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Volume III
October, 2011

Newsletter Home / Kitchen Remedy

Sharpest Tool In The... Block

By Calli Rhoades

Here we have been talking about bread, bread, and more bread and I was thinking of what tips and tricks I could share with you this month. I can't stand trying to cut a loaf of bread with a dull knife, so I wanted to share a few simple tips with you that will lengthen the life of your knives and make them much easier to use!

Knife storage and cleaning can have a huge impact on how long they last and, lets be honest, they aren't cheap! A couple of years ago I finally got my first real set of knives that were really worth having. I had been using mismatched knives I picked up here and there and a horrible set I got years ago for my wedding.

For Christmas I asked for "knives that actually cut" (I know, I am a big dreamer), and I got them. They were awesome! Imagine my gut-wrenching disappointment (maybe a little dramatic?) when I opened the dishwasher one day after my husband helped out with kitchen cleaning to find two of my awesome knives in there with little tiny rust spots! Since then we have had a little training around here and my husband may, or may not, think I am a bit on the crazy side!

Spare yourself the drama with these Simple Tips:

  • When you clean your knife, wipe it with a non-abrasive sponge. Give it a wipe immediately after using, dry with a clean dish towel and put away. A butcher block storage unit is ideal. If you store then in a drawer they are constantly banging against other knives or objects which can dull them. You may also like the option of a magnet bar. They make it very convenient to quickly grab the knife when you need it, but be careful that whichever method you choose the knives are safely out of reach from little ones.

  • Never put your knives into the dishwasher or submerge into water. This can cause wooden handles to loosen, rust spots to appear or worsen, and will dull the knife as it bumps against other items in the force of the dishwasher. All of which will eventually render the knife useless.

  • Keep your knife nice and sharp. Sharpen on a weekly basis using a wet stone or sharpener. Sharpening before each use is ideal. Certain cutting boards -- such as those made of ceramic, glass, or marble will cause your knife to dull easily. Try to avoid the use of these "hard" cutting boards if you want your knife to stay sharp. Opt for something softer like plastics.

It doesn't take much to keep your kitchen knives clean and sharp. By using some preventative maintenance, your knives will last for a very long time, and make your time in the kitchen more productive and a whole lot less frustrating!

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