Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Respect the knife!

Or, it will bite you.

Having been duly inspired by Monday's demos in class of how to cut onions, carrots, and potatoes, I decided to get out the ol' knife kit last night and chop shallots. I paid a ton o' money for these knives, so I guess I'd better use them and not leave them all rolled up nice and pretty in the knife roll, don't ya think?

So, I get out the 10-inch chef (French) (or would that be "Freedom" to all the extremerightwingconservativegoobers?) knife and my 4-inch paring knife. How pretty and shiny they are! I go to clean the paring knife, and as I start to put it under the running water, I accidentally run it across the topside of my right index finger. Not on purpose, either. I barely touched the skin, and it opened right up. I'm telling you people, we've not really had sharp knives before. You just think you have, but you really haven't. Trust me.

After much leaping around with pressure on the finger, I paint on some liquid bandage (even more fun!) and get on with vivisectioning the shallots. Damn, these knives sure do cut purty! It was amazing how it glided through the shallot and how precise the cutting was...the actual cut technique was sort of lame, but the knife did its job wonderfully.

In class today, we actually got to cut some vegetables in front of Chef. First, we had a lesson in peeling, which I think I have mastered. Unbeknownst to me, or at least until I watched Chef, I actually came to this class with innate peeling with a peeler skils. Snaps for me! But, before I get too cocky, I realize that I have bad knife holding technique, which is a habit that is going to be EXTREMELY hard to break, because I've always held my knife like that. I may actually have to resort to taping my fingers together to keep them out of the way. Last thing I want to do is actually lop off a finger in class. I'm pretty sure you get a zero for the day if you do that. Wonder if my lab partner would get an A for all the stress and trauma of seeing my finger end up in the stockpot?

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