Devoted readers know I have long been obsessed with the ease with which one can kill or maim oneself in the kitchen. Just the other day, a Toast commenter had to curtail their weightlifting after nearly losing a finger to their immersion blender. My father needed stitches after slicing a bagel. And, of course, avocados:
Just ask April Stewart Klausner, a New York illustrator and accomplished cook. Recently Ms. Klausner, 56, severed four tendons, multiple nerves and a blood vessel in her hand while pitting an avocado, something she’d done countless times.
Gushing blood and unable to feel or move two fingers, she was taken by ambulance to an emergency room. The injury required more than three hours of surgical repair and many months of painful rehab. It will take at least a year for the injured nerves to heal, and Ms. Klausner can only hope her hand will function normally, enabling her to resume her career full-speed.
The therapists at Lang Hand Therapy in Manhattan told her she was the fourth “avocado victim” they’d seen that month.
The comments are deliciously filled with tales of burns and cuts and gouges and spills and falls and blood-soaked paper towels, don’t miss them.
Often, these injuries are gadget-based, leading me to think that many kitchen gadgets fall into two categories: murderous and useful, or benign and never used (the loneliness of the salmon poacher!)
I’m a gadget monster, 100%. I waste an exceptional amount of money on doo-hickeys for cooking, some of which just collect dust (stupid bread machine, stupid citrus zester, stupid egg boiler that goes in the microwave), and some of which I use every day (the Cuisinart Griddler: it’s like a butch George Foreman grill that never melts). I also use my ice cream maker a lot, mostly for carrot cake ice cream and for innovatively pouring chopped-up Reese’s cups into Alton Brown’s chocolate ice cream.
So, let’s hear it. How have you injured yourself, what gadgets scare you, and which ones deserve a permanent place in your home?
And do you own the toaster that also cooks little eggs for you so you can make your own McMuffins? Because it’s gold.
Nicole is an Editor of The Toast.