Monday, February 28, 2011

Culinary tools of the trade

      It's the last day of February, I made my way through the work day, but could not conceive of going to school as much as I love it.  My whole body is tired and I know I'm sick, throat is achy and cough has set in, blaahhh, I hate feeling this way.   The guilt of staying home made me get up and start straightening up the place, check emails, consider recipes for my posts and so on... In the midst of it all I told myself the reason why I stayed home was to rest because I'm sick, so I put myself to bed and helped my daughter assemble a lucky bracelet given to her at school for Saint Patricks' day.   That's me always doing or thinking something, even if I'm supposed to be resting, so in the while I was resting/helping my daughter with her bracelet, a thought occurred to me, I haven't spoken of a Chefs" tools of the trade.   Wow! How could I have bi passed something so important, crucial in fact to assembling a meal, my first thought was of my santoku, a santoku is a knife you use for basically everything you cut in the kitchen, it's the knife of choice if you will.  Of course there are other knives a chef posses such as a boning knife,  pear knife even a tournee knife, but the santoku is the one you always want around.   Thus far the tools I can't go without in lab are my santoku of course, my wooden spoon, rubber spatula, peeler, boning knife, whisk and brush.

      If your planning on attending culinary school at some point, please mark your tools, there is at times an issue with someone's knife or other tools being uhhhhh......misplaced?......  I have found myself in that position a few times, but the worse was when I lost my wooden spoon, I went to use the restroom and my wooden spoon was gone when I returned, I think I mourned it, really, it had been with me since first quarter and it even had my initials on it!  Mark your tools with a loud mark that's hard to miss, so you won't "misplace" them in lab, engrave your initials on them if you can and put them away as soon as you clean them.  Another tool I lost recently was my peeler, it's upsetting because you pay for these things and then to just have them disappear is nuts also the thought that someone could be so cold hearted and just lift your things is upsetting too.  In looking for a replacement peeler, I discovered Giada De lorentis has a line of tools out, the peeler is sturdy looking and seems like a quality one, I may purchase that one, but am still considering it.    Also keep your knives sharp, it is very difficult to get a clean cut with a dull knife, believe me there's a big difference when you try to fillet a fish with a dull knife as opposed to a freshly sharpened one, you get a clean cut every time and it's faster. 

      A tournee knife is the only knife you will use to peel and that's only to get that football shape you desire.  In the end your lifetime partner is the santoku though, it becomes your best friend, the one you rely on, the one you think of when presented with onions to dice (and you will be presented with onions to dice and dice and dice), the one you can be sure will conquer the tenderloin that needs to be sliced or cubed, the one....well, you know what I mean.  If you ever lose a tool in class insist that  your classmates look for it in their tool bags, chances are someone took it by mistake, don't just give up on it, that's money you have to spend to replace it.    OK, I need to go to bed now, goodnight and thank you for reading, take care!

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