Cutting edge

As you may have noticed, I am drawn to basic tools without moving parts or electronics. When I gave up my community garden, I gave away all my tools, even my spade, except for pruning shears (for maintaining cut flowers) and… a hoe. I just could not give up an example of technology that is “perhaps preceded only by the digging stick.” And one never knows when TEOTWAWKI will happen.

$7250 fish knifeSimilarly, I have “a thing” for kitchen knives. Kitchen knives can range from the humblest paring knife from the dollar store to a precision and quality (and price) that most people never imagine. For me, knives cry out atavistically, reminding me of the multimillion-year-old archaeological broken rocks that captivated me as a child imagining hominids in a quiet savanna skinning their dinner. I am fascinated enough that I bought and read an entire book on selecting and maintaining kitchen knives.

Olduvai_stone_chopping_tool_at_British_MuseumI don’t like to think about knives as weapons, no matter how beautifully crafted. And I hardly know outdoors life well enough to think of what sort of knives would be useful. When I see the letters “EDC,” I think of “eau de cologne,” not “everyday carry,” as knife fans use the acronym. But I do enjoy looking at kitchen knives.

I like to think of knives used for delicious creations. When I visited the convent, I thought of what gifts might be appreciated, and imagined that the nuns would need quality kitchen knives. (They didn’t. Monastics need items that get used up.) In the car just after an elderly nun picked me up at the bus station, I asked out of the blue, without explanation, “Do you have good knives in your kitchen?” Incredibly, she didn’t ask why; she didn’t recoil, thinking I was a psychopath out to kill them all; she merely said “Yes, we do.” And as I checked for myself, indeed they did, old but good. Monastics take a vow of poverty, but when they really need a durable object, they get solid if moderately priced quality.

Ultimate utility KnifeAs you know from my earlier posts, I have no kitchen. So I have no use for a kitchen knife. But today I want to introduce you to the Shun Sora Ultimate Utility Knife with a 6″ blade. The shape is so unique that I cannot help wanting one. I particularly daydream about making BLTs with it, following the promotional copy, slicing the tomatoes as thinly as possible to make them juicy, using the rounded end of the knife to spread mayonnaise on the bread, and cutting the whole sandwich in half without squashing the bread or tearing the bacon, as a lesser knife might do.

Alas, I can only wish I had one. I will not buy one just to marvel at it and feel its balance in my hand, not even for a gift, because I am friends with no engaged couples and there is nobody else I would give such a gift to. (I send the nuns almond flour and rubber gloves. But that is another story.) I simply want to call this knife to your attention because it would be a wonderful thing for your own kitchen, or a handsome gift to someone who could appreciate it. And I can’t use it.


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