Slicing bananas like a Fucking Ninja

My grandmother could slice up a banana over a bowl of cereal like a fucking ninja!

As kids, my two older brothers and I would be sitting at her large dining room table. The same table that now sits in my dining room. We’d pour the Rice Krispies from the box. We’d pour the milk from an old ceramic pitcher.

SNAP, CRACKLE, POP, CRACKLE, SNAP, POP, SNAP, POP, CRACKLE, POP…

Then my grandmother would walk in dressed in a 1960’s house-dress, uncomfortable shoes, panty-hose rolled down to just under her knees, a helmet full of bobbie-pins, a razor-sharp knife in one hand and a bunch of bananas in the other.

She’d walk up and stand next to you, pull out a banana… you didn’t have a fucking choice… you didn’t want a banana on your cereal? TOUGH SHIT… you were getting a banana on your cereal.

Then all you saw were flashes of silver blade and flying disks of perfectly sliced bananas and within a few bananoseconds you had a bowl full of Rice Krispies covered in bananas.

This story doesn’t really have anything to do with bananas.

Or Ninjas.

But it does have to do with peeling potatoes.

The other night I walked into the kitchen and my wife was peeling potatoes to make mashed potatoes for dinner. I watched carefully as she held the potato, her thumb on the top side, then she’d… GASP… DRAW THE BLADE TOWARDS HER BODY!!

scream

Granted she was using a vegetable peeler with a large rubber safety grip handle and covered by a few dozen OSHA regulations… but you can never be too cautious.

I quickly programmed 911 into my speed dial and waited for that catastrophic moment when she might slip and slice open her entire forearm or possibly slice off her hand or accidentally slip and jam the potato peeler into her heart.

I questioned her methodology of drawing the blade toward her body rather than away from herself as I had learned from all my hunter-gatherer friends that had trained me in my limited outdoor skills and blade-wielding techniques. While I pontificated, she continued peeling the potatoes. Rather eloquently I might add, with each piece of peel landing in a nice little organized pile in the sink.

I asked my daughter, who was standing nearby, how she peeled potatoes. “Do you pull the blade toward you or push it away from you?”

“I usually pull it towards me” she said, “but I do it both ways, I guess.”

Whoa…….

I’ve peeled more potatoes in my life than a boot-camp marine. But I peel potatoes like an elementary school age Cub Scout on the first day of summer camp, who has just earned his right to carry a pocket knife. Give that kid a knife and within an hour or two of slicing and dicing and little shards of flying wood, he will have carved a few dozen sticks into pencil shapes and a few logs into spears.

With any luck you’ll have only gone through a few band aids and no trips to the emergency room.

That’s how I peel a potato… like a Cub Scout on the first day of summer camp!

Pick up the potato, hold it out in front of you, and start swiping the peeler AWAY FROM YOU. Hunks of peel fly off the potato in all directions, similar to when you are cutting your fingernails in a hotel room.

Gross… I don’t really do that.

But that’s how I peel a potato. I’d never think of drawing the blade TOWARD ME.

That must be how the pros do it. Or how women do it. Or how professional chefs do it. Or how Ninjas do it.

Come to think it of it, that’s how my grandmother used to slice the bananas.

Like a fucking ninja!

Maybe this post really was about bananas.

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33 Comments

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33 responses to “Slicing bananas like a Fucking Ninja

  1. I had to think for a minute, but I definitely pull it towards me. Being careful not to take off my thumb. Mostly because I’m on blood thinner. So far so good.

  2. I’m looking forward to what I hope will be a forthcoming post on what weird search terms bring people to this post. I mean, the possibilities are frighteningly endless. It’s got grandmother, ninjas, bananas, cub scouts, the f-word.

    Oh, and nice job on ‘bananosecond.’ I love that.

  3. Are you going to hurt us all with this bananan post! I just am stupid to try peeling it the other way – not towards me and almost ended up hurt. Naah… too ignorant of you. And by the way, I almost peeled my finger while peeling Carrots!

  4. I do it like your wife does, but my Grandma used to do the same thing with a paring knife, and her peels would be so thin and consistant you’d swear a machine did it.

  5. Hahahaha….I peel away from myself, because I would sure as shit stab myself in the heart or possibly lose and eye. Safety first when you are a clutz is my motto. Great post 🙂

  6. You could never be a chef.

    PS: “Bananoseconds.” Heh, heh.

  7. Nobody can slice bananas like that generation could. It’s a lost art.

  8. I’m a ninja banana slicer, but I’ve never peeled produce toward me. Now I have to try it, because I haven’t seen an emergency room in awhile.

  9. ᴀ ɴᴇᴡ ʏᴏʀᴋ ᴍɪɴᴜᴛᴇ

    Little-known and slightly related fact: There’s a long-lost fourth member of the Snap/Crackle/Pop gang. Pow. He represented Rice Krispies’ explosive nutritional value.

  10. I peel towards me mostly too. I think I sometimes peel carrots away from me though. All around the world, thousands, probably 10s of thousands, of people are air-miming peeling after reading this post to check what they do. My other half’s mother who is in her 80s sharpens knives in a terrifying way that we can’t watch, slashing the blade quickly and aggressively on the sharpening stone thing. The elderly folk probably have better knife skills than most city gang members.

  11. Sorry, Steve, I peel towards me too. And not with a vegetable peeler but with a paring knife. I never mastered the art of a vegetable peeler except when peeling carrots or parsnips… and then I peel away from me. Go figure. LOL! My grandmother used to make us “banana soup”. It was a bowl of sliced bananas covered in milk and sprinkled with sugar. We loved it! I can’t imagine my kids eating that now. LOL

  12. Whoa, too freaky! I was just peeling potatoes yesterday to make broccoli-potato soup and nearly sliced my fingers and I slice AWAY from my body. (I’m a huge klutz so this is not surprising.)

    And did grandmas all go to school to learn how to slice bananas like that? My mom used to do that too! you don’t want bananas in your cereal? Too bad, too late.

  13. Pingback: Hello From Sunny Elsewhere | Jess Witkins' Happiness Project

  14. How did we live before Ninjas?
    Knives always cut away – always. No exceptions. They used to drill it into kids brains. “You want a pocket knife? – always cut away from you or I’ll take it away from you.”
    Guess ER rooms located every 2 feet in the neighborhoods and that “instant bandage” glue has changed the culture?

  15. Whoa. I can’t believe there are intelligent human beings roaming this earth who would be so reckless as to peel and/or cut TOWARD themselves.

    I also can’t believe you can use “fuck” and “grandmother” in the same sentence.

  16. That first sentence is epic. Epic.

  17. How did I miss this one way back in March? You really crack me up! I am picturing your grandma in her house coat with the panty hose and hair-do slicing away at the bananas. Ha,ha. I can also feel the fear you and your brother felt about saying that you didn’t want banana on your cereal. Too funny!

    I have to admit that I am guilty of peeling and slicing towards my body. I feel like I have better control of the peeler/knife that way and it all falls nicely on the counter or sink. The other way it’s like vomiting peels all over the place with no control of where they land! Just sayin. 🙂

  18. Al

    I really have no preference because I can slice my finger equally well with either method. But it is going to get sliced, of that you can be sure.

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