Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Love Story

I have been remiss in my blogging. I have kept my personal life locked away and shrouded in mystery. The time has come to divulge all. So here goes. Clotilde has Maxence, Michelle has LB, Beckham has Posh Spice, and I…
... I have my Wusthof 8” chef’s knife.

We have been through a lot together
, my knife and I, both good and bad. I owe my knife a great deal. It was the reason I started cooking as much as I do now. I have always baked, even when I was little (weird, huh?) but never cooked. I had been making the same three things my Mom taught me, interspersed with the occasional veggie burger. That was pretty much the extent of it. For some unknown reason, likely to do with the need to divert the attention onto myself, I convinced myself that I really really need a really really nice knife…while registering with Gopi for her wedding. Unlike most fairy tales, our love was not the instant, at-first-sight kind. I weighed my options, deliberately and carefully. And I do mean weighed. I tried a number of different knives to see how they would balance in my hand and how heavy they were.

The final decision came down to a Global chef’s knife and the Wusthof. Upon consideration, I realized that my feelings for the Global did not run deep, they were not were not true. I was being seduced by the Global’s connections - it was featured in a GQ article earlier that year. In actuality, I found the Global’s handle slippery and uncomfortable. It just didn’t fit my hand well. The tip of the blade kept wanting to point down - the handle wasn't weighted enough. Once the veil of unfair influence was lifted, I realized that it is the Wusthof and I who must be together. It felt right - heavy enough to cut through dense things yet light enough for minute manipulation. We were meant to be together. At this point, the Bed, Bath and Beyond sales guy said he had to walk me to the register with the knife, totally ruining the romantic moment. Apparently, they don’t trust people to walk around the store with a potential murder weapon. Pity.

And so I brought my knife home and everything changed. I realized that I didn’t cook much because it always took so damn long to chop everything with the awful knife I had been using since college (*shudder*). Hmmm… I guess size does matter. With the Wusthof, everything was so much faster and easier, requiring far less effort. It even cut through butternut squash. Squash used to be the bane of my existence, regularly reducing me to tears as I tried to pry my unfit college knife out of its clutches, having to utilize limbs that don’t belong on cutting boards. Herbs and garlic got minced by milling, just like on TV. Tomatoes were cut without shaking the knife off their slippery skins directly onto my finger. It was brilliant! Somehow, making dinner after getting home from a full (and likely shitty) day in lab didn’t seem like such a horrendous proposition. Dinner, in actuality, became an event – an excuse for me to spend time with my awesomely significant other, my chef’s knife.

I put the knife to good use and, eventually, all the chopping and the milling and the occasional falls to the floor (narrowly missing my bare toes) took their toll – the blade had dulled and was all out of whack, the edge no longer straight. The magic had seeped out of our relationship. The same problems I had with the college knife came back to haunt me. Everything was taking far too much effort, too much time - chopping became a chore again. The Wusthof was even starting to draw blood from my hands as it slipped off the item being chopped.

An immediate intervention in order, I took the knife to Sur La Table to be sharpened and honed. Sharpen it they did, but left their mark. The sharpening left scars, scuffs along the blade. [Also, the few (ok, many) times I tossed the knife into the sink in a semi-drunken haze without washing it straight away led to some discoloration of the blade.] I happen to think that scars add dimension, to knives and people both, so I was ok with it. And it cut just like new! It was back, and I was happy once more. I won’t wait so long to sharpen it next time.

So now you know my story. That’s it. Nothing else to tell. I owe my many dinners, and likely this blog, to my chef’s knife.

P.S. No, Wusthof did not sponsor this blog post, although I am willing to entertain any offer that comes my way.


ben said...

Of all of the inanimate objects to love, why pick a knife? It is all stabby and cutty. Why not pick something more friendly, like a 2.2 HP blender. Now THOSE things are lovable.

JC said...

You've got to love a girl who loves her knife so much!

I need a good chef's knife myself. I'll throw it on the list of things I can't afford (it's getting to be a rather large list).

Jonathan said...

Wusthof makes great knives, but I was seduced by the Global knives. Besides, I'm Asian. I should go with the Japanese on this one. I'm like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill...I need Japanese steel.

Anna said...

Ben - you know how many horsepower your blender has? That's hard core. I don't even know how many HP my car has. I am going to guess about 5.4.

JC - have you checked out Henckels knives? They are much more reasonably priced than Wusthofs (which border on the ridiculous).

Why Jonathan, I didn't know you were so suggestible.. Seduced by Global indeed. Good to know.

michelle said...

Ha ha ha! This is a great love story - my own Wustof's 8" chef knife is the only love affair that comes between LB and I on occasion and is certainly one of my reasons for enjoying the cooking I do! ...although...I need to take mine in for sharpening's been a while... and all those little scratches, etc., just give your relationship "character!"

JC said...

Wow, that is quite affordable.

My current weapon of choice is a cheap Henckels that was purchased at Target right before I went off to college - 16 years ago!!! It's serrated, and it still cuts pretty well, but I want a real knife!

ben said...

What do you think of Ceramic knives? My bud loves his but one of them got shattered by the nanny they hired when she tried to cleave through a chicken!

Anna said...

Ceramic! I have never tried. I had a ceramic vegetable peeler that was awesome - but fragile.

Target is the greatest.