An oldest daughter’s cautionary tales
Libby, an oldest daughter known for her cooking skills, was in the midst of preparing a favorite summer soup when it happened. The recipe called for two cups of peeled, thin cucumber slices. To save time, she pulled a mandolin out from the white kitchen cabinet where it lives. (Note: this mandolin is a kitchen utensil, not to be confused with mandolin(e), a musical instrument.)
She set her trusty mandolin on the counter and without further thought began pushing the slippery vegetable into the path of the instrument’s blade.
Instead the miniature guillotine found her little finger and efficiently sliced off a strip from fingertip to second joint, leaving an (actual) blood-red smear across the countertop and sending the family’s chef cradling her right hand into an urgent-care facility.
This painful incident created food for thought.
Libby’s long-relied upon kitchen device had become dangerous, rather than helpful, through her use. The mandolin actually looks a bit menacing—but it isn’t in everyone’s kitchen.
A different device can be even more dangerous, but is a million times (actual) more common and attractive.
The cell phone, like the mandolin can be both useful and dangerous. Useful in connecting users by phone. Potentially dangerous in capacity as mini-computer to divide, distance, or even create a darnel of widespreading discord. Responsibility for how either the phone or the mandolin is used is up to the owner.
No doubt Libby’s mandolin came with instructions and warnings. The instructions that come with smart phones typically simply explain battery use. I’ve never seen:
Caution. Words spoken or texts sent cannot be taken back. Time spent on apps is not the responsibility of apps. May be addictive. Distractions possible. May mean less time for actual face-to-face interactions. Ignoring such warnings could result in damage to your personal relationships.
Three weeks later, Libby’s wound is all but healed and her finger is in pretty good, though slightly different, shape. The mandolin is once again residing in a kitchen cabinet.
Will you use it again? I asked. “Oh, yes. I can’t get along without it. I was just careless. I knew better. From now on, I’ll be careful. I’ll pay attention to what I’m doing.”
A recipe worth following.