There is no magic and mystery about knives and sharpeners

This short note reminisces about the good old days encountered as a child, particularly around traditional family-gathering affairs such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. There are also old fishing tales recalled by young boys who were fortunate to enjoy outdoor times with their fathers, grandfathers or even big brothers. Boys will be boys, as they say, and what boy has not cherished the idea of owning his own knife, if he hadn’t already had one of his own.

Generally speaking, particularly around overprotective mothers, knives were regarded as dangerous and vile instruments. Little did these worried mothers know that knives and sharpeners are nothing of the kind. It is even said that a razor sharp knife is much safer than a blunt instrument. For all the wrong reasons, knives and its appurtenances had been shrouded in mystique and magic on the scale of those found in the famous and popular stories from the past and present.

Knives, particularly the sharpest ones, were always associated with scenes of death and blood-curdling murder. But when you think about it, put to its proper use, knives should always be associated with life and sustenance. For instance, we will always be using knives to slice our roasts or steaks. And the sharper they are, they better they are for us. Grandfathers (and now fathers) since time immemorial would always ensure that their carving knives were properly sharpened before its ritualistic use.

Today, anyone can sharpen knives, and so they should if they want their instruments to live a long life. Sharpening knives is not an austere practice that only old men could master. Fair enough, there are skills involved, but anyone can learn them. It is that easy. And with practice, like famous chefs, you can become something of a maestro. Remember, owning the best kitchen knives will not make you great, but making it the perfect one will.