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How to Chop, Dice, Julienne or Slice Fresh Peas, Part 1: Chopping July 31, 2007

Posted by Sobek in Uncategorized.
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I’m just leaving this one uncategorized, because we don’t have a category for taking a joke waaaaaaaay too far.  But as a tribute to two comments in the recipe thread below, by Harrison and LauraW, which had me laughing harder than I’ve laughed in quite some time, I’m about to take a joke waaaaaaaay too far.

Below the jump, of course.

How to Chop, Dice, Julienne or Slice Fresh Peas

Part 1: Chopping

You will need:

Fresh peas

One clean razor blade

A cutting board

A black magic marker

A box of Band-aids

Some people believe that chopping fresh peas is simply a matter of putting a lot of peas on a cutting board and chopping them without paying attention to the relative size of the resulting pieces, or even whether all of the peas get chopped.  Such casual disregard for proper chopping procedure can result in peas that get more squished than chopped, pieces of uneven (and therefore aesthetically unpleasing) shape, and ultimately a meal that you would be ashamed to serve to, say, the Queen of Belgium, should she happen to pop in for a bite.

First, any time you want to chop something, it’s good to get to know the parts of the vegetable.  Here we have a simple diagram of a pea:

pea01.jpg

You will notice that the pea consists of four distinct parts: the top, the bottom, the inside and the outside.  Each part has its own culinary peculiarities that advanced chefs know how to exploit for maximum flavor and texture, but we’ll save those details for a more advanced course.

The first step is to put the pea you want to chop on the cutting board.  You are now ready to make the first incision, which must be done along a hemispherical line from top to bottom:

pea02.jpg

Most peas won’t come with the dotted hemisphere line already on it, so this is where you will need your magic marker.  Carefully make a dotted line from the top of the pea to the bottom.  It is of critical importance that this line transect the two poles of the pea, because if you deviate from the line, you risk an uneven cut, and if the first cut is uneven, all subsequent cuts will be as well, and you will end up having to discard the pea.  If you are uncomfortable with your line-drawing skills, some specialty shops sell laser-pointer devices that will put a laser line down the hemisphere so you can make your lines as precise as possible.

pea03.jpg

Figure 3 illustrates how the first cut is made with the razor blade.  Again it is critical that this cut be made along the hemisphere line.  If you try to cut from the sides first, then by the time you get past the half-way point, the base of the remaining, uncut pea will not be able to support the pressure of the razor blade, and you will end up crushing the bottom, resulting in uneven cuts and mushy pulp.

pea04.jpg

When slicing, remember to move the razor in a back-and-forth motion, instead of simply pushing down.

pea05.jpgThis is wrong, and you should be ashamed of yourself if you even thought of doing it like this.

Once the initial cut is complete, separate the two hemispheres, placing the cut side down.  In this manner, the based on the chopped pea will be able to withstand the pressure of subsequent cuts without losing structural integrity.  The next cut is along the equator line (now that the hemispherical pea is on its side, the equator line looks like the original hemisphere line), which you will also need to draw in with your magic marker.

pea06.jpg

The pea hemisphere is now ready to be cut into two pieces.  Although we separated the two hemispheres after the initial cut, we want to keep the two quarters together so that we can make six lateral cuts in the north-south direction, followed by six cuts in the east-west direction.  This leaves the hemisphere chopped into an aesthetically-presentable grid pattern, featuring no jagged edges or crushed segments.  Repeat the steps for the second hemisphere.

By this point, you will have accidentally cut your fingers several times with the razor blade.  Do not be concerned — this is a normal part of the chopping process.  If you are truly committed to your meal, you will be willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary.  However, if you find yourself enjoying the cuts, you may be emo.  This is a very serious condition, whereby you believe that you are hopelessly miserable because you are unattractive to the opposite sex, so you act and dress in a manner that is scientifically the least likely to actually attract anyone of the opposite sex.

