Friday, August 05, 2005


Dang so maybe if you don't know this or you do there is this fancy cooking supplies shop down at Hidden Hills Select Shoppes, like where you can pay upwards of $8.50 for a five-ounce canister of sea salt which came from such preferred salt-having areas as the Inner Balkans. It is called "Granite" and we went into there today, Molly and I, because she got the cooking bug after spending some time at this new falutin' place she has been waitressing at. I didn't know what particular product she was after but I guessed it would come in a fancy box and somebody in a fancy slate-gray "Granite"-embroidered apron over a button-up shirt would sell it to us with a smile and damn serious of a commission. (Never buy anything from a live being is what I always say and I suspect this has saved me a dollar in my time.)

So we got into this place and immediately there are five kinds of thermometers for food or pastry or candy-making, a cheese slicer that was made in China (in China they got basically no cheese at all), and the usual assortment of upscale Micronesian salts. I considered it a bad sign that she immediately picked up a basket as though to procure more than one kind of regional salt and perhaps a limited edition maple-handled boutique pasta-forming implement.

While she was wanderin' around raisin' my blood pressure I tried to cool off by lookin' at their more sensible items such as a dutch oven (keeps heat real well, real long-lastin'), and their knives. I was takin' I guess a pretty long gander at this nice German 8" number when Molly snuck up behind me and said "Why don't you get it!"

I said pretty quick that I didn't want to get it because it cost exactly $120.00, but then she started talking like all this magic kitchen talk about different cuts of meat and carrots and there was this line like "the most dangerous knife is a dull one" and my brain thought that since this knife is expensive it is the knife which will never betray me, that is what I am paying for, a lifetime of safety and happy Thanksgivings where the meat is perfect and I walk out of the kitchen to huge applause, both hands held high, bandage-free. I thought back to that two-dollar Safeway knife I been usin' in the pool house at Ray's, that one where if you try to cut a tomato in half it presses down so hard and bad that eventually the tomato just gives up and forms ketchup, and damn if I didn't buy a DOG GAM KNIFE that cost over a hundred dollars.

I got it here next to me at the keyboard now, and it's a heavy old thing. It's got like this kind of "activity" around it, you know, like an automatic transmission car that rolls slowly forward even though you are not pressing on the gas. It wants to cut things. Man how do the Germans do this. I know they sit around and talk about perfection for hours but damn they can shape inanimate steel to want to move forward. It is like having a basic earthworm beside me, only it is a worm that seems like it might be able to learn and hate, and if I look away it might be gone about its duty. Nobody ever said it would be easy owning a hundred dollar knife.

Oh and for her part Molly bought this fancy vanilla extract for using in cookies, it was like five bucks so I just tacked it onto my bill even though I knew nothing about it in advance.