Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I love/I hate my Cuisinart

This has been a particularly busy week for dinner parties. Three of us on Thursday, seven friends on Saturday and four on Sunday. That’s a lot when I’m accustomed to one or two. In preparing the three dinners, I used my Cuisinart five times. It is a wonderfully helpful machine. I literally couldn’t cook what I like to cook without it. Whirling away--or as my friend Cathleen says “cuising” away (I think it rhymes with wheezing)--I made pesto, roasted carrot dip, lemon squares, chocolate pots, and fig and black olive tapenade. And last week I made the Romesco Sauce that you’ll find below. Of course, you can make these items by hand, or with a mortar and pestle, or maybe in a blender, but none of these options works quite as well as the processor.

That said, the Cuisinart has major design flaws. First, the complicated locking mechanism. Early on, someone must have stuck his or her fingers into the spinning blades. Messy and awful for them, I know. But is it really necessary from a safety standpoint to have three components exactly aligned before the C will work? Three. Ridiculous.

Second there is the cleaning issue. There are obscure places which are nearly impossible to wash well: the bottom of the unit which houses the feed tube, the spindle hole underneath the blade, and the inside of the handle. Because it is so hard to clean, I will often organize my cooking so that I only have to rinse it out before moving onto the next task. Maybe dishwashers solve the problem of the hard to reach spots, but I can’t run the dishwasher every time I want a clean processor.

Third, there is the problem with the blade going dull—which it invariably does over time. Did you know that you can sharpen it just as you would any other knife? And you can also buy a new blade from Appliance Sales & Service in San Francisco and get it in the mail. Without replacing the whole unit.

So there you are. I need it. I love it. I wish it were better. Has anyone found a really good one that doesn’t cost a fortune?

1 comment:

tesslouise said...

We have the same Cuisinart. I agree about the lid being hard to fasten (plus our lid is slightly cracked, our Cuisinart came from a thrift store).

I've had much better luck making pesto in the blender than the food processor, actually.

We mainly use the food processor for homemade gyro meat.