Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Sharpest Knife in the Block

Clearly, this post isn't going to be about me.

I like kitchen knives. However, my budget doesn't allow for expensive knives. Over the years I've assembled a motley crew of inexpensive knives. Even a modest knife is pretty sharp when brand new.

These are only a few of my collection:

One of the first things I learned in a restaurant kitchen was that a dull knife is far more dangerous than a sharp knife. That's because you have to exert more pressure with a dull knife, increasing the chances you'll lose control of it. Of course, you can cut the #$!@$& out of yourself with a sharp knife, which is also something I learned in a restaurant kitchen.

I keep meaning to teach myself how to sharpen knives, but I haven't quite gotten around to it. Fortunately, one of the new vendors at the All-Local Farmers' Market is Mis En Place Sharpening.

For the very reasonable charge of $30, they sharpened three of my larger knives.

The top knife is a J.A. Henckels, from one of their modestly priced lines and purchased at a discount store. It was super sharp out of the box and held an edge well. I also like its very thin blade.

The middle knife is from Meyer. It's a good size for all-purpose chopping and has a very comfortable grip. It was also nice and sharp new, and held its edge for a surprisingly long time. It was dirt cheap.

The bottom knife is from Chicago Cutlery, which is sure to draw a snicker from some kitchen snobs. However, that knife holds lots of sentimental value for me. It's one of the first knives I owned and was given to me by my parents almost 20 years ago. It's been out of use for a very long time, because the edge was so dull it was virtually useless.

Not any more.

All three knives came back super sharp. I'm literally looking for stuff to chop tonight. I'll be interested to see how each knife holds its edge, and I'll surely be bringing more of my knives to MEP Sharpening.

If you're local and like to cook, you should check them out. If you noticed my cool new cutting board, it's from Sixteen Acre Wood. Stephen Owen crafts amazing things out of local, fallen trees that would otherwise end up in the landfill. We saw some of his beautiful work at the ALF Market one morning, and E gave me a late Christmas gift.

It's a gorgeous piece of Mulberry wood. Here's the back side:

It's art and function all in one. It's also going to see lots of action with my newly sharpened knives.

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