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In my two years of trying to become a better cook I’ve learned to appreciate having a good knife to work with. Alas, Babylon! I don’t have one. We have a drawerful of knives most of them decades old and as a lot worthless. I’ve managed to make two of them fair-at-best useful via a knife sharpener but this C-grade at best. When I see folks chopping things in the instruction videos their knives are cutting through tomatoes and onions like light-sabers. Top of my Christmas list if a proper no-rubbish type chef’s knife. I suspect this will make meal planning so much better, like having learned piano on an old four-legged spinet only to get a brand new Yamaha. Oh the touch! Oh the finesse!

Trouble is making sure I get a good one. For sometime I’ve been taking names of knife makers as to what might suit me. I want one I can sharpen myself at home. I want one that does the most good (rather than a set). Someone finds it funny in my family Christmas prize wants are precise things. We don’t ask for a shirt, but a specific type found on page so-and-so in the Land’s End catalog, that sort of approach. I’ve been half-tempted to just buy the one I want to guarantee I get a good one, but with Christmas coming this would be indiscreet.

Chopping onions is what I look forward to improving the most. My two old knives barely do the job – either that or I buy very tough onions. I may have to relearn my handle holds etc. to work with a good knife, but I am ready to do so.

I don’t remember any of my relations being choosy about their knives so they are no help. I don’t remember them extolling their knife skills or teaching me the value of sharpening them, something I only connected the dots much later in life.

Spo-fans if you have a good chef’s knife you recommended I would be blithe to hear about it.

How often to you sharpen your knives and how do you accomplish this?

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