Photo by ben30/Flickr CC
If you moved back to campus this fall, or sent your undergrad off to school, you probably dedicated some serious time to shopping and packing. Parents and students arrive at college with full cars. They pack a pretty common inventory: halogen lamps, butterfly chairs, and comforters, all crammed into the back seat over boxes of clothing and plastic contraptions that contain everything from books to bathroom supplies.
I want to add another item to the back-to-school checklist: good cooking knives. Good knives are indispensable, and yet many of us suffer, unwittingly, having never used a great knife.
A dashing man recently said to me, "Cooking? I like it. It's the chopping I despise."
I was confused--why would he loathe chopping? Sure, a pile of onions can be a pain. But the utter bliss of transformation, the smooth movement of a knife through a vegetable or fruit? How could it be odious?
And then I understood. I tried the knives in his kitchen. Pain and misery ensued. My elbow still protests. Chopping, which I consider a meditative act, one I love, became a type of flagellation. The evening drove me to a new conclusion: bad knives have driven my generation out of the kitchen. Forget rising incomes, longer workweeks, and a wider variety of restaurants. If we just had good knives, we'd go home to cook.