Don’t make me talk about when my favourite knife died. You can find it in the archives. It involved sorbet. And epic foolishness on my part. Foolish foolish foolish. I need to let it go, that lesson is learned, and now I need a new knife.
I had blocked out today to wait for the shower screen guys, but as they managed to turn up twenty four hours early I was free to accept a kind invitation from a neighbour to chase her around the Bay then go on an excursion to Peters of Kensington. Exactly the emporium from which I had been planning to buy my new knife.
I do love Peters of Kensington. There’s a ton of stuff there, you need to go around four or five times to absorb the amount of stock you’re being presented with. Avoid looking up in the section with the expensive porcelain figures, there’s a really creepy clown perched above the shelves. We stopped at the little cafe for refreshments. It was full of the elderly taking tea, Rosemary Clooney crooning about whatever will be will be, we had to get up to the knife section before we were tempted to buy velvet cushions and book in for hip replacements.
It was a very serious knife section. I was pretty sure that I wanted exactly what I had last time, a sixteen centimetre Wusthoff chefs knife. My friend had just bought a Shun knife and was very impressed by it. So sharp she was worried she’d lose a finger, or slice right through her kitchen bench. I should at least have a look at one. The serious sales assistant unlocked the display and very gently laid the knife in front of me. I felt like I should swish and flick and bring down rolls of dusty wands. I did swish it a bit, but it has a very straight handle, it didn’t nestle in my hand like the Wusthoff. Then the serious lady started singing the praises of the knife, it was outrageously sharp, but very delicate. “You couldn’t cut pumpkin with it”, she said. “Or anything with a bone, you could chip the knife”. “And you can’t sharpen it with a steel, the angle is different to European knives. You have to get it sharpened professionally”. I got the feeling she didn’t really want to sell it. I hefted the Wusthoff. Ah, that’s the one. “I’ll take this, plus a paring knife”, I said. “Great! You know they’ll sharpen it for free. You can write to them and they’ll send you a reply paid envelope and you can post it to them. They’re in Perth. They’ll send it straight back. You’ll only be without your knife for two weeks. Oh, and I’ll have these knives sent downstairs for you”. What, you wouldn’t trust me to carry them downstairs? I did wonder if she was in the right profession at all.
We had a bit of time before the car was towed, so Ho for my favourite section, the gadgets. I spent a bit of time in front of this, saying to myself “I don’t need it, I don’t need it…”
With heroic self restraint I avoided buying it, which meant I had none left when I came across the carrot sharpener. It sharpens carrots!
I believe the idea is to create lavish curls of carrot for your fancy salads. But the excellent side effect is… Weaponised Carrots!
I’ve got my new knife home now, and it’s already cut strawberries and carrots and cucumber and capsicum and pork ribs and broccoli and I love it. I promise to hand wash it and replace it in its cardboard sleeve. And I will never let it near sorbet. I promise.