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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Garlic Zoom - we call it a tractor

This week has been an excitedly boring week.  The Genius has my van, yes the "Big Ugly Van" in Idaho.  He started school again and has moved out of the basement and up to the great North.  His truck needs a new head gasket and so is in the mechanics shop being repaired, we hope for the last time.  Now, to make a long story short, we didn't think it would take longer than two or three days to get it back, but it appears that it will be closer to two weeks or longer!

So I have been using our local bus system, otherwise known as public transportation and  
a lot 
of walking. Not only is it inconvenient, but it is time consuming and makes it difficult to do much of anything except getting to work and then coming home, okay even getting to work is inconvenient and time consuming.  But with all the walking, I am hoping it helps me to get comfy in my pants again!  (they're still fitting snug from the holidays)   there truly is a positive to almost every situation, sometimes you need to get a little creative to find it, but it's usually always there.  So, because not much else is happening, for my blog this week I had this brilliant idea, to begin a "these are some of my favorite kitchen gadgets" section on the blog.  You may have noticed a new tab appear last week, in preparation for an event just as this. 

so here we go. . .

My first and newest favorite gadget to share with you. . . .
the Garlic Zoom, or as we call it at our house. . . the Garlic Tractor!

Each year for Christmas we all get a new gadget and this was the gadget for 2010

the first thing you will need to do after purchasing your garlic zoom is take off the super long piece of tape that goes all the way around the body, and remove your little instruction booklet.

Mine is the small version, they have a larger version available as well, so pick the one that best serves your personal volume of garlic preparation needs.
well not really a booklet, but it is miniature instructions anyway.

open the hatch on the top of your zoom

or the whole body opens for cleaning and removing chopped garlic

User beware!  these little blades are sharp and they will draw blood.  One of the nifty things about this little gadget is that you can completely disassemble it for cleaning, and it's dishwasher safe.

I have found and been disappointed that it's not sealed and water leaks inside the body making it impossible to clean or dry and after several washes it becomes cloudy.
Reassemble by simply putting the blades in place
close and click the hatch in place
open up the top, place your peeled garlic inside
click closed and . . . . . . . .

it's kind of like playing with cars on the floor with the little kids, it was fun.  the more you zoom, the more finely chopped your cloves of garlic become.  This is better in many cases than a garlic press that minces/mashes your garlic, because oft times you only want it finely chopped.

I found that if you "zoom" on a dish towel it zooms a little better than the slick surface of the counter-top or cutting board. 

this is the clove of garlic after 3 zooms
I had to kind of tap my zoom on the counter to get the garlic back down into the tractor blades, I because I used such a small amount, however, if you get too much in the zoom, it clogs up in the blade, it requires a happy medium.

seven zooms gives you this, simply place it in the dish you are preparing, usually a skillet with other yummy ingredients and continue on your way.  No messy clean up, super-duper easy to use, non-garlic fingers and it's fun!

This is just one clove of garlic, since I only cook for me now I didn't need a whole lot for what I was doing.  For fun I tried a little tomato, and I would not recommend it, it just sort of mashed it, in fact I didn't even bother taking a photograph of the tomato, it more or less resembled seedy tomato juice.  

 However, it did a terrific job with the fresh ginger, you could try olives but it would probably only do one or two at a time so wouldn't be time efficient at all, but it could be fun for the kids. 

There you have it, The Garlic Zoom (Tractor) 

In my opinion, the Garlic Zoom is a fun gadget!  However, it is very specific to what it can chop.  Due to its size, garlic, and fresh ginger are going to be it's main functions, and doesn't do large volumes at that.  It's a great gadget for children as they help in the kitchen or if someone is shaky with a knife, once the blade is in place, which is simple and easy to do, it's very safe and doesn't need a lot of pressure to get it to chop.  

One major drawback to the Garlic Zoom is cleaning.  It's not water tight, and after a few washes the clear plastic becomes cloudy as it is impossible to get in to clean and/or dry it thoroughly.  It is also very limited in the quantity that it is able to handle.

At the end of the meal, I think I prefer using a knife and saving the extra clean up time with this little device.  If keeping the strong garlic odor off your fingers is a primary concern as it is to me. . . use disposable food service gloves.

If you decide to get yourself a Garlic Tractor, leave a comment and let us know what fun things you tried, whether they worked or whether it didn't do so swell. . . I love hearing from you

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