Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Never going to be a chef...

I will never be a chef. It requires an ease around the kitchen, and confidence with all the tools, which I honestly do not have. And I've learned to deal with that fact. Everyone has their 'thing' they hate. Something that just gives chills up the spine. Mine is poor knife handling.

This isn't a sponsored for the Billy May's whatchamacallit. I'm not going to sell you a safety knife.
Image courtesy of Apolonia /
Blades. I can handle them, but I just cannot handle you handling them. 
Make sense? Probably not. I hate blades but would rather handle them than see you handling them poorly.
Why Blades?

I've worked in food service for years. And not just as the cashier, but as food prep, dishwasher and cook.

  • Dishwasher. As a dishwasher, I was always annoyed by one thing. Instead of putting knives blade down in the utensil caddy (or on the table as requested) people always seemed to toss them in the large sink basin which I hated. I was always getting stuck. And just when you think you might get through a night doing dishes by patrolling the area, you still got stuck. Always.
  • Food prep. Of course this basically means chopping, dicing, and grating things for the main cook. And it is the only job in the kitchen where you can control if you get cut. I've become an incredibly skilled chopper because of this. Which is why I don't let anyone else use knives, if possible. Because y'all don't have anything on my skills.
  • Cook. When I was a cook (I refuse to call myself a chef since it was diner food), the restaurant where I worked had a unique claim to fame. Every potato item on the menu was made fresh. As in, the owners literally had a field of potatoes, and the owners son would bring bucket after bucket into the kitchen still warm from the sun. You might think that the food preppers would get this fun job. Nope. Not where I worked.
Have you ever heard the line in movies about being in the Navy and if you were being punished, you had to peel potatoes all day? I had to peel bucket after bucket after 5gallon bucket, every day. And let me tell you, Pennsylvanians love their potatoes.

And, you might be unaware of this if you only peel a few veggies for your family, but those peelers suck. They slip, nick up your knuckles and induce carpal tunnel like cramps in your good peeling hand. Cramps which makes you switch to your lame hand, and cut up the other hand.


These days, I do the following to cope:

Embrace the role of sous chef, and keep the creative genius in the kitchen safe. Tom is the talent in the kitchen (as far as concocting recipes). It's a good arrangement.

I require that all pointy metal utensils are out blade down in a drinking glass. I'm a little obsessive about my dish washing routine, but this is rule numero uno.

Supervise. Tom is a typical "I got this" kind of guy. I tell myself that it's because he hasn't been hurt that badly yet, and I intend to keep it that way. There was a week that 3 people in my family got sliced up pretty badly by misusing an apple peeler and a paring knife. That was the end of the line. I gladly volunteer to wash those death traps.

So tell me... Anyone else out there accident-prone in the kitchen?
Do you cook, or do you delegate that activity to your spouse?

This post was brought to you by the A-Z Challenge, and the letter:


  1. I absolutely love to cook, but my skills when it comes to using knives...well...not so good, lol. I've always wanted to learn how to use a knife like a professional or, you know, at least in a way that it doesn't take me an hour to slice potatoes (yes, we Pennsylvanians do love our potatoes). I also have to remember to be careful when it comes to slicing things. I cut off part of my thumb with a mandolin slicer once, not a fun time (and I promise I will not post pictures on my blog of it because, of course, I decided I needed to take pictures). So yeah, I need to be a bit more careful in the kitchen and I know I will never be a chef.

    1. Ughhhhhhh. I have a separate memory of cutting through my index fingernail with a deli meat slicer. Mandolin slicers are in the same camp. Your comment just made me shudder, but glad you're okay!

      And, admitting we have a problem (around blades) is the first step, right?

  2. Don't worry... I will never be a chef either! You're not the only one!

    1. I have a feeling that people try to hide behind a Martha Stewart exterior. Nothing wrong with us knowing our strengths and weaknesses :)

  3. I love cooking. It's my therapy. However sometimes it can just take too long and eat up too much family time so I find myself cooking less and less.

  4. I have a few scars. In fact, the one on my index finger and the one on my pinky are at the same angle (goes to show I cut things relatively evenly). You're not alone in the whole "not a chef" thing. :)

    1. Haha. Well, evenly is a good thing usually!

  5. I stabbed myself with a vegetable peeler recently. Kitchens are dangerous!

    1. Believe it or not, the cheapo ones are the best for not slipping. Bought a $10 one thinking it would work better. Threw it out and went with the $1.99 one from the dollar store.


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