A Question of Blades

I think every true chef should have a favorite knife. I have mine.

We have been cooking for the party, and today, I started mincing stuff for the Puttanesca sauce. I started out with the black cleaver. “I hate mincing stuff with this one.” Bah. Not sharp enough. Mum suggested I use the chef’s knife. “Mum, I can’t find my cleaver. This one’s not sharp enough. I hate it when my knife isn’t sharp. Like, it makes me feel helpless.” “Use my chef’s knife? I just sharpened it.” I went and got the chef’s knife, but before I’d even begun… “I don’t like mincing stuff with this one…” “Hay nako.” “I like my hand to be higher up… I can’t see what’s under the blade with this one. And when I rock, it’s so low my knuckles hit the board.” “So find the other one. It’s around here somewhere.” So picky, eh? I gave up on it and hunted around for my cleaver. There was no way I was going to mince with either the chef’s knife or the black-handled cleaver (mine is brown).

I did eventually find it in the dishwasher.

I am sorry, but I simply cannot mince with any other knife. (This may indeed prove a problem when I visit Dev in AZ next month. xD It’s not like they’d let me bring this thing on the plane…!!!) I can see exactly what I’m doing, even while keeping my left hand on the top edge of the blade to help guide it along, and the curve of the edge of the blade is just perfect.

And now I leave you to guess what I was mincing.

And if you are able to guess, I shall yell at you for being too amazing at identifying minced ingredients for your own good.

As I was mincing, the conversation turned to stress. Mother asked if I was getting burned out. We talked about that for a while. And then I went, “Know what I want to watch?” “Lord of the Rings.” “Yep.” “You always want to watch that when you’re stressed.” “Yes. I find it calming.” “What?? Wow. I didn’t expect that. It’s too violent to be calming.” “Oh, but that’s exactly why I find it calming.” “Ano?” “Yeah. See, I’m stressed, right? So then, it’s calming to watch people kill each other –” “Ok, you’re scaring me.” “No, no, like, see, they’ve got sharp stuff, and then they take it all out on people. Well, no, not people. Orcs. Ugly, yucky, disgusting looking things. So it’s calming for me to watch people destroy ugly, yucky, disgusting-looking things when I’m stressed.” “Ok…”

So, yeah. After I am done helping Mother in the kitchen, I believe I will go watch awesome dudes (and a dudette) hack at ugly, yucky, disgusting-looking things. I so envy them… I could never feel helpless with such beautiful blades as they have.

But I would still refuse to mince stuff with anything but my cleaver. My cleaver is perfect. I know it like the back of my own hand. I don’t have to look at it all the time. I am confident with it when, say, smashing garlic. I slap my hand down on it without any fear of catching my palm on the edge of the blade. I run my finger along it to get every bit of minced whatever, and then I run the blade along my finger. I wipe it against my apron with the blade pointing up without looking. It’s my knife.

Could you imagine trying to mince garlic with Anduril?! I mean, c’mon! First of all, it’s not curved, so rocking is out of  the question. It’s a double-edged blade, so no putting your hand against the ‘top’ edge, whichever that is, to guide it along. Fun to wipe off with my finger, but not fun to wipe my finger off with it. Difficult to wipe on one’s apron because it’s so long; you couldn’t get to the tip even with as far as your arm could go. No way would I smash garlic with that! And it’d always be bloody from all my ugly, yucky, disgusting-looking enemies. No way do I want orc blood in my Puttanesca sauce!

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