I have a few Pampered Chef items that were given to me by a daughter-in-law --- which I like a lot and use a lot. Until last month I had never been to one of their parties. It was interesting and kinda fun but the cheapskate in me didn't like the prices, or the shipping/handling charge added to deliver it to the home of the hostess.
I'm sorry but that is just how I am or more than likely, how all cheapskates are.
I rarely buy potato chips because I love them and I cannot eat just one! I really liked the PC microwave potato chip maker that was demonstrated at the party but I was really turned off by the price and the fact that it is basically a one-purpose wonder.
I think my brain is conditioned to automatically start thinking up ways to recreate what ever makes my eyes light up. Or the dollar $igns!
I wanted to buy something to support the party but after less than two and one-half minutes of rationalizing $26 for two round holey surfaces of microwaveable plastic my brain kicked into gear.
Thus, the photos below I located on the internet (because Dave isn't home to take my pictures for me).
As soon as I got home I raided my microwave-able plastic-pieces storage box looking for holey things. I first uncovered the old steamer thingey I've had for years (and has been buried and laying dormant for about the same length of time.) It's the photo with the salmon, lemon slice and sprig of something. Rosemary maybe?
And it did quite a good job making potato chips.
The next day I found it necessary to drop by the thrift store and found this extremely labor-intensive, and probably, up until now, one-purpose, microwave bacon cooker for $1.25 . Bingo! (See the photo with the bacon carefully stretched and skewered between the uprights?) That's the Bacon Wave "as seen on TV" for $ 9.88. But, if you call in the next 10 minutes. . .
|Old steamer thingey|
|The "Bacon Wave" as seen on TV. . .|
Okay, here's what you do.
1. Scrub a potato or two really well but don't bother peeling.
2. Use the thinnest slicer on the mandolin* to slice the potato.
3. Place one slice in each of the upright slots. (It seems to work a little better if you either use just the two outer rows of slots or skip every other one. It won't take too long to experiment.
4. Microwave on high for two or three 4-minute intervals, depending on your microwave. They will crisp up as they cool down. (Cool off is probably more correct but I liked how crisp up--cool down sounded)
I didn't salt or season them because I knew we were going to dip them heavily into sour cream onion dip! But you could if you wanted. You could also very lightly spray them or rub them with oil but I didn't notice much difference so why the extra calories?
*Mandolin (sometimes spelled mandoline) --- a very handy item that slices and dices thinly and evenly (and will quickly remove part of your finger if you 1) do not use the guard and/or 2) are not careful). You can buy one at a PC party for a lot of money. I just found a used PC one on e-bay for $48.99 and it didn't have the box! You can buy other brands for more than that!
I did find an older PC one recently at my thrift store for $2.50 (also without the box) and I don't think it works any better than the one I bought for brand new at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $10.00, including the box! Actually, $10 is misleading, I used BB&B's 20 percent off coupon!
This is the one I use all the time and it hasn't failed me yet.
Even if it does finally get dull, compared to the others out there, it would be a small price to pay for a new one. (Especially if you have a coupon!)
PS. Just so you know I'm not totally cheap or clueless about these party things I did buy a stirrer/mixer/whipper thing that I couldn't figure how to whip up myself ---- it does do three things (stir/whip/mix)
I split the shipping charge with two neighbors!