It is no secret of our love of food. We love shopping for it. We love preparing it, and most of all we love eating it. The love of preparing a meal combines many different elements. First and foremost are your ingredients, then the tools one uses to accomplish your delectable task. As a renowned domestic goddess often says, you should always have the right tool for the right job, and to us there is no substitute for a good SHARP knife.
Once you start using a sharp knife there is no going back. We are lucky in having a few good knives. We do not have many, nor does one need to have many. It is widely accepted that one needs no more than three good knives that can do a variety jobs when called upon.
#1 is a good Chef knife.
They can go as long as 14", but for the home cook 8"to 10" is more than adequate. This is your go-to knife. If you can only have one knife, this is the one. The knife you smash garlic with, the one you will use for cutting that gorgeous piece of perfectly cooked meat that you just dfropped a bomb on. This, if you can, is where you should invest; it will become your best friend in the kitchen.
#2 is a good paring knife.
At 2 to 4 inches, this knife you will use for those more intricate jobs, like paring fruit or vegetables, where a chef's knife would/could be too unwieldy.
#3 is a serrated knife.
Many people use this knife not just for cutting bread but also to cut tomatoes(!) If your chef's or paring knife is sharp enough, why would you use a serrated knife? Having said this, there is a shorter version of the traditional serrated knife that it's primary use is to cut hard skinned vegetables and is also used to cut tomatoes but...we are trying to limit our choices here, so for this purpose we'll stay with the traditional bread cutting variety.
These three choices should and will get you through most of your day to day cooking.
You should also take good care of your investment. Never store your knives in a drawer where they could bang and clang with other utensils. Obviously, beside the safety issue, this will also dull and damage your investment. Store either in a block or, our preferred, a wall mounted magnetic strip.
Or you can invest in a custom made "saya".
Your knives should also never be put in the dishwasher, just a quick wipe with a warm soapy sponge, then wiped dry. A knife should also never be used on anything cutting surface other than wood or polyethylene. Glass, marble, stone or ceramic will damage your knife.
Our next post? Finally finding someone who can take care of our investment.