If you don’t know, it’s true ta dull knife is more likely to hurt you than a sharp one is. That sounds wrong, I know. I, of course, can chop a slit in my fingers with a sharp or dull knife. Makes no difference. I’m an equal opportunity slicer. I have an array of Band-Aids in the drawer to the right of my kitchen sink so I don’t leave liquid “red spots” of myself on the floor all the way to the bathroom.
My other half is in charge of sharpening the knives in our kitchen. It used to be my kitchen, but since our semi-retirement, I have happily let him encroach into what was my sacred domain to concoct different soups of his choosing. But that is, of course, another rant to rant about on another day!
The knives we use vary from little dollar store stainless steel bladed things that seem to rust even though they’re stamped stainless steel and should never have little rust pockets on them, to some really nice German and Japanese knives that could cut down a redwood tree if you found yourself somewhere where you needed a redwood cut down. He sharpens them all — sharp.
So, you might say, what’s the problem with having a knife sharpening knife sharpener living under the same roof with one who saws at a tomato until she has a glob of red flesh of the fruit (or is it a vegetable?) on the cutting board that would not look appetizing when added to a fresh garden salad? It’s about my bread knife.
I have a knife of first choice knife in my arsenal. Do you? The one you reach for over and over again. Cutting everything from veggies to bread. That one knife you grab to use to cut open those hermetically sealed bags inside boxes of cereal? It’s a nice size with about an eight-inch serrated blade, wooden handle and good balance. It’s the knife that’s always in the sink or dishwasher. But recently I have noticed it isn’t doing as good a job as it did when it was new.
I know a real chef wouldn’t use a serrated blade on tomatoes or cheese. However I really don’t care if the skin on my tomatoes is a bit ripped because of a serrated blade. I just know a serrated blade cuts first time every time without having to prick the skin with the tip of the knife or saw like the dickens until the skin gives way to the nice soft underbelly of flesh inside. Well that all sounds kinda gross, huh?
Not to go on and on, but I want to paint a picture of my go-to knife. The blade is just slightly serrated. It isn’t like the “as sold on TV Ginsu knife” from years ago. The one with the blade that would cut a soda can in two. The one with the blade so severely serrated it looked like beaver teeth. Yeah, I have one of those, too.
My today’s knife is just regular serrated ... well, it was. The other day I picked up and noticed it took an extra stroke or two to demolish a loaf of French bread I was slicing to make French toast. Yum! Sorry, the food train stopped in front of me.
Well, upon closer examination I noticed the serrations on the blade looked, well, wilted is a good description. There wasn’t a crispness to the edge. I even ran my finger along the edge and came away without so much as an indentation on my fingertip. I checked the other knives and they were all as sharp as the barbs on a barbed wire fence that can catch a sleeve that comes within four feet of a fence. Sorry! Got caught up in another thought.
Now two things can happen from this point. I can just go out and buy a new knife to replace this one that has definitely been over sharpened, put it in the slot and not say a word about it. Or I can bring it up and ask if it’s true serrated blades really shouldn’t be sharpened, uh, like I did when I first saw it was in line to be sharpened with all the other knives.
Are you kidding? I asked myself. Do I never want another sharpened knife in the house? Or scissors? Do I never want another drawer fixed, lawn mowed, sink unclogged or any one of like a zillion things done by my other half? That’s why I will be quietly replacing my bread knife and between you and me, we will never speak of this again. Pretty sharp idea, huh?
Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.