Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 13, 2010

Guest Blogger – David Caruba

Caruba Coughs Up the Cuisinart!

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with children’s publishing? Well, nothing. If that’s a problem, kindly move along to the next blog, a fascinating exploration of the solitary asparagus and its influence on creating picture book characters that matter. It’s by Mildred Honeydew, a favorite of many in the chapter.

Still with me? Lovely. About a month ago, in a fit of writer’s block madness (for more about my guest blog on the subject, click here), I fell in love with a New Orleans Jazz Fest print by artist Terrance Osborne. Here it is:   

My wife was a good sport about it—even with the framing bill that was a mortgage payment in and of itself (because what the hell, if you’re going to do it, do it right!).

The poster had a twin, done by the artist three years earlier, and completely sold out. AND I HAD TO HAVE IT!!! What good is writer’s block if you can’t plead insanity and drop nose-bleed amounts of greenbacks to score a sudden must-have. And what price is art, I ask.

I skipped a car payment, reconsidered the need for groceries for a month, and bought poster #2 from the after-market. You can see my now reposed car here. Here’s poster #2,

safely hanging in my bedroom, here. Which would you pay for?

I stalled telling my wife for two weeks. News like this does not go over well. Eventually, though, I had to fess up. Which brings us to my sudden interest in Cuisinarts. According to my wife, a brand new food processor deluxe might just save my new poster and my marriage. Though I could ill afford it, into Bed, Bath & Beyond I jogged (three miles there, three miles home—sucks not having a car!).

Cuisinart food processors and I have an illustrious history, much like the institution of marriage. Back in the late’80s, and foodies out there might recall this, Cuisinart introduced the first non-professional, for home model. It was slender and sleek, easily recognizable in a wrapped gift box. What it lacked in sheer size (it handled maybe a half cup!), it contained in horse power and TSIC (time saved in chopping).

And lucky me, I received a wedding invitation from my friend, Michael. I arrived at the blessed affair, Cuisinart in hand; I proudly presented my gift at an appropriate moment during the reception. Michael’s response: a cross between a frown and a look of disbelief. “It’s a *censored by K. Temean* Cuisinart,” I sputtered. Like, idiot, isn’t the shape of the box obvious enough? Show me the joy.

Turns out it was (obvious enough). Michael gestured to the gift table. My Cuisinart was #15. They were all nicely lined up in a row—like handsome, tasteful, toy soldiers. “Thanks so much,” Michael said through gritted teeth. What he meant was: thanks for the enema, ass*censored by D. Caruba, seconds before K. Temean*.

A year or two later Michael was divorced, and as a testament to my generosity, his ex took the Cuisinart (along with the house, half the bank account and both tickets to a Caribbean cruise—not bitter was she). Not that it was a problem; Michael had 14 more (Cuisinarts, that is, post-divorce he was too broke to afford a vacation).

Michael landed on his feet, in part because what single woman doesn’t appreciate a man with a Cuisinart (14 of them, to be precise), and soon remarried. I saw no purpose in bringing him another gift (he had 14 of what I’d bring, after all), so I simply brought a card: “Enjoy the Cuisinart!” I wrote, along with, “May your marriage bring you years of joy and crushed garlic.”

It brought him three years, and a lot of crushed garlic. When the honeymoon was over, so went another Cuisinart. But not to fret, he had 13 others. And on the bright side, as the moving truck departed with Michael’s car, two dogs, and half his bank savings, the thoughtfulness of my original gift shined like a matrimonial beacon.

Spouses come and spouses go and nothing spells he’s-a-keeper like a man who shreds his own pesto, cuts his own minced veggies and serves a wicked bowl of freshly ground salsa (heavenly on the finely graded jalapenos). Michael was a star, and so was his third wife to be, who was good with his slightly diminished closet d’Cuisinarts.

This marriage—I firmly believed—was the keeper. And keep the Cuisinarts she did: five of them, because what else was there left for alimony that his previous ex-wives hadn’t laid their hands on?

This has a happy ending. Regardless of my advice to Michael: rent, don’t buy, Michael insisted on buying. He and wife #4 are doing well, and for the summer they sent me an overdue thank you note. It read, “Thanks for the Cuisinart from 22 years ago—we really love it” (as well they should). They also sent a can of nicely pureed tomato sauce. And they say marriage is a dying institution.

When all else fails, I sleep in the comfort of my newly single room with two New Orleans Jazz Fest posters beautifully framed on the walls, knowing that Michael has enough Cuisinarts to last two—maybe three more marriages. And that grinding sound I hear late at night, it’s my wife, well on the path of forgiveness.

Thank you David for sharing your story and thank you for offering to blog.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. LOL! Very entertaining =)


  2. Too funny! I still have my original Cuisinart . . . and 34 year marriage.


    • Rebecca,

      Maybe that’s the trick – you have to just get one for a long marriage. Congratulations on the 34 years!



  3. David, you really are too funny! I SO enjoyed that 🙂


  4. That was very humorous, David.

    I, evidently, am the opposite of Michael. I’m on my third Cuisinart (4th blade) and still have the original husband.



  5. David,
    Thanks for sharing your fun story. From a woman’s p.o.v., I must say that no smart woman would ever leave the food processor behind!


  6. David, thanks for the offbeat, entertaining read. You “tell” a great story. By the way, I had thought that the most common wedding gift was not Cuisinarts, but knife sets.



    • Bill,

      Knife sets – that’s scary. Hey bill, when are you going to come out to something in New Jersey?



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