Chop It Up…but Please Leave Your Fingers Intact

I finally had my first cooking class.  Knife Skills.
I made it imperative to go to this class first.  I viewed it as the quintessential building block for cooking technique.

Andy Warhol's "Knives"

So I went-toting along with me knives, a notebook, and my cutting board.  It was a small class only 8 people, and I was the youngest.  To be completely frank, the focus of the class wasn’t what I’d hoped (I wanted to learn about the various types of cuts, and how to do them properly without creating much waste, cussing like a sailor, or losing a digit.)  Instead it was more on cutting various items of produce, which was fine but did feel rather basic.  (I attribute my ‘knowledge’ here to Google, as I have said before I honestly don’t know what I’m talking about here, I enjoy it, but I’m certainly no expert.)

I noticed something quickly during the lecture, that became apparent when we were instructed to pick up our knives.  I was one of the few (if only) not scared.   I’ve had many people tell me ‘Ooh knives scare me” and for the life of me I can’t wrap my head around it. My thoughts were along the lines of: “If you don’t do this right, you could seriously hurt yourself, so you better learn the right way–and always take it seriously.”

But I’ve never been afraid of  knives.
Same way I wasn’t afraid when I twirled fire in High School.  I had SOME fear (I didn’t want to drop the thing, light the grass on fire, and be shamed from the town…) but I had no fears about the actual act of twirling or tossing it.

That's me Fire Twirling. Of course it made the small town paper.

The way I viewed it was simple:  I’m in complete control.  It’s (this goes for knives and the baton here along with a number of other things) not out to get me, but if I get skittish there could be Painful results.  I’ve always thought there needed to be a healthy level of respect there, plus knowledge of what you can ACTUALLY do, and what is beyond your skill (you won’t find me acting like a hibachi chef in the kitchen Any time soon.)   Know what you can do, be confident in it, and don’t be afraid while practicing–you may fall, burn yourself, cut yourself or who knows what else.  When that happens you either learn and try your darned best not to make that mistake again, or you shy away, gaining nothing but an exaggerated fear.

Back to class—

Someone cut themselves early on.  The way we were told to cut onion was slightly different from how I’d done at home…and I quickly became embarrassed that my cuts weren’t as regimented as I’m used to seeing.  I was also lightly scolded (I got bored and decided to switch produce in the middle of things, something I NEVER do at home.)

I also picked up a good recipe for gazpacho, I’ll likely share it later.

While I wasn’t entirely thrilled with the lesson as a whole, I was surprised and pleased at what I recognized in myself.  I’m also excited about the next one:  Seafood and Fish.

One more thing: cup your thumb under & roll your fingers.  It keeps them safely tucked away.


About Bec

I'm a gal who believes "Food is the Most Primitive form of Comfort" Have plenty of dishes to serve up, but one thing's for sure, I'm always
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3 Responses to Chop It Up…but Please Leave Your Fingers Intact

  1. Oh my heavens. This is SO great. Now I want to take a knife class AND a baton twirling one.

  2. I had to come back to this and let you know that I held an avacado in my hand last night and sliced it open, along with my finger.

    6 stitches, on vacation. Maybe I need to sign up for that knife class when I get back…

    • Bec says:

      Oh Sarabeth!!! I saw. My that looked terrible. What I didn’t include in the post: I burn. I’ve grabbed hot pots or got myself on the business end of a wire rack…funny thing is my MeMe is the same. No big cutting injuries, but plenty of burns

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