My new year seemed to be getting off to an auspicious start. We ran around a candle on the neutral ground at midnight; we ate some Hoppin’ John and cabbage; I slept in the next morning; I avoided a hangover. Later in the day we even got a visit from the Egg Roll Man. So far so good.
Emboldened, I decided to tackle a minor home improvement project. There’s a thick piece of molding beneath one of the doorways into my study, where the level of the floor drops rather precipitously. This piece of wood has been popping out of place lately. So I removed the three nails that are supposed to hold it down, figuring to replace them with screws.
And here is where my luck began to turn. The very first screw broke off when I had it halfway in place. I thought I could twist it back out again with a pliers, but I succeeded only in bending the damn thing so that even a screw extractor wouldn’t be able to work. I seem to have practically ruined the piece of molding, though I suppose it should be possible to snip off the protruding shard of metal — if I had the proper tools.
It was a minor but demoralizing defeat. I went back to bed for a while, and I probably should have stayed there. But for some reason, later that evening, I decided to try out a new present I’d gotten from my parents, an Oxo Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer.
Anyone with half a brain can see where this is headed: While slicing a cucumber, I sliced my pinkie finger but good. Some online reviews complain that this thing has a dull blade, but in my personal experience that blade is plenty sharp enough. I’m lucky I didn’t slice the tip of my finger off. Instead I got a nice clean cut, small enough I suppose. It didn’t hurt at all, but it was one of those cuts that just would not stop bleeding.
(Later, when I had it wrapped in ice, I got my pinkie finger well-chilled, and when it thawed out, that was painful. To stop the bleeding I finally realized I needed to elevate my hand.)
I feel like a prize idiot. I’d love to criticize the design of the slicer, but ultimately I don’t blame anyone but myself. I was unfamiliar with this sort of gadget, and I wasn’t careful enough. I hope it’s no indication of things to come in 2011.
Although careful technique is cheaper, many chefs use a chain mail glove to prevent this sort of thing:
I did exactly the same thing the first time that I used my mandolin.
This Kevlar glove is a lot more affordable: