It seems that every time I get really smug or cocky about something, it bites me in the ass. And it’s always as a result of my cockiness on the issue. Oh, I made a really tasty pie crust (out of sheer luck. Pastry and me have big time relationship problems), now I’m going to make a beautiful tart shell. What? No, you’re not allowed to burn. Shit, I didn’t think that putting the flimsy tart pan onto my 380º pizza stone would result in blackened pastry quite so quickly. Had I not been so confident in my [nonexistent] pastry dough skills, I’d have checked on it every 2 minutes or maybe even camped out in front of the oven window and watched it as it baked. Instead, I let it go as I do with many other items, and that puppy burned the second my back was turned. As is my life.
A few months ago I was watching Julia Childs episodes while I made French Onion Soup, and she was ranting about how important a sharp knife is. My dad hadn’t been over recently to sharpen my knives so I pulled my Chef’s knife through my dinky little pull-through sharpener, then ran it over the sharpening steel a few times based on Julia’s recommendation. Then I was feeling smug about how sharp my knife was. Really smug. Then as I was sliding some sliced onions off of my knife into the bowl that they were collecting in, I accidentally lightly slid my pinkie over the edge of the blade and got a big cut. If I hadn’t sharpened the knife, my finger would have just slid right down the blade and I wouldn’t have been cut.
Yesterday – I was feeling pretty smug about how sharp my knifes have been as of late. I got a Spyderco Sharpmaker for Christmas and I’ve become a bit of a fanatic. My knives are all quite sharp, and I’ve been giving them tune-ups every weekend to keep them in tip-top shape. I had just finished telling Craig’s dad, Joe, how sharp my knives were and how awesome I am for keeping them that sharp, and how I also walk on water in my off time. I was making some olive tapenade, and had just finished chopping my olives up finely, and had run a clove of garlic through my garlic press. I grabbed my 9″ chef’s knife to scrape the garlic off the press with the back of the blade, and due to my amazing clumsiness, managed to throw it into the air. Knowing the supreme level of sharpness that this particular knife possessed, I did my best to get clear and let the knife fall to the floor. I didn’t do as well as I envisioned I’d do, and ended up brushing the blade on it’s way down with my wrist, which promptly began bleeding. If the knife hadn’t been so sharp (I really hardly even felt the knife touch me) I’d have had a small scratch. Instead, I got out the first aid kit that my mother put together for me and tried to tape the two sides of the cut back together and stop the bleeding. I was VERY lucky that my wrist wasn’t turned 20º the other way or it may have been an emergency room situation. After 3 bandage changes, I finally managed to stem the bleeding. But now I’m going to have a nice big cut mark right on my wrist, I tend to scar easily. You’d be amazed by the number of scars I have on my hands and forearms from cooking.