Adult Dogs Learning New Tricks · Dec 8, 10:39 PM

Yup, that’s us, and that’s what we did on Monday night. We finally used one of our wedding gifts, a gift certificate to The Chopping Block, a high-end cookware-and-cooking-classes shop not far from where we live. (The staff very kindly allowed us to use the certificate, even tho’ it had expired in September – shame on us!)

We signed up for an evening class called “Knife Skills”, which one of Christian’s coworkers had taken and raved about. We figured that learning to use knives more effectively would help us with our weekly battle to use all of the vegetables from the Angelic Organics boxes. I also was looking forward to learning more about choosing knives – and how to give myself fewer cuts.

The class did turn out to be quite worthwhile. The teacher, Sean, is a trained chef, and also very engaging (a valuable quality when teaching an after-work class). For the first 45 minutes, he shared information about different types of knives, their manufacturing and care, and using them safely. Sean then proceeded to teach us various techniques (slicing, dicing, carving and paring), as well as a method for chopping onions quickly.

For the next hour and a half, the dozen or so of us made our way through several pieces of celery, zucchini, carrots, green peppers and the aforementioned onions. We even practiced paring a potato (which we then sliced and chopped). Sean and his assistant helped with tips and occasional corrective comments – nothing heavy-handed, just friendly advice.

The other aspect of the class that I enjoyed was being able to try various styles and sizes of knives. Both Christian and I found we were more comfortable with the 8-inch (20 cm) chef’s knives rather than the 10-inch (25 cm) “Psycho”-esque ones. We left with only a few nicks in our fingernails and an 8-inch Chroma chef’s knife (the 15% post-class discount helped justify the high price).

However, now that I’m home, I want more information. How about mincing garlic? Is it just not worth it to do it by hand? And what about nuts? What’s the best practice for them? When will they have a “Knife Skills II” for me to sign up for?