Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Okay, So Maybe One More Posting

A pre-yom tov call was winding to an end when the person I was speaking to asked me, in all seriousness, if I was an up-to-down peeler or a down-to-up peeler. It says something about all the chumras that have materialized among us because my first question was, "Did someone say it's ossur to do it one way or the other?"

Apparently it's not a question of halacha but one of energy conversion. Someone (who reallly, reallly needs to get a life) was watching another person peel potatoes and felt the need to point out that pulling the peeler towards you takes more energy and work than pushing the peeler away from you. It is also possible to establish a faster rhythm and thus save time. An argument ensued as another highly educated person posited that the first person had the physics wrong: pushing the peeler up clearly takes more energy than pushing it down. He pointed out that things fall down, not up. An airplane requires more speed and energy to go up than it does to land.

To those learned gentlemen debating the energy output required if you are an up-peeler or a down-peeler, I say you are both wrong: THE most energy efficient way to peel a potato is to get someone else to do it. It is why God gave women husbands and children. I might further add that having a male-chromosome gives you a 67.09563% greater chance of finding yourself with a peeler in hand.

I don't think that the potatoes care in which direction they are peeled; I surely don't care either. I have only one requirement for peeled potatoes that can be summed up simply: do it now!


Something Different said...

I think there has got to be some time saving thing about using the peeler in whichever way comes most natural to you.

Esty said...

I'm with you on this. potato peeling is what the elves do including the chief male elf. If they want to eat that's their contribution.

Anonymous said...

The best thing to do is to alternate. When the back blade has become dull from pushing, I switch to pulling because the front blade is still sharp. When that blade loses its edge, I buy a new peeler.


mother in israel said...

My mother a"h who really was right about these things all of the time criticized me for peeling toward me. It's also riskier. But I've never gotten the hang of the other way.
Chag kasher ve-sameach.

Rissa said...

Potato peeling and peeling other vegetables has to have been invented to keep the boys home from Eretz Yisroel and yeshiva out of trouble. Every time someone asks me for the car keys I hand them a peeler instead. If the kids start sniping at each other all I have to do for sholom is remind them that I still have 30 pounds of potatoes to be peeled. Works every time.

Peeling up or down? I just tell them to peel away from their fingers, wherever their fingers are holding the potato.