Friday, June 22, 2007

Tip: Choke That Blade

There are a million and three ‘knife work’ tips that should get written down. I’ll try to mention them as I think of them. The other day, I cut my finger. And that reminded me that I should take my own advice now and then . . .

You see, I had my index finger reaching out there along the top of the knife blade, and lo and behold, there was a new ingredient dribbling out into my onions.

Don’t. You cannot get a good grip on the handle of the knife, and you cannot control the motion or direction of the blade with that finger stuck out there like that.

Don’t do this!

‘Choke up’ on the blade. Get your thumb pointing toward the knife tip on one side of the steel,

Thumb down one side

and your index finger down toward the blade edge on the other side, and grip the handle with the rest of your fingers.

Index finger down the other

If you’re using one of those wimpy ‘little’ knives, where you don’t have room to keep your index finger down the side of the blade, well, then, tuck it under the handle, in that little nook that knife makers conveniently put right there, for just that purpose.

Thumb down one side, tuck the rest

Now, you’re ready to cut. And you won’t be slipping and sliding and adding extra bits of this and that to your dish.

Yeah. I know. It feels really strange at first. But just keep at it. In a year or 12, you’ll only have to think about it when old habits rear their ugly heads and you cut your finger half off . . .

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