As seen on TV slices choppers always looked so cool. The chefs on the Food Network used them with precision with fast and even food preparation.

I do love to dry fruits and vegetables from the summer harvest and had recently gotten a food dehydrator (more on that on another post!) What a perfect way to have uniform drying than to have uniformly sliced produce? Hence the excursion into hunting a mandoline.

The top rated ones on Amazon tend to be made in China. I’m personally trying to make an effort to buy from  the US; when I can afford it. Otherwise any other country will do. Then I found the German made Swissmar V-Prep 5000.

It comes with a thick and thin slicing guides and thick and thin julienne guides. I wanted to slice some of the always abundant summer zucchini to dry. I found the thin slicing guide and went to work. At first I didn’t think it was working as it seemed too easy, like it was just gliding on the plastic with no feel of cutting. What tipped me off (DOH) was the zucchini was getting shorter! WOW! I wasn’t expecting them to be this sharp. In no time at all I was able to slice 4 to 5 ten to twelve inch sized zucchinis to toss with a little chili oil and Texas Trouble for the USA made Excalibur dehydrator. See Zucchini Chips in the recipe section for dehydration times and details. I LOVE instant gratification (grate-ification?)

Next thing I know my daughter comes in a couple of days later with peaches she and the kids picked at the neighbors. The Finch family has always been the best local gardeners I know and their planting of fruit trees years ago always provides a bountiful and heavy harvest. Sharon needed the fruit off the trees as the limbs were breaking. We were only too glad to oblige!

Depending on the softness of the peach I was able to quickly peel with my hands or a potato peeler to leave their fleshy bodies exposed. From there I cut them in half and sliced those on the thin slicer guide. No chili oil for those puppies, but rather a white cranberry / pear aged basalmic. (Not vinegary at all, but rather like a syrup made without  sugar. The sweetness comes from the grape reduction due to aging 18 years.) Those Peach Chips went to the dehydrator with sweet crunchy results.

A short time later hubby picked more zucchini. Yep, gotta blame someone for the inundation of zucchini coming into the house! Hats off to Farmer Tim for a fantastic harvest!! We were wanting “breakfast” for dinner and grabbing up my mandoline I chose the thin julienne guide and made my way through a potato, part of an onion and yes… zucchini! The under tray that catches everything lent itself to a good mixing trough and with a heated skillet at the ready they cooked crispy on the edges. You can get the Zucchini Hash Brown Recipe HERE.

Oh yes, the cucumbers went mad too! Perfect slices of cucumbers were canned with peppercorns, lemon peel, dill seed, dill weed and sea salt. (Sorry, no recipe yet!) My first canning experience was made easier with the quick produce preparation using my new mandoline!

Once my firm Italian Paste Tomatoes are ripe, they’ll get the slicing treatment too. Probably with the thicker slicer. Every year I dry my own “tomato paste” which isn’t a paste at all, but simply dried tomato rings to add to sauces and soups for a little tomatoey thickening. They literally can last years vacuum packed and still pack a flavorful punch.

I surely would recommend this the Swissmar Borner V-Prep 5000.

My next article will be about that dehydrator. Oh my who doesn’t love new kitchen gadgets?