After slicing onions, carrots and potatoes, oh my!

What’s special about this chef’s knife?

Apart from its maker, Switzerland’s Victorinox, manufacturer of the well-crafted Swiss Army knives, its riveted rosewood handle for safety and durability and sharp solid stainless-steel blade?

It cost me nothing. It was left behind in a kitchen drawer of a vacated apartment I cleaned.

While stupendous it’s not, it’s far superior to the crap but affordable knives from the Goodwill bins that I had. Once this blade entered the picture, those dull and unsafe tools went back to their source.

It’s a good solid 10-inch blade. Yet it’s not the knife I had in Japan. One I think about and miss dearly every time I use this knife, or any other. Like today as I sliced onions, carrots and potatoes for a crockpot meal.

That knife in Japan has a story. I’d entered a newspaper’s Jumble contest and won in the drawing of correct answers. The prize was a ¥10,000 gift certificate (about $80 as I recall) at Mitsukoshi, a high-end department store like Macy’s. A store where I’d never shop.

So I decided to buy something I wanted more than anything. Something I’d normally never buy at those prices. Something special. It was a no-brainer. A good kitchen knife.

After painstaking care and examination of the offerings, I selected one similar in size and function to the current freebie.

There’s one more essential ingredient in this story. I desired a knife that could handle slicing into kabocha. Because I have a deep and abiding passion for and resonance with kabocha. No other member of the squash family comes close. And if you’ve ever sliced into kabocha or other thick-skinned squash, there’s no escaping the awareness of the importance and value of a well-crafted and safe knife.

And so it really was love-love every which way with that hocho. I loved it. Its quality. Its harmonious union with my hand. How it handled and what it cut (including kabocha). And the story of how it came to be in my life, through a game of words that I love.

I’ve not seen or touched that knife in years, close to six. Along with most everything else I have, it sits stored in a box in a garage a long ways from here. When I’ll have the means and money to retrieve is unknown.

I’d be remiss to exclude the final essential ingredient in this story. I have/had a dream. A dream of one day having a home, which I define not primarily as a structure but an enduring place and space of resonating roots and contentment. In that home is a kitchen whose significance and description exceed the parameter’s of today’s topic and purpose. I’ll offer simply that every item in that kitchen is of quality. Leading the list, in the top five of priorities, are the knives.

I miss that knife of Japan. I do. That is all.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mkirkd
    Nov 14, 2010 @ 18:17:07

    Hi there, thanks for the advice on my blogroll but on my theme my blogroll but my hood isn’t on my blogroll. I think it might have to do with my theme…but I did find all my hood under my subscriptions and they were all set to never get messages so I changed them all now I’ll see if I get the emails..thanks for trying to help me…sometimes WP can be so confusing.

    I so need a set of good knives…mine are all old and dull. thank you for making me appreciate that I do have a home and a kitchen…sometimes I forget how lucky I am.


    • allycatadventures
      Nov 14, 2010 @ 19:09:12

      @mkirk – “Hi there, thanks for the advice on my blogroll but on my theme my blogroll but my hood isn’t on my blogroll.” – That’s awkwardly written so I may or may not know what you’re saying! – lol. WP’s platform isn’t the no-brainer that was Vox’s and its options are plentiful. Learning them does require blogger participation and time but that done, moving around becomes a piece of cake. The vast majority do forget how lucky they are. True poverty and hardship have a way of changing that, for but a small minority methinks. So much more could be written and spoken on the subject but that’ll suffice. 🙂


      • mkirkd
        Nov 14, 2010 @ 19:42:11

        Ha I was trying to read and type emails on my laptop while watching TV…my theme’s blogroll doesn’t have my subscribers listed…but i found them under subscription. Does this make sense now?


        • allycatadventures
          Nov 14, 2010 @ 19:53:25

          @mkirk – lol, were you chewing gum too? Yes, make sense now, with the caveat that you meant your subscribees, not subscribers (subscribers = those who subscribe to your blog, subscribees = those to whose blogs you subscribe).


  2. Erin Michel
    Nov 14, 2010 @ 20:20:47

    A good knife is essential in the kitchen. The very first thing my husband and I bought after we got married was a set of professional knives. We used every gift card and cent we got as wedding gifts, plus some. They’re really the only investment we’ve made together, and every day they prove to be worth it.

    I hope that your dream one day comes true and you get your home, complete with great knives.


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