OK, so on Sunday I spent a whole silly hour slicing the season's last crop of rhubarb. It was kind of woody, not the best -- that's usually reserved for early June, when it's so succulent and makes your teeth squeak when you chew it. But I know I'll crave rhubarb pie in the dead of winter, and pies are pretty forgiving -- the sugar covers up anything -- as long as the flavor's there.
This time I lugged out the Cuisinart food processor from the dusty confines of the bottom of my pantry. This thing has has jillions of blades, some of which I've never used, that chop vegetables into shapes ranging from julienne strips to something looking strangely like my cat. But it's great for chopping celery and rhubarb into tiny, paper-thin slices. It appeals to my precise (some might say anal retentive) nature when all these little slice are just the same size.
Not wanting my handiwork to go to waste and freezer burn, I also hauled out the FoodSaverTM, that nifty little machine that vacuum packs food into FoodSaverTM bags for the freezer. I lined everything up on the counter, even located the instructions because I'd already abused one of these machines to the point of product replacement. It made me a little nervous when I saw a sticker on the bottom of this one that said "reconditioned," but I pressed on. An hour later, I was cursing and still had not sealed a single bag. Reading the instructions again, I was advised to wait 20 minutes before attempting to restart the machine. So I just figured, screw it, and put the damned thing back in the cabinet with the other labor-saving devices designed to keep women tied to the kitchen. It was that or send it to FoodSaver heaven.
But wait! There's more! I came home Monday night and thought, it's been more than 20 minutes. I'll try the friggin' FoodSaverTM again, just in case I haven't really made the thing crash and burn. And whaddya know: Lo and behold and glory hallelujah, it worked. I now have two, count 'em, two perfect-measured packs of frozen rhubarb, all ready for Grandma Therese's Rhubarb Custard Pie in February. I'm feeling quite smug.