You as a new or inexperienced cook need to determine if a food processor is something you need and/or want. The problem for you is that they are not cheap. The food processor can be found from around $100 on up to $800. Now these are for a 9 to 14 cup size processor. You can find some for under $100 but most are smaller capacity processors. My favorite shopping locations Kohl's, Food Network and QVC have a wide variety of models and prices. Check them out and determine which model fits your needs and price range.
You might try talking mom & dad into getting their food processor while they get a new one. It might be worth the try.
|My OLD Food Processor|
A food processor usually comes with two blades. One is for slicing and shredding foods. It works great for shredding/grating cheese, slicing vegetables and shredding cabbage for Cole Slaw, for example. The second blade is for chopping, grinding, mixing and mincing. It will let you make pizza dough quickly or mince fresh herbs. It will even make emulsions for dressings and marinades if you want.
They offer easy clean up and you can put the parts in a dishwasher or wash by hand. The base with its electric motor can be easily wiped off but can not be submerged in water. Depending on how much you use it and the space restrictions of your kitchen, you can leave it on the counter. If not, find a storage location that is quick and easy to access.
I guess that I'm just old school, but I don't use my food processor all that much. There is not enough space to leave it out on the counter and so, "out of sight out of mind." Most of my training in the kitchen came before the food processor was a staple in even the commercial kitchens I was involved in. Old habits are hard to break. When I do use my food processor, I really do enjoy it.
Remember as you decide if it something you must have that there are other pieces of kitchen equipment that might be need more. Make a good decision and enjoy the food processor if you get one.
Tomorrow we will talk about mixers, both counter top and hand ones.