Below are some things I have come across to make mine and your food preparations easier. I will be sharing lots of videos on this blog since I am a visual person.
In my first weeks in Norway, Ole handed me a knife during dinner prep to find I had no proper clue how to use one. Of course I had cut some veggies before.. but only on occasion. We had a small, extremely sharp pairing knife at my parents house that I was terrified of since it always niched me. So Ole had some teaching and convincing to do. We had two chefs knives and a bread knife. Ole taught me to cut paprikas, onion, cucumber and set me free. Since then I have bought a few more knives for our collection, and am still in need of a sharpener.
Knives are an investment, they are something that if you do your homework and buy right should last for years. My grandmother used the same knives for years. This is a true case of ‘you get what you pay for’, but if you are only paying for it once or twice in your life – spend big! I just read a great article that said jokingly but in all seriousness, ‘the knife is the most used kitchen utensil besides the wine glass’. Read reviews, test them for feel in stores. I bought what I thought was a great knife on sale, it is an off brand and I did not do any research into it. It was in a box and I though I could not resist the offer. The way to hold it is with your pointer finger resting on the upper of the blade pulling away from the handle. Why this should not be a problem, the edges there are sharp enough to give me tiny cuts in my finger and make it painful. Lesson learned: save up to buy a quality knife.
This video below is a great overview of how to use knives properly and protect your fingers.
This is one area I would like to improve on, but we have what we need to survive – the designer in me comes out and I want matching sets and more then we need. We have a large wooden block cutting board that is used only for our bread. In Norway fresh baked bread is the normal, so every few days we buy a new loaf and slice off a piece when we want some. When it comes to meats and produce, we have 2 plastic boards – small & large – as well as a small Epicurean board. The Epicurean board is my favorite. I find that it slides around less and I feel I do not damage it.
I have been so upset recently when trying out my semi newly attained knife skills, because I feel that I am chasing the board all over the counter. I never had this trouble while learning, but I was also moving at a snails pace then, now I can finally chop semi-fast! I have been thinking that I needed to get a thinker heavier board, but that is not the case. Check out this video with Jamie Oliver below for a good tip!