Earlier tonight, I drove down to Pumpkin Market (a fabulous little shop that primarily stocks food that is locally farmed, raised, grown and produced) and picked up 100 pounds of roma tomatoes. I have a four-day weekend coming up and am going to be spending most of that time applying myself to these tomatoes.
The bulk will be canned whole, but there’s also quite a lot of chopping for salsa, slicing for dehydrating and dicing for pint canning in my future. In preparation for this canning marathon, I’m gathering jars, restocking my lid supply and making sure my go-to knives are sharp.
I believe that knives are the unsung heros of the home canning kitchen. When I talk canning equipment, I always mention funnels, jar lifters and sturdy stock pots, frequently failing to mention the paring and chef’s knives that make it all possible. Thing is, having good, sharp cutlery makes an incredible difference in your canning experience, as well as the quality of the product you produce.
As you can see from the picture at the top of this post, I’m a fan of knives and I have a wide variety. I particularly love a good paring knife and up until recently, my favorite one was that orange-handled Messermeister one you see next to the black-handled shears. It cost about $6, held an edge nicely and was easy to spot in a sink of dirty dishes. But then, some new knives entered my life.
Back in June, while I was up in New York attending the Fancy Food Show, I met a representative from CUTCO at the Food Fete. I told her about the volume of canning I do and she thought I should try their knives. Soon after, she sent me their Kitchen Classics Set*. It includes a slender chef knife, a trimmer (it’s become my go-to knife for separating melons from their rind) and a compact paring knife.
Before trying these knives, I’d always been a little bit scornful of CUTCO products. Mostly, it was an aesthetic thing. I thought those molded plastic handles were kind of ugly. But having spend some time with them, I am now a total convert. They are so light and comfortable to hold. I find that they are now the knives I reach for first.
The folks at CUTCO have been nice enough to offer one of my readers that same Kitchen Classics set they sent me. To enter this giveaway, leave a comment on this post and tell me about your favorite knife (paring? chef? Santoku?). All entries must be received by Saturday, September 4, 2010 by 11:59 p.m. After that time, comments will be closed. I’ll do my best to post the winner promptly.
*Disclosure! They sent it to me at no cost, in the hopes that I’d use it and review it. However, I only talk about the stuff I truly like, so had these knives been lackluster, I wouldn’t be raving about them here.