Friday, November 9, 2012

Fie, Fie, Foe, Friday. I love my Peugeot.

My ancient Peugeot pepper mill, far better than their cars,
 from what I can tell.
Back when I was newly married for the first time, I had a neighbors named Jeannie and George. We lived in the same apartment complex, and were part of a group of young married people there. Most weekends the guys golfed together and the women shopped or played tennis. Then we'd all meet at one apartment or another for dinner and we'd all bring whatever food and liquor we had to party on Saturday night. It was a blast.

Jeannie was staying home with one child, and had another on the way and since my work schedule got me home early, we hung out quite a bit together. I was also the person she called when she got stranded out on the road.  And that was a lot.  Jeannie drove a Peugeot station wagon back in the late 1970's, and that had to be the most unreliable automobile I have ever encountered in my life. This was, and still is, a neighborhood loaded with high-end automobiles, and back then, it was quite classy to drive an expensive-to-fix import.  At least once a week, it seemed like I was either fetching her and her 3 year old somewhere, or else taking her over to the dealership to pick up said car after yet another repair. My old Datsun B210, while having a lesser pedigree, was practically amphibious, and always got me where I needed to be. 

There is no longer a Peugeot dealer around here; the Philadelphia Main Line is littered with Lexus, Mercedes and BMW dealerships, one in nearly every town. I have no idea if Peugeot even still makes and exports cars here, but even 30 or so years later, I, for sure, would not buy one. I do have another kind of Peugeot, several in fact, and the oldest of them is more than 35 years old and it still works great. It's a pepper mill.

Working in the kitchenware business, you acquire a lot of kitchen gadgets, and at least half of them are really unnecessary. A high quality pepper mill does not fall into that category. Sure, you can crush pepper in a mortar, or even with a mallet or a sturdy wine bottle. But for evenness of grinding, and getting the exact grind needed for each dish, there is no substitute for a good mill. If you were one of my cooking students, I'd tell you to choose one of these Peugeot mills, because good tools can make you a much better cook.

Despite a famous cooking magazine choosing another brand as their top pick, my choice is still my Peugeot. They must make better gears for their pepper mills than they did for their cars. This one that I love the most, has been dropped into stock pots, and stews, been knocked onto the floor a thousand times and was one time stolen by a puppy to use as a chew toy. It still works perfectly. Even with the tiny tooth marks. It's an old fashioned style, it's beat up, but it still runs. All the newer, and far better looking ones work equally as well, because Peugeot really knows how to build a mill. They tend to sit on the dinner table where appearance is more important. But when I'm cranking out a meal, its the old one I keep at hand. I love my old Peugeot pepper mill.

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