My Favourite Knife
My favourite kitchen knife, the only one I find makes quick work of every item in the vegbox except pumpkins, is a source of much contention in our house. It is also the knife-of-choice for the rest of my family whether for chopping vegetables, spearing through vacuum packed meat or spreading butter… It then gets lost, concealed behind the chopping board, tucked under a pile of dirty dishes, or hanging out with bubble-covered cutlery on the draining board. Preparing an evening meal is always preceded with hunt My Favourite Knife (herewith referred to as MFK).
My magnetic Ikea knife rack holds the following:
One brutal looking Japanese Santoku knife with a (long-ago lost) lifetime guarantee and a blade that stubbornly resists sharpening. It only comes into its own performing rather ladylike jobs such as chopping leafy herbs and bars of chocolate, although not necessarily at the same time.
One snazzy looking, bright red Kitchen Craft parer that was a present from my lovely mother in law. It likes making quick work of fruit and is quite photogenic. I think of it as the 80s yuppy of the gang.
Three Kitchen Devil knives from a set that we’ve had for-like-ever, and which none of us really likes. Except maybe the bread knife, which is underused and therefore feels a bit sorry for itself.
There are also two pairs of scissors, honorary knives in that they sometimes get employed to chop meat (I don’t like raw meat on my chopping board), green beans or chives.
You might expect that MFK is either an expensive bit of designer gadget kit from a specialist shop, precision weighted and with a blade crafted from high quality metals or, more prosaically, a much loved heirloom piece with a well worn wooden handle and oft sharpened-on-a-whetstone blade. But no. The serrated blade is branded with a middle-class supermarket stamp and the plastic handle barely survived an over enthusiastic chewing from a rescue puppy, a couple of years ago (to this day we don’t know how she didn’t cut herself). My builder friend heroically sanded the worst of the damage down for me, but the teeth marks still give it the dejected air of a half masticated blackjack. MFK is by no means a thing of beauty. And yet..
For over fifteen years it has happily diced onions, sliced tomatoes and peeled off garlic skins; it marks out still-warm flapjack squares with as much ease as cleanly slicing through a creamy layer cake and it makes light work of removing peppers from plants without damage or cutting bread rolls in half without making a mountain of crumbs. MFK is a faithful old friend and I wouldn’t be without it. If I could only find it…