Thursday, December 13, 2007

"8 Seconds Is All You Need"

As I mentioned before, I have recently become a student of an entertainment phenomenon: the infomercial. Some seem to go on and on. Some are entertaining. Some make me question, "Who in their right mind would want that product?"

The one infomercial product that has most caught my eye - for some reason - is Tater Mitts. (You may see the infomercial on the official web site.) It may be because the commercial for Tater Mitts is the most frequently run advertisement between 12 midnight at 5 a.m. on the weekends here in our area. And, it may be because I've inherited the family fascination with kitchen gadgets. (Yes, we are one of those families who had the food dehydrator... among other curiosities.)

The point of the Tater Mitts? To avoid peeling potatoes: the risk of cutting a finger while carrying out the task, the waste sometimes created when peeling, and the torturous, I-must-sit-down-and-rest-between-spuds hard work.

"8 Seconds Is All You Need." That's what the infomercial and web site claim. And, with an 8 second rub-a-dub-dub with the Tater Mitts, your potato is supposed to become skinless.

I must admit I have been pre-occupied with the thought of this product and have wondered what crazy creation is glued on those rubber gloves to make the potato skins come off so easily. (Yes, I have even had a dream about it.)

Today, the mystery vanished. I saw behind the curtain. And, after viewing the lower right hand side of the web site home page, I have felt tricked. Betrayed. Disappointed.

*Potatoes must be blanched prior to peeling with Tater Mitts

WHAT?!?!?!?!? BLANCHED?!?!?!?!? That isn't advertised in the infomercial. There isn't one single mention of this fact. The ad should state "8 seconds plus 20 - 30 minutes is all you need." Tater Mitt Makers, do you know how long it takes for me to boil water??? (That's probably because I'm always watching the pot.) And, what if I am making a big batch of potatoes for something? I'm sure most of you could imagine it... me there in the kitchen with a full load of slippery hot potatoes. Some would be on the floor. I'd find some new way of burning myself, I am sure. It wouldn't be pretty.

In short, it seems it would be a ton of extra trouble to use the Tater Mitts with the blanching step compared to the regular way. I think I could probably just get down to work and get the entire bag peeled before my water was ready. I guess I might order a set if I were a person prone to cutting herself - Wait! I am that exact kind of person! I should probably get on the phone and order some Tater Mitts right away.

What do you think? Have any favor kitchen gadgets that you wouldn't want to live without?


jsarber said...

That's hilarious. I've seen that infomercial and not once do they mention the potatoes must be blanched. By the way, I didn't know what that meant until I read your post.

The only kitchen gadget I can think of I wouldn't want to lose is the coffee maker. Does that count?

Dani said...

hahahaha, you have me rolling here. hehehehe.

strem said...

Jeremy, it can count. I could do completely without mine if it were not for visits from my parents and church folks during church meetings. But, it can count for you.

Anonymous said...


Hate to tell you but the whole secret is in the blanching ... once that's done you could use a scrubby sponge and get the same effect :-)

You really should write for a living, you had Terri and I laughing out loud with your commentary!


strem said...

Yes, blanching. That's exactly what I was thinking. I thought I could probably just rub the potatoes on my nice wintery dry hands and it would do the trick after blanching. No need for gloves! (By the way, prior to this post and these comments, I don't think I've ever written or said the words blanch or blanching in my life.) Glad you had some fun reading the post, and glad Terri is able to join in on the fun too!

mike3e said...

So funny, Strem!!! When I see those infomercials I always think about the person who wrote and the person who is reading the voice-over. Honestly, how many takes does it require? Does the voice-over artist ever laugh at the lunacy of it all?

Dennis and Donna have a Ronco Rotisserie cooker thingy. You know -- "Set it and forget it!" They said that as soon as they opened the box, they were immediately confronted by a a piece of white paper on top of the cooker that said in capital letters:

mike3e said...

Correction: It wasn't a piece of paper. It was a yellow sticker affixed to the front window of the Rotisserie. Dennis tells me it was very difficult to remove, but they couldn't use the cooker until he did.

strem said...

Mike, please thank Dennis and Donna for their story. The warning is hilarious... and so is the fact that it was a sticker. As I think you know, I cannot stand super-sticky stickers being put on products. One of my top pet peeves. Especially on something that heats up - like a rotisserie. What were they thinking??? (They weren't.)

Also, please advise on this matter. Ever since I wrote the initial post, I meant to write about the statement they claimed about the 8 seconds.

Should it be "8 seconds ARE all you need" or are they correct with "8 seconds is all you need" ??? Donna has the answer, I'm sure. I could see the reason for having it either way.

mike3e said...

My guess (without consulting Donna) is that "8 seconds" is regarded as a singular period of time, and therefore may be treated as such. It seems to me that the British might not agree, though -- they more often lean toward plural.

I'll ask Donna for a ruling. :)

Chelle said...

Somehow I've missed the Tater Mitts infomercials. What a hoot!

We love the George Foreman grills. They are easy to use and also easy to clean. My Mom has a GT Xpress and doesn't hate it. Oh, and my Dad thinks Hercules Hooks are great...but those aren't really kitchen gadgets. :o)

coffee said...

Tater Mitts... why didn't I think of that?