On Labor Day I like to keep the labor part low, especially in the cooking department. Are you always interested in shaving some time off of your kitchen tasks? One of the best ways to reduce cooking time without sacrificing good flavor is by using good knives and good knife skills. Learning to properly grip, wield, and cut food can save time, digits, and elbow grease.
You can find effective cutting and chopping demonstrations on my cooking techniques page. The slides show quick and safe cutting methods for a variety of food and desired results. But the best way to ensure you’re using your knives as safely and effectively as possible is to take a knife skills class.
Keeping your knives sharp is the best way to protect against cutting yourself in the process of trying to cut your food. Dull knives tend to slide around on their targets and can slide right into a hand or finger. I’ve taken off a little slice of pretty nail polish more than once with a dull blade.
When I was a kid the sharpening cart would come down our street every so often. It was like the Good Humor truck to the moms on the block, who were mostly the stay-at-home variety. When his bell rang they would hurry out to have their scissors and knives sharpened. These days it isn’t always so easy to find a place to keep your blades in top shape. I’ve paid as much as $20/knife for sharpening. So I was really happy to learn that Williams Sonoma stores have resident knife experts who will sharpen your blades for $5.00 each.
The chain also offers lots of free technique classes that usually last about an hour. Most of their stores have one teaching knife skills scheduled in September. I like their class because they will sharpen your knives at its conclusion, too. One sharpening is free to class participants, and their normal charge applies to additional ones. I recently had 3 knives sharpened there. One was part of a carving set that belonged to my grandfather. The knife had probably not been sharpened since the 1950’s or 60’s. The sharpened blade sliced through a thick, rib eye roast as if it were butter. I was impressed!
If you don’t have a Williams Sonoma or other source for a knife skills class near to you, check out the internet. You Tube is crowded with loads of videos on all kinds of cooking techniques, including those involving knife skills. Keeping your blades sharp will keep all of your fingers and fingernails attached to your hand and help keep cooking preparation time to a minimum.
Try easy recipes this Labor Day and put your knives to good use!
Photo Courtesy of Easy Weekly Meals