparent to me in the first place.

So there we were, all ready to go. My personal resident engineer showed me how to assemble it all this morning and I’m looking forward to getting started, just as soon as my finger heals. Yes, it did advise care in using the accessories, and that you should always keep the blade unit in its guard pack, but it didn’t say anything about handling the slicing discs wearing armoured gloves.

As I rushed off to find a plaster, I heard my husband muttering “Good grief, there’s blood over everything and look… there’s still a piece of your skin stuck to the slicing blade.”

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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27 Responses to Look, Learn and Process…

  1. Oh. My. God. This is what it’s coming to with everything produced in China and directions written in those “One Size Fits All” hieroglyphics. Actually, hieroglyphics would have been easier to understand than these illustrations. My dear old Cuisinart is circa 1980s. I dread the day I have to replace it. Finger okay?


    • Sandra says:

      I think these kind of instructions work for some people (like my husband) and not for others (like me). I know I score below average on spatial ability but maybe I’d score quite highly on lateral thinking – judging from my tendency to see so many different possibilities for each of the illustrations. There was also an illustration showing you how you could fit all of these accessories into the container, but I didn’t even bother going there… not a chance for me. And thanks, the finger is better though I doubt I’ll be taking the band-aid off any time soon. Have a nice weekend Barbara. 🙂


  2. Ese' s Voice says:

    Somehow sounds like a rather familiar experience…not exactly but pretty much of “the same direction”. 🙂 The good news – the mission is complete!


  3. Joyce says:

    I couldn’t help but laugh at your experience with a food processor. LOL They do have a tendency to boogie about on the counter, a bit. 🙂 And I agree instructions can drive one nuts. First I have to rip off all of the included parts in foreign languages of all types, so those are gone. Then put on my reading glasses to read all that still looks pretty foreign to me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      The new one has suction feet so perhaps it might be a bit more stable. I’m reassured you share my aversion to the foreign instructions, Joyce. 🙂 Recently we had the kitchen re-fitted and I’ve had instructions for a new oven, hob, hood and microwave to contend with. Sometimes I don’t sleep nights…


  4. I’m the same way about universal signs…I can never figure them out. Makes me feel like an idiot. But frustrations aside, I LOVED your Kardashian line. I still don’t really know anything about them except that they’re sleazy and everywhere for no known reason. But I’m ok with that!



    • Sandra says:

      I’m finding it so reassuring that others have the same difficulty. I almost chickened out of posting this, I felt so inadequate. And yeah, the Kardashians… don’t get me started. I’ve never seen any programmes about that but they’re all over the popular press here in the UK. And the latest photo… is that for real or what??? :O


  5. suej says:

    Good luck with your future processing adventures, and ouch for the finger…


  6. JF says:

    Last several days I was trying to understand instructions (tutorials) to several painting and photo editing programs. I concluded that authors did not want customers to understand their instructions. Life is not easy! 😉


    • Sandra says:

      I once dedicated an entire weekend to Gimp, (painting/photo app) before deciding that life was just too short to bother. You’re so right, life is certainly not easy. 😉


  7. Dear Sandra,

    I feel your pain. A few weeks back I managed to get the same finger caught in the bread slicer at work. I tried very hard not to bleed on the customers purchase, smiling all the while as if I weren’t next in line for a transfusion. (No it wasn’t that bad.)

    Sorry about your difficulty. I’m not laughing at you I’m laughing with…nah I’m laughing at you. But that’s your fault for making it sound so funny.




    • Sandra says:

      Hi Rochelle, hope your finger is better now. At least I was in a position to vent my feelings – no way could I have smiled through that particular assault. I’m about to tackle the assembly and operation unaided this morning, to bake this week’s batch of bread. Neville said he’d put the A&E unit on standby (Emergency Room). Wish me luck. 🙂


  8. Sandra, I could just see your food processor dancing across the counter. 😀 If you have a Chinese neighbor, maybe they can help you next time. They’d probably be just as confused though. It seems the person who drew those examples was artistically challenged. Lucky your husband and you aren’t afraid of blood. It sounds like he’d also have made a good doctor. Glad to hear that your finger is healing okay. 🙂 — Susan


  9. Sandra says:

    My husband can be very cool in a crisis. He once ‘stitched’ a long and very deep cut along the top of my finger with those butterfly strips and though there’s still a scar ten years later, it healed very well. I did get a lecture on the wisdom of using a carving knife to open a carton of milk though, and my stock answer “well, I couldn’t find the scissors,” didn’t seem to satisfy him. 🙂


  10. Sarah Ann says:

    I can’t abide pictorial instructions, give me words and numbers any day. And that cucumber is definitely a baby’s bottle. Hope you finger heals soon. As you’ve left part of it behind on a blade, that’ll mean resident engineer has to do the cooking and washing up for a while? 🙂


  11. Sue says:

    Sounds like a fantastic piece of equipment, so useful, I just hope the machine gives you the same service!!!!


  12. reocochran says:

    I wish this weren’t the reality, but I can see this coming down the pike, more and more foreign directions. I had a toy that needed to be put together, lots of pages of directions. I could not do this, had to give it to my son to ‘build.’ I hope your finger is okay and I have learned from my own mistakes along the way, I am a klutz! Smiles, Robin


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