Thursday, December 09, 2004

Kitchen Knives and Cheese Graters

I was a new bride, living in Connecticut. One day, a package arrived from my dad. In it, I found a spiffy set of kitchen knives and a cutlery block in which to store them. Those knives still live in my kitchen, silently begging for professional sharpening, yet still doing an admirable job of chopping and slicing. They do such a good job that I never give their adequacy a second thought.

That is, until the other day when I wrestled with my broken cheese-grater.

For some reason, I just can't justify a purchase for anything decent in my kitchen. My husband does not suffer from this problem and that explains our Juiceman Juicemaker and the George Foreman Grill. He's a sucker for infomercials and longs for one of those chicken rotisseries. We just don't have space for any more faddish appliances. Plus, I say, why spend money on something if what you already have is adequate?

Not that my cheese-grater is adequate. When I purchased it (to replace one that inexplicably disappeared about the same time a GameBoy and a cellphone vaporized from the premises), I thought it was Perfect. It unfolded into an upside down V--you could grate finely on one side and not-finely on the other.

Perfect. Until it broke. Now, the legs on the not-finely side are gone and the cheese-grater is crippled. You can't open it all the way and place it flat on your bowl. Nor can you prop it on a cutting board. To grate cheese requires a delicate, yet firm, grip, which often involves shredded skin and pinched fingers.

I need a new cheese-grater.

That's what I thought the other night while grating cheese. Then I remembered my dad and the knives. He gave me those knives because he really needed a decent set of knives in the kitchen. When he died, he was 47 and he'd never owned a really great set of kitchen knives. He did not want me to suffer the way he did.

Yet I do suffer. Exactly in the same way he did. What do you bet I find a really fabulous, expensive, glorious cheese-grater--to give to my daughter as a wedding gift, to prevent her from shredding her fingers and otherwise enduring the agony of a lifetime of living with a worthless, broken cheese-grater?

Better yet, maybe for my 40th birthday--coming soon--I'll splurge and buy myself the best cheese-grater money can buy. Life is too short to bleed on dairy products.


Blogger Marykay said...

My dad was adamant that one should spent money to buy quality on the things that you use reguarly - shoes and tools for him. He spent an unbelievable amount of money on those two things, but they lasted over 30 years and when he died they seemed as though they were new (and then my husband got his shoes, yippee). I've adopted his philosphy on household items that I use all the time -- a good vacuum, a good knife etc... I only have one pampered chef knife, but it is the best I've ever had and see myself using it for many years to come. Buy yourself that cheese grater!!!!!!

6:26 AM  

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