So yesterday I went to the knife sharpener. What’s that you say? A knife sharpener? Isn’t that a gadget you order on QVC?
No my friends, if you were a hair stylist or a chef or possibly an origami wizard, you would know that there is actually an itinerant band of professional knife and scissor sharpeners who set up their mobile units in barbershops, fabric stores, jewelry outlets and hardware stores around the country. You’ll see a tiny notice in the window: “Scissor and Knife Sharpinning (sic) Nov 4 10am”, and you better show up early, cause the knife guy is booked.
This is the kind of ultra boring shit that absolutely fascinates me. I couldn’t be more interested if I were going to the ferrier or the cooper or the tinsmith. Unfortunately, I don’t see myself needing any oak barrels or iron gates in the near future, so the knife guy may be my best bet for now.
Knife sharpening is an ancient trade that, on a limited basis, we still need. I’ve been told that you can’t really sharpen a knife at home, without some very specialized equipment. What you can, and should, do is hone a knife, which basically means to straighten out the edge. I’ve honed my knives and scissors (not very well) on an unfinished ceramic surface, which my cousin told me was an excellent honer due to its extreme hardness. My cousin got this knowledge from her father, who was an excellent cook, and somewhat obsessive about his knives.
Let me tell you, the sharpened knives are awesome! I could cut a marshmallow or a super-ripe tomato or even a tin can with those things. But I wouldn’t cut a tin can, because then I’d have to go right back to the sharpener. Hmmmm…