Friday, August 28, 2009

Choose Your Weapon

You need a big knife. A big knife can do anything a small knife can do, but the opposite is not really true. A small knife is not going to help you carry onions and garlic from the cutting board to the skillet, for instance. But, with a little practice you can do even fine detail things -- like peel the strings off a celery stalk -- with a big knife.
And a big knife is a great way to get the male of the household into an apron. Add some danger and men will try anything. Get a big knife for a Father's Day gift and promise a blow torch if they learn to make creme brulee for Christmas. Big, sharp blades and fire? Sign me up.
My weapon of choice is a Chinese cleaver. It is a more subtle version of the meat whacking blade we're all familiar with from old movies and cartoons. Mine is an old Martin Yan ("If Yan Can Cook, So Can You!") signature product. I'm sure Martin fronts for a different company these days. But, I keep this old blade. I've had it many years, it didn't cost that much and it holds an edge better than some of my fancier knives.
My cleaver is like an old pickup truck with 150,000 miles on it. Not as stylish as today's products, maybe even a little beat up from wear and tear; but it's comfy, gets the job done and I can't find a reason to replace it.
And it's big, did I mention that? Manly big. You nick yourself with this bad boy and your grandchildren will bleed.

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