I had lunch with a friend this past week. As we munched on salads, I mentioned my upcoming plans.
“I’m taking a knife course on Thursday night.”
She looked at me horrified as she bit down on her lettuce and with hesitation asked,
“For cooking right?”
For some reason, this amused me. Granted, the Ides of March is upon us but the thought of me using a knife on anything besides a very still carrot made me laugh. I answered keeping my delight barely concealed.
“Yes, my fingers have been in peril for years. I think it’s time I learned how to protect them.”
I flashed my digits before her.
Last night was the class and it proved to be all that I had hoped for. I went to ICE which stands for The Institute of Culinary Education here in New York City. I now know how to hold my knife correctly, keep the vegetable in place with a “claw grip” and make fancy cuts. Up until this moment, my only cut was “rustic”. That of course meant that my vegetables looked like a monkey had been snapping them in half in the corner. I also cry like a baby when chopping onions. It’s a dreadful sight.
The class taught us how to approach an onion and leave the encounter with dry eyes. It really is amazing how little I knew about the tools I use everyday. I left wanting a true 10” Wusthof Chef knife. I fingered the knife catalog like a child at Christmas and dreamed of all the amazing dishes I could make now that I knew how to cut the vegetables. Dare I spend the money on that? No, no, no said the practical side of my brain.
This morning the feeling still nagged and then I decided to take a look at what knives I actually owned. None of them passed the “cut paper” test. That proved they were dull. One seemed solid and after putting on my reading glasses I noted the word Wusthof on the side. As it turns out, I already own the knife I went to bed dreaming about. It needs to be sharpened but other than that it’s perfect. I was very excited and called my sister Lisa. She immediately was convinced the knife was actually hers until she found the one she had been thinking of in a drawer. That conversation had my heart leaping from happiness to disappointment back to happiness again. Once ownership had been established, she thought it must have come from my grandfather. He was a chef years ago and when his home was dismantled the knife somehow made it to my kitchen. It may have taken me awhile but now I am thrilled with my inheritance.
Next, I want to find a class on blow-drying hair. I can’t use that tool either.