Must have kitchen items FREE download CLICK HERE 

GETTING OVER MY FEAR OF SHARPENING KNIVES

March 31, 2022

GETTING OVER MY FEAR OF SHARPENING KNIVES

Honing rods have always intimidated me. I understand that they should be used often to smooth the edge of the knife but the gesture of sliding the knife up and down this rod frightens me. At what angle should my large knife approach the honing rod and what exactly am I doing? When I see people honing their knives, it is like a dance in the air.

I watched my grandmother shuffle a deck of cards when she and my grandfather played cards. I was mesmerized as these wafer-thin cards flew through her hands and, with exactitude, slid effortlessly between each other without ever butting up against each other.

Trying to imitate her hands, I would find mostly the ends of the cards and rarely the space between them where they'd slid so magically between each other falling into place for my grandmother.

Fascinated, I practiced and practiced and finally I got it. It wasn’t perfect but the feeling of those cards flying in perfect precision and landing in the right spot still brings my grandmother to mind and a smile to my face.

Honing a knife seems similar to shuffling cards, only far more dangerous, moving a knife through the air dancing back and forth on either side of this rod, caressing it so perfectly that the sharpened piece of steel will slide effortlessly through the skin of a tomato without any hesitation and even slice through a piece of paper as if the knife were just sliding through air.

The only way through something you don’t know to do is to just do it.

I’m determined to learn how to sharpen my own knives. I’m not there yet since that starts with a wet stone to sharpen the blade, but one step at a time. I’m starting with learning how to hone my knife.

Here is what I’ve learned so far.

  • Honing doesn’t sharpen, but it does clean up the blade by realigning and smoothing its edge to the way it was originally.
  • Your honing rod should be long enough so you can slide your longest knife all the way before your rod runs out.
  • Using your dominant hand, hold the knife at 20 to 25 degrees—the correct angle for honing.

Honing Knife finding the right angle

  • Starting at the bottom of the rod and at the base of your knife, using your arm, slide the blade completely down the rod until the tip of the knife slides off the rod.
How to hone a knife   How to hone your knife
How to hone your knife   
  • You can repeat that gesture 9 to 10 times on one side and then do the same to the other side of the blade.
  • Continue by sliding the knife on one side of the blade and then the other, alternating for another 10 to 20 times. 
  • Test the knife by cutting a piece of paper or cutting the skin of a tomato; you should feel a big difference.

Sharp knife cutting through paper

  • You’ll probably need to do this once a week if you use your knife regularly.

Until I learn how to actually sharpen my knives, I use an inexpensive ($20) knife sharpener. It does the trick and I’m grateful I have it every time I use it.

Inexpensive knife sharpener

In the meantime, it is important to remember that sharp knives are not only easier to use but are also safer. The main problem with dull knives is that they don’t cut but instead crush your food and it takes more pressure to actually cut through your food. Also the chances of your knife slipping increases noticeably and that is when accidents happen.

I’ll tell you how I’m doing with feeling comfortable having a knife soaring through the air to actually doing something constructive with that flying knife. I’m totally confident we can all learn how to do this without injury.

Do you want to read about getting your knives sharpened at the Farmers Market. CLICK HERE 

"Le Kitchen Cookbook is a must for cooks at any level. It is clear, beautifully organized, and has marvelous recipes. . . Well worth a spot on my already overstuffed bookshelf!" LML

Follow Along and see how I do with my outrageous goal 2022
Here is what's happening with my 2022 goals
  • I saw the first draft of my new blog design this week and I was thrilled! I wanted something that was clean and dynamic and so far that is what I got.
  • Peter and I got together to shoot some more scenes for the cooking video and some beautiful close-ups of the ingredients we are using. Though I know this next part of the process takes time and I have to be patient, I can't wait to see the results.
    Want to help?
    1. Could you take a few minutes to write an honest review. Here are the links: On Amazon or on French-Secrets
    2. If you have any suggestions? I'd really like to hear them. You can leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

    Thank you for all your support!

    Buy it now le kitchen cookbook by Adeline M. Olmer

    Buy le kitchen cookbook: a workbook on French-secretsBuy le kitchen cookbook: a workbook on Amazon

    Bon Appétit

     





    Leave a comment

    Comments will be approved before showing up.


    Also in Blog

    Easy peel hard-boiled eggs—perfect every time
    Easy peel hard-boiled eggs—perfect every time

    May 19, 2022

    There is something perfect about cracking a hard-boiled egg and sliding your fingers under the shell so it pops away from the white in a few big pieces and you are left with this beautiful glistening egg. You particularly know how satisfying that experience is when you expect it but don’t have it. Here is how...

    View full article →

    IT WAS THE PERFECT PLACE TO BE—IT ALWAYS IS
    IT WAS THE PERFECT PLACE TO BE—IT ALWAYS IS

    May 12, 2022

    Sitting at the dinner table and lingering after a delicious meal has always been my favorite part of a party. I love when the table, still cluttered with plates, silver, bottles, and glasses half-full, all shimmering in the candle light. Everyone dawdling, their voices excited while eruptions . . .

    View full article →

    I AM DISAPPOINTED IN MYSELF
    I AM DISAPPOINTED IN MYSELF

    May 05, 2022 1 Comment

    So far, 2022 has shaken me to my core. It has left me questioning things I believed to be true—things I took for granted. Number 1 I NEVER thought Roe v. Wade would be overturned. That is my stupidity; the signs were obvious but I just didn’t believe it could/would happen. Number 2 I NEVER thought . . .

    View full article →