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No shame, Just Skills!

April 12, 2012

I think my weakest spot in the kitchen is my knife skills. Knife skills effect everything! My chopping shame haunts me daily. The way the food cooks is affected by how it’s cut, the final look of the dish and presentation suffer. The importance of cutting things uniformly can’t be overstated. (Great.) I’m not afraid to bake a cake but I’m embarrassed by my salads!

And of course the way life goes is the thing that we are most likely to avoid is that thing the universe puts directly in front of us to address. When I started my cooler than cool America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School blogger scholarship -before I dove into Apple Pies at Bridget’s suggestion, I started with cooking fundamentals. And there was–right in front of me knife skills!

I watched the video instructions a couple of times and decided that my knives were not ready for me. (procrastination?) So I called Precision Sharpening here in Houston and had them come over and sharpen all of my knives and talk to me about how to take care of them. I’d already looked at the cooking school’s blog regarding knives and sharpening also had communicated with the author about it, but I thought I would start with a professional sharpen and vow to take care of them properly from now on.

So, with my newly sharpened knives and my wonderful laptop in the kitchen on the counter I got started on my skills, and I give this to you my before and after.

Chop an Onion:



















Dice a carrot:



















Mince garlic:

I never minced garlic, I always used a press.










after: minced by hand









Chop parsley:












Also included are the instructions on how to cut on a bias, but that’s pretty easy peasy. My before and after were the same.

There it is. Knife skills. I’m not done with these by any stretch. I know that these skills are ongoing, and I shall challenge myself to use these new skills in my everyday cooking. Practice makes perfect (or at least better) and these techniques transfer to many other veggies. Soon my shameful salads will be works of art!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. The Modern Home Economist permalink
    April 12, 2012 3:58 pm

    Thats fantastic. Such amazing progress. I may have to sharpen my knives and work on some skills too!

  2. April 12, 2012 4:28 pm

    Hahahh, that’s good to hear 🙂 Practice does makes perfect. I’m pretty bad at cutting myself.. Good luck! ^^

    • April 12, 2012 9:00 pm

      LOL! that’s pretty funny! i’m pretty good at cutting myself too. all that practice! 😉

  3. April 13, 2012 7:54 am

    Knife skills, ack! I’m most impressed by the carrots. Way to go! And thanks for the encouraging post – there is hope for the rest of us.
    Shameless garlic presser 🙂

    • April 13, 2012 8:02 am

      seriously about the garlic press. i lost mine a few months ago and was CRANKY about it. oh, and yes- the carrots were transformed. little cubes. 😉

  4. April 13, 2012 10:07 am

    Wow! Big improvement! I swear if you have a really good, sharp knife you can cut circles around any slicing-dicing gadget.

    • April 28, 2012 8:48 am

      cutting circles is going to be harder. i’ll try when i get a little better!! 😉

  5. Jeffrey permalink
    April 13, 2012 8:05 pm

    I am very impressed. My knife skills are poor as well and you put me to shame.

  6. April 27, 2012 10:59 am

    That’s me… all those before pics. Tina is the ‘chef’ in this house and she has tried to teach me… sigh… it’s a process!

    • April 28, 2012 8:47 am

      it is, but that video really helped. keep “chopping broccoli” you’ll get better!! 😉

  7. April 27, 2012 4:54 pm

    Reblogged this on nilewess and commented:
    I have a similare issue when it comes to knife skills, and I’m pretty sure I mutilate the nutrients out of my veggies when I’m done. Will look into a cutting class.

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