A Cut Above, from the Man I Love

Knife_ReposeThis is a love letter to my new knife.

Keith, who gave me this weapon of delicious destruction is pretty great too, but he’ll have to wait for a Hallmark-sanctioned holiday to get his love letter.

He loves tools. I’m notoriously cheap. You can see the collision course. I’ve been perfectly content with the same knives for 25 years: a Chicago Cutlery 8″ chef, 6″ chef and paring knife (of which, whether slicing a roast or coring an apple, I pretty much only use the 8″ ). K keeps them meticulously sharp and I hone them in between with Grandma’s 10 pound steel, so the fact that they’re ancient, thick and clunky hasn’t been an issue. Friends with badass blades frequently exclaimed over my finely honed edges, and the accolades of others was enough for me.

But then I have a birthday (insert scary pipe organ: dum-dum-dum) and my tool-loving husband goes into a last-minute-must-buy-something-after-work panic. I wince when I open the package. Internal dialog: don’t need this, jeez it must have been expensive, omg he got it at Sur la Table: r-i-p-o-f-f, aren’t they awfully brittle I’ll probably break it…  

But it’s awful darn pretty. And maybe it IS time for me to have a big-girl knife. And besides, wouldn’t it be nice to be grateful for a gift for once, rather than being a practical bubble-burster?  Out loud: “Thank you darling, I love it.”

And oh. my. god. How I love my Shun 8″ Chef Knife. My poor Chicago knives have been cast aside like so much refuse, as unwanted as copyediters at The Oregonian. My former nemisis, the carrot? We’re having an affair. I relish the mire poix. I melted carrots into stroganoff last night (Tzar Nicholas is spinning in his grave-y) just so I could fine-dice a carrot. See?

MirePoix

I know America’s Test Kitchen says a $24 Victorinox is all you need, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Wielding my Shun I feel invincible. I am Uma Thurman in Kill Bill Volume 2. The insane schoolgirl killer and her gang? Just so many carrots.

01
J
October 13th, 2009 2:56 pm

You really do love your new knife. Those carrots look closer to being pureed than diced! Oh, and that was damn tasty stroganoff. Thanks again for sharing, J

02
Jill
October 13th, 2009 5:42 pm

John and I were fortunate enough to be there when you opened your gift and if I recall that dialog you mention may have been internal, but I could swear it was displaying across your forehead like a ticker tape! Maybe we just know you well by now!

Of course, John and I were selfishly thrilled with your gift because of all the delicious meals we were hoping to see in our future! (Including the above mentioned stroganoff, which was superb!)So I’ll second it – thank you darling Keith, we love it!

03
Mary
October 13th, 2009 8:29 pm

Next time I encounter a potentially difficult problem, I shall grimly smile and say “just so many carrots…”

04
October 15th, 2009 10:27 am

ah, the Shun. I share the love, respect, and fear of its razor sharp blade, and stand in awe of its prep-affinity. Some onions and a chiffonade last night were child’s play!

05
October 17th, 2009 6:15 pm

Your knife is a beauty- and what a great gift from your husband! In fact I also received an *amazing* Japanese knife from my husband for my last birthday. And I wield it every week to make the fillings for our savory pies. It is a glorious feeling of power and grace to blitz through 50 pounds of potatoes with such a fine tool!

06
Cyn
October 26th, 2009 10:54 am

Hey! You’ll be happy to note that I’ve been better at honing since my visit out to see you. (Is that Sarah of savory pie at the Milwaukee Farmer’s Market discovery?)

07
October 29th, 2009 1:53 pm

Wow, I have chopping envy! Jeff got a knife prezzie a few years ago- which I have shamelessly co-opted as my go-to knife. This blade looks a lot more similar than my culinary results! Just when you think you have everything you need…..

08
matthew port
January 21st, 2010 4:33 pm

Its nice to see people love Shun as much as I do. I’m a cook by profession. I have a 10 inch and it’s the only knife in my roll that I use. With it I hunt down knife work and make fruits and vegetables pay for being edible.

09
April 25th, 2010 7:40 pm

Your knife is a beauty- and what a great gift from your husband! In fact I also received an *amazing* Japanese knife from my husband for my last birthday. And I wield it every week to make the fillings for our savory pies. It is a glorious feeling of power and grace to blitz through 50 pounds of potatoes with such a fine tool!

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