Thursday, August 30, 2012

Weapons in my Kitchen Arsenal

I know this blog is mainly going to be about recipes, but I wanted to use some of my posts to discuss my favorite tools in the kitchen. This first segment is about the one that brought about my addiction to recipes and cooking:

My Shun Santuko Knife
Well, technically it's my boyfriend, Justin's,  knife... 

I'll admit that I was a little skeptical at first of how much of a difference a good knife could make. After all, it just needed to be able to chop things. The apparently dull and lackluster ones I'd used in the past had always made that task seem like a chore. I hated chopping vegetables... especially onions! BLEGH! Chopping veggies SUCKED! Hence, why I always ended up buying those fancy pre-cut ones from Wegman's and why I ate out for pretty much every dinner.

Well... I'd been dating my boyfriend, Justin, for a while,  when he decided we needed to stop eating out so much and should make a few meals at home. We tried out some recipes, but had some difficulty doing so without many of the proper kitchen utensils (aka-a good knife). After doing a ton of research on the various major cooking sites, like Cooks Illustrated and Food and Wine, Justin made up his mind that he should get a 7" Shun Santuko style knife (it's a high quality, Japanese knife that mainly used for prepping vegetables). He seemed to think that it would be the best one to suit his needs and fulfill all his future chopping desires.

Once he received the knife and busted it open, the first thing he wanted to do was run to Wegman's and buy a  whole slew of veggies to chop. I can't remember what it was we bought, but we did just that. Justin seemed soo happy slicing and dicing that first time...  After a few times watching Justin gleefully chop carrots and such, I decided that if this one kitchen gadget could make him happy, that it might be worth giving it a try. 

So one night, asked if I could do some of the prep work. I gingerly picked up the knife, to which Justin cringed and told me to "Be careful!" in that mom voice kind of way, and proceeded to pick up the next vegetable. This next moment is what changed my view of cooking forever. I held the blade and made my first chop to an unsuspecting onion... It wasn't like anything I'd done before... It was so... easy.... like I was slicing through butter. I kept slicing... and slicing... I finished cutting up that onion and could only help thinking, "Give me something else to chop RIGHT NOW!" I started to enjoy doing the prep work for Justin and my dinners. In fact, it got to a point where Justin had to start asking to chop veggies. (He still does...)

This one knife is probably the reason why I've become the recipe hoarding, home cook that I am... and for that I am grateful. Justin, you provided me with the greatest weapon in kitchen arsenal. My oh so sharp baby!

In short... buy yourself, or have someone else buy you, a nice knife. It may be expensive, but it'll can make you cooking experience the best you'll ever have!

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