Like humans, sometimes peas can be emo.  I strongly recommend that you avoid using these peas in your meal.

pea07.jpg

Note that the emo pea is paler than a normal pea, its grooming habits leave a lot to be desired, and it has probably just finished listening to The Cure.  If you cut this pea, it will probably thank you, but again, it is simply not worth the risk.  It will probably start quoting bad poetry about how miserable it is, how all the other peas in the pod hated it, and how life is just a shattered reflection in the mirror of agonized souls, or similar garbage.  If you find that you are emo, I recommend an emergency haircut and 3 hours of any music featuring Gene Krupa.

Next week:  How to julienne your fresh peas.

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Comments»

1. Retired Geezer - July 31, 2007

*stands quietly in awe of Sobek*

That’s just… just…

*breaks into tears*

2. TattooedIntellectual - July 31, 2007

Must the pea be fresh, would frozen substitute in a pinch?

And I’ll second the awe :)

3. BrewFan - July 31, 2007

You missed your calling, I’m afraid.

4. harrison - July 31, 2007

Look, Lauraw!
We’re Muses!

5. geoff - July 31, 2007

I just linked this from JYB, but I fear that I may have implied that Skinbad is a “vegansexual.”

Maybe “fear” isn’t the right word. “Rejoice?” Yeah, that’s better.

6. Pupster - July 31, 2007

Uh…Geoff? Regardless of Skinbad’s sexual proclivities, this post is by sobek.

7. lauraw - July 31, 2007

How did this happen??? Too much, Sobek!

The emo pea is adorable, BTW. I want one in the form of a plush doll about the size of a small throw pillow. But not flat like a pillow. An actual fat little stuffed pea with a poor attitude.

8. geoff - July 31, 2007

Oops. I’ll be needing to correct that right away, won’t I.

9. geoff - July 31, 2007

All better. Sorry about that.

10. kevlarchick - July 31, 2007

She’s darling. Poor little pea. You’re right lauraw, she would make a snuggly wuggly pillow.

11. geoff - July 31, 2007

Heh. After all her protestations, RWS is back.

12. daveintexas - July 31, 2007

Peas.

gross.

(but this is funnay. and properly categorized now)

13. eddiebear - July 31, 2007

Wow. And to think I would just mash my peas into my potatoes.

14. BrewFan - July 31, 2007

Eddie,

FYI its ok to gloat a little. Your team did good.

15. skinbad - July 31, 2007

Impressive.

My father-in-law cannot not instruct anyone consuming mixed vegetables to “eat every carrot and pea on your plate.”

16. Retired Geezer - July 31, 2007

My father-in-law cannot not instruct anyone consuming mixed vegetables to “eat every carrot and pea on your plate.”

Well, now I’m sorry we didn’t take you up on your invitation to Thanksgiving Dinner, when we were in SLC.

17. Retired Geezer - July 31, 2007

For anyone who doesn’t know what Emo is, Hope is emo.

It’s a Parody of an emo chick with nice hooters (had to tempt Michael).

Some people believed it was true but it was done by an actress, Christa Flanagan, who is pretty hottt.
I’ll post the link below so I don’t end up in the spam filter.

18. Retired Geezer - July 31, 2007

Christa Flanagan Link

Wow, 3 comments in a row.

/Wicked Pinto mode

19. Mr Minority - July 31, 2007

Sobek,
Have you ever though about a career in Technical Writing?

It is your calling, don’t deny it. You have the anal retentiveness of a good Tech Writer. Don’t let the stigma of Tech Writers being called “nerds”, “geeks” “hey, you flaming asshole, get of my face!” deter you from your destiny.

Embrace it!!

20. lauraw - July 31, 2007
21. lauraw - July 31, 2007
22. daveintexas - July 31, 2007

yeah, that makes it better. thanks.

23. S. Weasel - July 31, 2007

So this is what happens when you mash up Shop Class and Home Ec.

24. Sobek - July 31, 2007

Is there some way to ban LauraW from posting links?

25. eddiebear - July 31, 2007

Brewfan:

Well, 6 games back is not that great either. I just need to see the Cubs crash and burn again.

*looks nervously around for Mesa*

Oh, and here we go (WARNING! NSFW VIA POTTY MOUTH! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!)

26. lauraw - July 31, 2007

lol, Sobek!

27. BrewFan - July 31, 2007

I just need to see the Cubs crash and burn again.

From your lips to God’s ear.

