Here's a few thoughts after reading Knife Chat, part I. I purposely didn't read part II yet, I'll do that after I comment about part I.
I really like the beginning where you talk about the anchor knife, and having a minimal set of "working" knives in your kitchen. In fact, I would actually like a little more here. You lay out some nice ground work for me, as a newbie, to start thinking about knives. My thoughts on the beginning are that I would like to hear more on what makes a particular knife a good choice for candidacy to be in my "working" collection. Myself, I don't like clutter and I don't like making poor choices when buying tools for my kitchen. So when I'm going to buy something I want it to perform, and exceed my current capabilities. I like to, like buying shoes for children, grow into my kitchen tools. After reading the concept of a good working collection, I would like to have just a little bit on where each of these (good choices) may fit into a working kitchen (which doesn't have to be a professional kitchen).
Until reading the introduction to your Knife Chat chapter, I hadn't really given much thought to an anchor knife being anything other than a chef's knife (type). I suppose this may hold true for me...but someone else may choose a different type. Maybe it would be best to surround ones self with a good working group of knifes and let the anchor be determined by use. Interesting, it's all obvious I suppose, but I never thought about it like that before.
My next thought is...
Ok. I've got a good set of knives that I can actually find useful in my day to day cooking/prep. Of these there will be an anchor, GREAT! (I really hope it's the chef's knife! That's who I'm rooting for :) But now I question myself, what do I know? What do I really know about proper use of a particular knife. Without getting too far into detail what is the proper use of each type of knife, and common ways each type of knife is used improperly. Not really going into technique...just proper and improper uses. Being an at home cook there may have been quite a few bad habits I've picked up over the years. Some may be bad habits that I started by uses the wrong knife for the wrong job. Other bad habits may have been things I picked up from watching other people.
Those are just some questions that I had in my head before moving into the rest of your blog entry. I really liked how you went into the knife history, anatomy, etc. I could see how this topic can become a slippery slope. You made mention before that you didn’t want to get too far into technique, because knives were only going to be one chapter in your greatly anticipated book. But it’s hard not to want some instruction on technique. I liked when you gave some bits on technique that fit in when talking about the anatomy of a knife. Not really going in depth about technique itself, but rather how certain anatomy might lend itself to a proper technique i.e. The size or handle on a chef’s knife (or similar) may lend itself to a proper grip. Also when you talked about the difference between the French and German style of chef knives (and the belly of blade) and how that may come into play with certain techniques.
After reading part VIII…
I do sharpen my knives at home with the wrong tools and with poor technique. I plan to not only change this in the future, but also to get myself a decent chef’s knife. I’ll certainly come back to the thoughts that you wrote here, in part VIII. As well as everything in the knife forum. I haven’t got much to add on this part of the subject…other than to say thanks J Although…a paragraph or two on cutting surfaces and cutting boards would fit well between part seven and eight. I also liked how you went more into the grip in the latter part.
Well…not the end. But the done with that part.../end
These were just a few thoughts that I had while reading each part on knives. Your posts are always so well thought out and nicely package that I feel a bit silly writing my thoughts down. But there you go.
As always…be well J