Sunday, February 15, 2004


James Capozzola cut his finger while attempting the slicing of an egg roll.

He doesn't say, but I suspect his problem might have arisen from a knife that became too dull. Folks, please: keep your kitchen cutlery sharp, especially if you cook at all frequently. Most accidents from knives result because the blades are too dull to cut cleanly, thus requiring the user to apply more downward pressure to the handle, in turn creating potential for those sudden slips of the blade that lead to bleeding digits. If your knife is properly sharp, you should not have to apply any downward pressure to the handle while cutting: gravity will do the job as you move the blade laterally. If your knifes are dull, get them sharpened. You will find that cutting requires less effort, and your risk of cuts will be greatly reduced. This is true of all knives, even serated bread knives.

And as long as I'm talking about knives, here's another tip. Suppose you're cutting up vegetables or meat and you need to transfer them from the cutting board to the soup pot or the wok or the frying pan or whatever. Many people will pick up the cutting board and then use the knife blade to push the veggies into the waiting pot.

Don't do this. Please oh please. This will hasten the dulling of the blade (assuming that you're using good quality knives, as opposed to crappy stainless steel ones).

What you should do in this case is either put the knife aside and use your hand to slide the items from the cutting board to the pot, or, if you must use the knife, invert it. Use the back edge of the blade, the non-sharpened surface, to push the veggies.

Aside from pots and pans, knives are the most important tools in a kitchen in which any cooking beyond heating canned soups is being done. Treat them with care and use them correctly, and there's no need to ever spill your own blood upon the counter and thus be forced into a phase of light blogging!

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