Monday, November 8, 2021

An Anise-Flavored Victory

So I managed to fix my pizzelle iron.

I’m going to celebrate that fact for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that the physical world and I have issues and fixing things is something I generally leave to others, particularly when there is electricity involved.

The fact that I spent nearly a quarter of a century doing theatrical lighting is just one of those ironies.

I didn’t think it was possible to fix a pizzelle iron, to be honest. It’s basically a heating element with a hinge, and there didn’t seem to be a way to access anything inside of it. But a friend pointed out that it was indeed possible – even easy, once you knew where to look – and several days of researching new pizzelle irons convinced me that I should try to fix the old one before I did anything else.

Apparently the one I have is considered the God King of Pizzelle Irons – used ones can go for up to $300 on eBay, which is a lot more than they sold for when I got it in 1989 or so – and it is a sad commentary on the moral depravity of late-stage capitalism that the company that made them got dismantled by some corporate takeover artist back in the late 90s. You didn’t know there was a God King of Pizzelle Irons, did you? Or that such a thing was enough of a target to come to the attention of corporate lowlifes like that? Well, now you do.

So I fished the box out of the trash can where I had dumped it in a low moment and brought it back inside, where it sat for the better part of a week while I avoided the issue. It’s been a long year. Avoiding issues is a luxury that I seldom get these days and I wanted to take advantage of it while I could. Eventually I found the ratchet set in the basement and brought that upstairs so it would be near the pizzelle iron whenever action might be forthcoming.

Preparing the ground for action, I think they call that. It gives the illusion of progress without the actual investment of time or energy and that has to count for something.

But eventually there comes a point where something else needs to be avoided even more than the original project and that leads to “procrastiworking,” an absolutely priceless word that I found online somewhere and am working to bring into common use. I have reached the point in my life where I can be fully productive and still actively avoiding something important that I don’t want to do, and when it came to a choice between grading yet another online discussion assignment or trying to fix the pizzelle iron there really wasn’t much choice at all.

So out came the ratchet set and – after doing my best to remove three decades of baked on butter residue in order to get to the bolts – I soon had the thing opened up.

It turned out to be a loose wire.

So I reattached the wire and then spent a puzzling quarter of an hour trying to reassemble everything – there were only half a dozen tiny bolts to remove and then replace so the fact that it took me that long to get it resolved (including a complete redo after discovering something outside that should have been inside) is a pretty good sign that I should keep my day job, which does not involve the use of tools of any kind.

I plugged it in, and it worked. The indicator lens turned red as the heating element hit baking temperature. The iron got hot. It cycled off and then on again.


Tonight was the test, though.

Four dozen pizzelles later, I think it was a success.

There haven’t been too many of those in recent memory, so I’m going to savor it along with the pizzelles.


LucyInDisguise said...

Sometimes you just get lucky.



David said...

I'll take it. :)

Julie Morris said...

I just ran across your recipe a few days ago. Guess it’s time to haul out my maker and see if it still works. Glad you were able to fix yours!

Unknown said...

You should have worked on that in the middle of the pandemic - it would have been cause for even greater celebration - perhaps the notion of taking on a side job even.

David said...

@Julie - Cool! You'll have to let me know how it turns out. Just make sure to use anise extract, not anise oil. It turns out those are different things? I didn't know that and as it happens the oil doesn't work. Extract does.

@Unknown - Well, it didn't break during the lockdown. I can only work with the world as it comes to me.