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  • 31st Mar, 2005 at 9:27 PM

It is probably not the brightest idea to handle sharp pointy objects while being deliriously tired. However, that's what Damian and I decided to do.

Damian and I share the same office, which has lots of natural light and a fairly decent layout. We were also hacking on a Scheme webserver the day, overnight, and then that day. So we were both pretty exhausted. My diminished cognitive skills led me to wonder how I managed to pass all those exams eleven months ago. I mean, I was really sleep-deprived back then, maybe getting an average of four hours of sleep for about three months. The fact that I passed all of my final exams continues to surprise and amaze me.

Damian had mentioned a day or two before that La Soupière (1611 Ste-Catherine O., Montréal, QC. 514-933-7885) had this sale on kitchen knives. He knew this because he walked past that store every day to work, and as a fellow foodie, he tends to notice these things. And it's a good thing he noticed this too, because I had just given Jim's chef's knife back a couple of days before.

Now I was getting by pretty well because I have the cleaver that my parents brought me. It's a really nice knife that holds its edge really well. I think it's high-carbon stainless steel, but I really can't be bothered to find out. It's even my preferred tool for chopping, slicing, and mincing. But it's rather poor compared to a chef's knife if you want to chiffonade, joint, or carve. So I suggested that we head over to the store and see what they had to offer.

I walked in and gravitated to the cabinet where they had all the locked-up knives. This is not meant to keep customers from stabbing each other or from holding up the storekeepers. No, there are plenty of other knives just out and about that are sufficient for that job. Rather, the knives in the cupboards are quality knives so the locked cabinets are to deter shoplifters, not armed robbers. There was a 15% discount on Global knives, and then a 25% discount on Henckels.

Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

I first tried to convince the storekeepers to let me try a Global, but they claimed that nobody would buy the knife if it was out of its packaging. "How odd," I thought, "who would buy a knife without trying it first?" Still, they opened up the box enough for me to grip the handle, but not with a chopping grip. Wow, those things are light! Perhaps too light for me. So I tried out the nicest Henckels chef's knife they had in stock, which wasn't hermetically sealed. That seemed to have the balance I was used to and it was much cheaper than the Global knife. For a while, I was trying to decide whether I wanted a 10-inch knife or an 8-inch knife. I finally decided to go with the smaller knife because it wasn't tiring to hold and I could let people with smaller hands use it.

The saleswoman wrapped it up in paper as she rattled off all sorts of things about the advantages of a good knife, and the warranties, and all sorts of smalltalk to which I could only nod dumbly. When she was done, I happily stuck my purchase into my knapsack. Then Damian and I went to Santangelo's, picked up some delicious sandwiches, went over to his place and ate them. By this time, I was about to pass out, so I decided to take my leave and sleep on the metro. Which I did. Somehow, I managed to make my way home without missing any of my stops.

You will note that this entry has no stunning observations nor any deep thoughts. That's basically because I was a walking automaton when I made this purchase. But I managed to make my way home without destroying either myself or my backpack. I'm sure I instantly passed out on my bed. I am, however, incredibly happy with my new knife and am glad that my purchasing decisions aren't compromised when I have the intellectual capacity of a peanut.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
1st Apr, 2005 15:37 (UTC)
You can luck out at Winners sometimes and get decent high-carbon knives cheap. I got an excellent chef's knife for $10 a couple of months ago. Wonderful steel.

1st Apr, 2005 18:12 (UTC)
That's a pretty good deal.
1st Apr, 2005 15:43 (UTC)
Does the place you bought the knife have a Henkel's guy come in and sharpen knives? Most of my knives are Henkel's and Gizmos calls us every few months to let us know when the Henkel's guy will sharpen them for free.

The lady in Gizmos walked over and asked me what I was doing when I took my most recent knife purchase out of the box to see how it felt. I agree -- buying a knife without holding it doesn't make any sense.

(Henkel's makes a nice peeler, too, that's usually $4-5 at the Bay. I went through a phase a few years ago where I bought one for everyone I cooked with. It's nice to be at someone's house and pull out a peeler you can actually use.)
1st Apr, 2005 16:11 (UTC)
I dunno. I've always sharpened my knives myself, since that was a skill my dad thought was useful to impart. Maybe they will, maybe they won't.

I used to spend an obscene amount of money at Gizmos. And I was still a student back then, so I really couldn't afford it.

I've yet to buy a paring knife or a real peeler. But perhaps I will look into Henckels for those as well.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )