I’ve been doing a lot of cooking the last couple of weeks. We decided to have a potluck lunch at work last Wednesday, and I found a recipe for crock pot beef bourguignon that I wanted to try. Horribly fattening, bad for your cholesterol, yadda yadda yadda, but oh boy is it tasty. And I love cooking. It feels like doing magic – well, if you’re not familiar with what’s going on, it *is* magic. Pots and kettles full of simmering liquids, assortments of herbs and powders that are really expensive and hard to get, strange-looking tools – if those don’t make for magic, what does?
(The first person who says anything about love or sunrises is getting whacked with a ladle.)
So, yeah, cooking. I made another batch of the wonderful beef stew last night, and as I pulled out my Japanese Santoku knife, the edge felt just slightly off. Without thinking, I reached into a drawer, pulled out a honing steel, and gave the knife five runs down its length.
And then I gasped in horror at what I’d done.
You’re really, really not supposed to use a honing steel on this knife. You’re supposed to use a whetstone, which I did not have in the house at the time. I felt the edge gingerly, and compared to the smooth mirror polish it had a few minutes previously, it felt like the lid of a tin can. I shuddered with shame and dread.
And then I took out my frustration on three pounds of chuck roast. And I got over it. Cooking’s great therapy if you’re not under any time constraints.
On the way home from work today, I stopped by a cutlery store and got a whetstone. When I got home I oiled it, drew the Santoku over it a few strokes on each side, and the edge is looking and feeling *much* better. I think I saved a piece of my immortal culinary soul. Please don’t tell anyone, I promise I will *never* do that again.