Never steal a ricer. Never.

My friend Nikki had a yard sale at my house before her move to Maui.  At the end of the sale, there were still a few items left over that didn’t sell.  I bought a couple of things, Nikki generously gifted me with some, and some things I just plain stole. One of the things I stole was a ricer, otherwise known as a food mill. She was going to donate it for crying out loud. Here it is, complete with it’s $5.00 price tag.


I stole the ricer in June but hadn’t used it yet. Yesterday I was having a twice baked potato meltdown and I needed my food processor. We still aren’t completely moved into this house yet and the food processor is one thing I have not located.  I was getting an early start on Christmas dinner but the potatoes would not cooperate. After baking I scraped out the insides but they were lumpy and dry. I knew the mixer wouldn’t help. I needed some serious machinery to get these potatoes  smooth and creamy. I went to the garage to look for the food processor and gave up after opening a few boxes marked “kitchen” by my granddaughter Emily when she helped me pack. In the last box I opened, bright and shining and sitting right on top was the ricer I stole from Nikki. I just knew it was what I needed. I rinsed it off, removed the price tag and played around with it sans potatoes until I felt I knew how to use it. I placed the ricer on top of the only container I own that fit the little clips on the sides of the ricer. I filled the bowl with my lumpy potpies and turned the handle.

OMG, the ricer flew off the bowl and potatoes became airborne. I had potatoes on the counter top, cabinet doors, in the sink, on the coffee maker and all over the floor. You can see potatoes on the 120 year old hardwood floors in this picture and if you look carefully, you’ll see potato footprints!

I gathered up the wayward spuds, minus the ones on the floor, and tried again. Placing the ricer over the bowl was of no use. The handle was so hard to turn, I had to clasp the damn ricer to my chest and turn the handle with every ounce of strength I could muster. Holding the ricer against my chest caused serious problems that I won’t even get into. Suffice it to say, there are bruises. I struggled with the ricer for nearly an hour, getting small amount to go through the sieve at a time.  I grunted, gasped, and cursed my way through the insides of twelve potatoes. My shirt was covered in potatoes and a layer of starch stuck to the counter tops.  I finally got all the potatoes through the ricer and actually ended up with nice fluffy potatoes with which to work.

The ricer was a sticky, nasty mess.

I took my riced potatoes and the ingredients for my twice baked potatoes into the service porch where I store and use my big appliances.

Within a couple of minutes they looked like this.

They were ready to go back into the potato skins, get garnished and refrigerated until Christmas dinner. I served them tonight and they were divine. My guests had no idea of what I went through to serve those potatoes.

The ordeal with the ricer taught me a few lessons. Lesson number one is to get out in that garage tomorrow and find my food processor. Lesson number two is to take up power lifting if I ever decide to use a ricer again. Lesson number three is that potato starch is difficult to remove from a black cotton tee shirt. Lesson number four is to expect to find chucks of potatoes all over my kitchen for months to come. Lesson number five is that stolen ricers carry a certain karma, a bad juju. Lesson number six is an oldie but a goodie, though shalt not steal.

I will carry the shame of the stolen rice with me for a long time. If Nikki sends me her address, I will return the ricer or donate it to charity. I have learned my lesson. However, I am keeping the individual tart pans that I stole because I love those.

Aloha Nikki!

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