When The Man and I first started dating, I had no proper knives to speak of. I had a collection of sharp-ish objects collected from yard sales and bargain bins. They were sort of knife-shaped. They would often cut butter and bread. My actual veggie chopping knife had also been used as a home improvement tool over the years.
Suffice it to say, The Man was shocked down to his cotton socks when he first opened my utensil drawer and surveyed my stock of handy dandy cooking tools. I had the complete set of OXO Good Grips kitchen utensils. And I do mean the FULL set. I don’t even know what some of these do. I suspect one is for subduing unruly Jehovah’s Witnesses.
But nary a sharp cutting utensil to be found. He was still reeling from this shock when he discovered I had no cutting boards either. I nearly had to pick him up off my tile floor and offer him a stiff drink. This was one of our first ‘issues’ that was quickly fixed by an impromptu trip to a big box store for emergency knives and cutting boards. I asked him to marry me that night in the Kitchen Goods department. This is not a joke.
After quite a few months of domestic bliss, he confessed he was just not satisfied anymore and he had to speak up. He’d been having fantasies about a real knife set. With a knife block and everything. The old knives just weren’t doing it for him anymore.
He found this new set in one of those name-brand clearance stores for only $200 and agonized over the decision for a few days before breaking down and buying them. He did research online. He paced and ran his fingers through his hair in the small hours of the night. It was not a pretty sight.
The Calphalon Katana series won his heart. This set has five knives, utility scissors, a roomy block, and one of those blade straightener things (I’ve never figured them out, but that’s okay since apparently that’s the man’s job). These are real steel blades–33 layers of steel, so they say. You can see the way the metal is folded and worked in the blade faces. The resin handles have a nice shape and balance the blade. And the block has room for our older knives, too, which is comforting to my sentimental heart.
Sharp knives make all the difference in the world, especially at the end of the day when you’re trying to prepare dinner quickly and you’re tired. It’s recommended that you gently wash and carefully dry these knives right after you use them to avoid pits and stains. This is my greatest failing in the kitchen, and a source of great anxiety to The Man. I am one of those cooks that constantly washes and cleans as they are cooking, but the knives always remain in the dish drainer, wet. The Man always sighs hugely when he sees them left like that. My favorite blade has sadly developed a pit or two.
So take it from me–awesome knives–take care of them!
When this series was new, this 8-piece set retailed for upward of $600, but now you can find them online from $200 to $700 for 8-piece to 18-piece sets. (Read the reviews when shopping because any moron with a keyboard thinks they know what they’re talking about and end up showing their ignorance after their three page wah-session about the sponge catching on the inside angle of the blade when they clean them. This is not a joke either.)
I gave you this whole story so you could see that I am no knife expert, but I clock a lot of real-life hours in the kitchen, and if something greatly improves my efficiency and proficiency in a daily task, I can only give it the credit it deserves. Shop around. Handle the knives. Read reviews. And find a good set of sharp knives.