28. eddiebear - July 31, 2007

^Honestly, I believe that the world may implode if the Cubs win the WS. But, in their minds, just making it would be enough.

29. Mrs. Michael - July 31, 2007

That’s the last time I use peas in a recipe with you guys!

But I like the idea of the pillow — a Snuggly Wuggly Peawow!

30. Sobek - July 31, 2007

Snuggly Wuggly:

31. Mrs. Michael - July 31, 2007

Awwwww! Sobeck — that is cute!

32. euphrosyne1115 - August 1, 2007

May all the gods of humor rain blessings upon your beautifully twisted mind. I may never recover from the emo pea.

33. mesablue - August 1, 2007

Just making it would NOT be enough. We just did that with the Bears. And, we don’t want to be the next Cleveland.

Here in Detroit they seemed to be happy to just make it (it was pretty cool to go to a WS game — the only one they won).

We are used to heartbreak. But a loss in the WS would be devastating after waiting for so long.

Speaking of cracsing and burning. How are the Tards doing now? Nice defense of the title.

Though, I’m still not getting my hopes up. Way too early and way too many years of bizarre let downs.

34. Cardinals Fan - August 1, 2007

True, we are not in first place now. But, you can’t win every year.

*Drives by Busch Stadium to see the WS Banner*

35. BrewFan - August 1, 2007

*Drives by Busch Stadium to see the WS Banner*

Thats cold.

36. mesablue - August 1, 2007

Hey, we have a few WS banners.

They are just kinda — old.

37. BrewFan - August 1, 2007

Hey, we have a few WS banners.

*light bulb goes on!*

Hey, so do we!

38. Anonymous - December 13, 2007

OH SHUT UP

39. Anonymous - December 13, 2007

”OH SHUT UP”
dont try to be my mom you idiot

40. Anonymous - December 13, 2007

did you call me an idiot

you &*%$#@!!

41. Anonymous - December 13, 2007

sasy it you chick en why dont you
BAUCK BAUCK!! BAUCK BAUCK

42. Anonymous - December 13, 2007

why dont you show your name heh

ON THE FIRST DAY OF ANONYMOUSTISTISFIS….

43. Anonymous - December 13, 2007

let me finish it off..

44. RETIRED GEZZER - December 13, 2007

HELL HELL

45. mesablue - December 13, 2007

REDRUM

46. PEA - January 2, 2008

This is sick sick sick – you should all be ashamed of yourselves making jokes about killing and slicing up poor innocent peas.

It makes me pea sick, violent, self gratifying, horiffic and perverted.

47. Anonymous - November 21, 2008

Oh shut up u retards nobody is going to cry

48. wazzup - November 21, 2008

All of ya need to shut the hell up ok

49. Anonymous - November 21, 2008

All of ya need to geta life

50. How to Clean and Prepare Fresh Carrots « Innocent Bystanders - November 21, 2008

[...] by Sobek in Food, Gardening, News. trackback Now that you have had about eighteen months to practice chopping fresh peas, it’s time to learn a new skill: cleaning fresh carrots.  They are very versatile [...]

51. angelica - August 25, 2009

elow msta nah keo?mis q naga keo.

52. lauraw - December 27, 2009

Where did the pea illustrations go?

53. daveintexas - December 27, 2009

peas.

why did it have to be peas?

54. Michael - December 27, 2009

Beats me. They’ve gone missing from our Media Library. If Sobek has copies he can upload them again and put them back in the post.

His carrot illustrations are OK, thank god. We have not lost the entire genre.

55. Sobek - December 27, 2009

I think I deleted them, or maybe they were lost when Dell lost my last computer (I’m not all that impressed with their customer service, btw).

56. Michael - December 27, 2009

IB Factoid of the Day™:

Our media library contains 1610 image files, 11 video files, and 3 audio files.

57. harrison - December 27, 2009

I gotta pea.
BRB.

58. Lipstick - December 27, 2009

Make sure you aim properly.

59. daveintexas - December 27, 2009

eff that

60. Mrs. Harrison - December 27, 2009

Shush Dave!

61. Arlington Wolf Pack - December 27, 2009

*takes tentative step forward*


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