Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Lou & Lucy’s Leftovers: Extra-sharp wit and knives

Lou Groccia and Lucy Pickett, the Gazette’s self-described food experts, can’t stop jawing about food.

To paraphrase a famous saying, “Knives: Can’t cut with ’em, can’t cut without ’em.”

According to a recent survey, the United States ranks 54th in the world for household knife sharpness. Japan is 1st, followed by Switzerland and China.*

I can certainly attest to the results of this study from first-hand knowledge, so to speak. I have plenty of nicked fingers and arms from working with knives that weren’t sharpened properly.

For the past few years I have relied on the following (in order of time spent) to keep my cooking knives sharp: nothing, a sharpening steel and an electric Chef’s Choice gizmo. Nothing doesn’t do that great a job. A steel only puts an edge on the knife. The electric gizmo has to be dragged out of storage to use it.

I decided I wanted an easier way to sharpen my knives, in particular my favorite Chicago Cutlery 8-inch chef’s knife that I have had for 40 years.

How could I sharpen my knives regularly and quickly? Then I remembered, in a galaxy a long time ago and far, far away, I used to make furniture in my basement. And I still had a pair of diamond sharpening stones, medium grit and fine grit.

So, last week I brought these stones, each 3-inches-by-6-inches, up to the kitchen and started practicing sharpening my knives.

It didn’t take me long to make these knives so sharp, they can cut through paper held on edge. They can also cut through skin, like on my hands.

But like President Bush used to say, “Mission accomplished.”

— Lou

* I made the survey stuff up. That was just my extra-sharp wit.

Right at this moment I will ashamedly say my knives are as dull as a hoe. Duller than dull. Dull as dishwater. Actually, that last dull phrase pertains to human personalities. And I would have to say dishwater is dull, but not as dull as my knives.

— Lucy

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