Saturday, May 05, 2007

nearly 'bout

Years of working in kitchens has given me a certain attitude in regards to different aspects of food preparation. This has of course carried over into my home life. Some of this has to do with my handling a knife.

I'm pretty good with a knife. I know my way around one, but I'm also the guy that, due to random circumstances, has fallen in love with the longer than I need chef's knife. My own current knife is a fairly long Wusthof that is in desperate need of a date with a stone.

This story is not about the knife. It's a beautiful knife for all that, and the stories about it would be those of a good partner, always willing when needed to step in and do all those things I require. Again, this isn't about that knife.

This story is about the little serrated knife that came with the butcher block that came with the house. The block was full of serrated knives of all kinds when it came into our possession. I have no use for a serrated chef's knife, but the little steak knives come in handy quite often. Who wouldn't want a decent set of steak knives.

One of the kitcheny knife things I do is a favorite of The Boy. He is a lover of the banana as am I. Momma likes her bananas a little green whereas I like mine a darker yellow, happy even with a couple of brown spots. When the bananas are green, The Boy has trouble opening them. To get around his frustration based on his wanting to do it himself but not being able to, I came up with a little trick.

The trick is mostly lame, but it's fun enough for me because it involves doing something stupid with a knife. The Boy likes it because it's a tiny show. It amused him the first time I did it and continues to be a favorite.

It's really lame, as I said. I merely hold the banana upright and, using one of the steak knives, I slash the stem off. If the trick goes right, the stem flies across the room, trying to slip under the refrigerator and disappear. Sometimes the trick doesn't go quite as planned and the stem doesn't get cut all the way through. Usually a second slash remedies the situation.

He and I wanted a banana at the same time today, so I tried to get both bananas at once, sort of. I held both bananas in one hand, crossed in my palm. One of the two stems didn't come all the way off, so I slashed at it a second time. The order of this story is somewhat cloudy in my mind, which in the end may be for the best. I remember specifically having the feeling at some point in the process that I'd avoided some amount of catastrophe, perhaps the slicing off of some amount of finger. It feels like a second sight I've developed. Working in kitchens means some amount of cut fingers.

I didn't really think anything of it at the time. The process of the banana topping ends with me cutting an X in the top of the banana leaving four distinct places to peel the banana. As usual, I slashed the banana tops off, cut the X and then went to find the stems. I can't very well leave banana stems laying in the kitchen floor. As I picked up the stems I notice a new banana bit. It was the bottom of one of the bananas.

As I was throwing the stems away I looked at the bananas in my hand, seeing all too clearly the bottom end I'd also cut away. I didn't want to look to closely at the knuckles that sat between the two ends of the banana. I still don't really want to think about. Don't think about it. Don't picture yourself holding a banana in your hand and cutting both ends off at once with one quick slice when you only meant to cut off the top. It really doesn't bear thinking about.

1 comment:

Rosie said...

Yikes...I sort of do that same trick with bananas.

Sorry no piccies of the mule team! I'm still on a learning curve with the new camera and we were passing them on the road and I missed the shot!

I'll try to see when my muleskinner friend is ploughing his garden with Sadie and Blackjack and see if I can get some shots of that.