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WND – And nobody went to the emergency room

February 4, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I was tired and cranky and in a rush, and then I started cooking and threw knifes into the mix which is a terrible combination.  Sometimes if I’m tired and cranky the routine of cooking will calm me down and bring me back to someone who’s fit to be around other people, but if I’m in a rush it just makes being tired and cranky that much worse.  Upshot was, I wasn’t paying much attention and I was chopping onions in a hurry and brought my big chef’s knife down hard against my knuckles.  Now, normally this would result in a lot of blood and band aids and would make washing the dishes painful and annoying for the next 10 days or so.  But, that’s not at all what happened because my knife hasn’t be sharpened since I got it as a birthday present about three years ago.  On the upside, my knuckles remained intact.  On the downside, my knife wasn’t sharp enough to break skin.

Fortunately my local fabric store is a collection point for knife and scissor sharpening.  So on my now weekly trip to the fabric store – don’t ask, I’m finishing one enormous quilt and starting another smaller quilt and I’ve been at the fabric store every weekend for the last month and it’s entirely possible that they know me by name now – I took along my sewing scissors which were also nicely dull and my large kitchen knife.  

I figured this would be a good week to take it in – no guests, Dinner is lasagna and that’s not a cutting intensive meal, I’m going out to dinner at least one night this week – how much could I possibly miss my large chef’s knife in one week.  The answer?  So, so much.  It’s like having a bandaid on your left thumb and suddenly realizing exactly how many things you actually do with your left thumb.  I went to chop onions and had to make do with a paring knife.  I went to crush some garlic and was stymied because I had no large knife blade to smack it with.  I went to julienne the basil for the lasagna filling and was flummoxed as to how to achieve this with just a paring knife.

The really sad thing is that until about three years ago all I ever used was a paring knife because that’s what I grew up with, and because when we lived in Geneva we discovered Victorinox little sharp knives which are, as the name suggests, little and sharp and apparently never lose their edge.  They used to sell them at the Geneva airport and every time we took someone to the airport or picked them up, we’d buy another 3-4 knives.  Between us, I would guess that my mother and I probably own about 40 little sharp Victorinox knives.  However, after three years of picking up my large chef’s knife to do everything from dice onions to crush garlic to chop meat (a) my wrist is much stronger because that knife is heavy, and (b) I’ve more or less forgotten how to do them without it.  I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to getting my knife back this weekend, although it’s been dull for so long I’m going to have to be careful not to cut myself accidentally now that it’s actually sharp again.

Lasagna
Garlic Bread
Salad

Lasagna

The other week when I made the Beef Strew with Lemon & Figs I also made a small lasagna for a last minute vegetarian addition to the guest list.

However, as everyone devoured the stew they kept idly eyeing the remains of the lasagna and when I asked if anyone wanted to take the leftovers home three people clamored for it – although they then all forgot to actually take it home with them, so it ended up in my freezer for a quick dinner for me one night when my roommate’s not home.  And then last week two people hinted broadly that, you know if I wanted to make lasagna for everyone else sometime soon nobody would object too strenuously.  And who am I to deny the will of the people?

Recipe previously given:   Look Ma, no chicken!

Garlic Bread

You know one of the things I miss most about France?  The ability to buy half a baguette.  I needed 1.5 baguettes for garlic bread, but Panera could only oblige me with one regular baguette, so I had to get one whole wheat baguette which on it’s own isn’t bad, but doesn’t really get crispy enough to make really excellent garlic bread.

Recipe previously given:  Done is Good

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