Barking Kitten

Fiction, musings on literature, food writing, and the occasional Friday cat blog. For lovers of serious literature, cooking, and eating.


Close to forty. Not cool. Politically left. Atheist. Happily married. No kids.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Morning of the long knives

Hockeyman and I have a knife fetish. No, not what you're thinking (shame on you!). We love big, heavy chef's knives. I have a seven-inch Henckels, my first real cooking investment. I paid $100 for it four years ago. It's on the small side, but as my hands are no larger than a ten-year-old's and I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, it's perfect for me. The knife sees daily use. Hockeyman has a larger Wusthof, which I sometimes use when he isn't home from work's very German; if this knife sang opera, it would be a Basso Profundo.

Then there's the cleaver. Hockeyman bought it for me last Christmas. Again, a Wusthof, heavy, able to shatter bones by sheer force. It is the sort of tool you don't use daily, but it's the right one for hacking up rabbits or shattering chicken bones.

Knives are like tattoos--once you have one, you long for more. I have no tattoos, but my knife shortlist includes a Japanese cleaver--like the one Morimoto uses--a Japanese Santoku, and a ceramic knife. This last just for the hell of it. I have also long wanted a mezzaluna, known less lyrically in English as a chopper. Mezzalunas are wonderful for herbs, pesto, or chopping chicken livers into pate.

But I didn't want just any mezzaluna. I wanted my Grandpa's, which went to my mother after he died in 1980. This was hardly an item I could pilfer without asking, so I gently let it be known that the knife had a home when she was ready.

Yesterday, these arrived in the mail:

Please excuse the less than Steichenesque photo. The object at right is my Grandma's potato masher. Note the wooden handle. Not plastic, silicon, or those godawful latex "good grips". Wood! real wood! On the left, the mezzaluna. I snapped this shot before this morning's trip to the Berkeley Farmer's Market, where knife sharpener Eric Weiss gave it a nice new edge. This link to Eric is rather old, but he doesn't have his own site, and the information is accurate. He still wears the same hat.

I asked about polishing up the blade. He said to leave it alone, but recommended I oil the handle with food-grade oil.

I look forward to pulverizing some basil.

Cooking, Food


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