I don’t pay much attention to the boldface, all-caps warnings on tags attached to mattresses and pillows that threaten punishment nothing short of the guillotine for tearing them off. The thick, pseudo-plastic paper is meant to intimidate, intimate indestructibility, but I have defied the authorities, I have. I have torn a few of those mattress tags off in my lifetime. I am one of those people.
“Those people.” I’m one of those people who have no regard for — I don’t even know if there is a single descriptive term for it so I have to make it up — product administration. You know. It’s all that “Important! Please read!” administrative stuff represented by a hundred different pieces of paper, postcards, and pamphlets that come spilling out of the box like giant plastic-protected confetti when you open up your brand new…Charcoal grill.
Home laser hair removal kit. (Oops, too much information?)
It’s actually unnecessary to identify myself as part of “those people,” as if they were a separate and distinct group from the people who actually do fill out Product Warranty postcards and mail them in. With a stamp. No one does that. No one does not remove the Do Not Remove tag. No one calls the Product Registration hotline and registers their product. No one heeds the yellow slip of paper thrown into the box as a legal afterthought with a choking hazard warning. No one uses the the Assembly Instructions to assemble their products. No one reads the User Manual to, you know, use their products.
No one does any of that. I don’t do any of that.
While I don’t do any of that “Important! Please read” stuff like most normal people don’t do, I do abnormally collect and save every single piece of product administrivia for every single product I own, including the Silver-Reed EX42 electronic typewriter I used in high school that is now sitting, fully functional but fallow, under my bed. Warranty forms, Registration postcards, safety manuals, instruction booklets, et al are slipped into plastic binder sleeves, alpha-ordered first by product type, second by brand name, then Brother labeled in large, san serif font, easily search- and readable in the low light of the closet in which they are stored. The user manual and label reordering information for my Brother Label Maker is filed under O – Office, B – Brother.
It was a long debate whether it should be H – Home office. Brevity won over accuracy.
There is some overarching argument for saving those things, otherwise manufacturers wouldn’t write, edit, print, and package them with every product they ship in the first place, but I am not sure why I specifically do it when it seems there are very few other people who do. Obviously, I can attribute it partly to genetics, as I have seen the same sort of organizational compulsion in my Dad, but I can’t really identify the (ir)rationale in my head that makes me think this is a good idea.
Maybe it’s a fear of commitment. I’m afraid that when I discard all those papers that were part of the “original packaging,” I have thrown away any chance I might have had to return the product, or at the very least exchange it. I don’t do well with product commitments. Along with all that Product Administration, I save and file away every receipt. If I wanted to, I could at least try to return that 15-year-old typewriter.
Maybe it’s the opposite fear – separation anxiety that is displaced and weirdly manifests itself as clinginess to…limited warranties.
Or maybe it’s the belief that there is some nugget of information buried in those papers; that it can only be found in the original hard copy; that it will be necessary and sought after some day; that I will be the one and only person who will be in possession of the dual-duty Instruction Manual slash Recipe Booklet that comes with the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence ICE-30BC Ice Cream Maker; that when Debbie makes that clarion google call for the recipe for Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream from that manual because she threw hers out in a holier-than-cow moment of spring cleaning and lands on The Delicious Life, by God! The Delicious Life can run to her hall closet, pull down an appropriately labeled binder, flip to K – Kitchen, C – Cuisinart and Be! Her! Savior!
My weird habit has been justified!
I’ve copied the recipe below, Debbie. And if you need instructions on how to insert the correction ribbon on a Silver-Reed EX42 typewriter, drop me an email.
Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe
from the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Ice Cream Maker Recipe Booklet
Makes ~ 14 ½ cup servings
Ice Cream Ingredients
- 3 cups fresh ripe strawberries, stemmed and sliced
- 4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 2¾ cups heavy cream
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- In a small bowl, combine the strawberries with the lemon juice and ½ cup of sugar. Stir gently and allow strawberries to macerate in the juices for 2 hours. Strain the berries, reserving the juices. Mash or puree half the berries.
- In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and remaining granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 – 2 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream, reserved strawberry juice, mashed strawberries, and vanilla.
- Turn the [ice cream] machine on; pour the mixture into the freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20 – 25 minutes. Five minutes before mixing is completed, add the reserved sliced strawberries and let mix in completely. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to sn airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours.
- Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.
Note: This ice cream will have a “natural” appearance of very pale pink. If a deeper pink is desired, add red food coloring sparingly by drops until desired color is achieved.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
- Calories: 275 (58% from fat)
- Carb: 28g
- Pro: 2g
- Fat: 18g
- Sat Fat: 11g
- Chol: 67mg
- Sod: 29 mg
- Calc: 64mg
- Fiber 1g