Have a Knife Day
When I was a kid, one of the highlights of a summer day was the visit of the scissor grinder man—as we called him. From time to time, the guy came shuffling through the neighborhood with a heavy, sharpening apparatus on his back.
To herald his presence, he swung a bell in one hand. It sounded like “da-dah-da” and kids knew exactly what to do. We ran to tell our mothers. As the fellow set up shop under a shade tree, women collected their scissors and dull cutlery and headed to the street. Kids who helped stir up business, were often rewarded with a piece of hard candy.
Times Have Changed
I may be the only one who remembers “The Old Scissor Grinder of Long, Long Ago.” When I googled “scissor grinder,” the search was dismissed as an “antiquated term.” Then they showed lots of references to the Scissor Grinder Cicada, whatever that is.
It used to be that Schnucks and Whole Foods honed knives without charge. Seeing no scissor grinder plodding the streets of Clayton, I gave the grocery stores a call. I learned that since COVID, they no loner sharpen your knives—though I don’t see what the COVID/culinary connection is.
Aghh! Where’s the scissor grinder man when I need him?
So What’s a Dull Knife to Do?
If your knives won’t cut hot butter (and a few of mine fall in that category), you might want to look into a knife/scissor sharpening service. Let your cutlery hang out awhile with the sharp guys in the shop and they’ll be ready to slice, dice, chop or debone anything you put on the cutting block. Home honing is a little more trouble, but you only have to get a professional tune up once or twice a year. The rest of the time you can use your kitchen sharpeners.
Have You Tried This?
If you have some Japanese knives, you might want to try something that sounds bizarre, but’s worth a try. A Japanese knife can be sharpened by running it across a newspaper.
Here’s the Explanation I Found:
“The graphite of a newspaper’s black ink produces an effect similar to that of a very fine polish—the particularly dense grit works best on the ultrathin edge of Japanese knives. Just lay the blade flat on a sheet of newspaper and lightly glide it across. Do the same thing with the other side of the blade.”
Hmm…I’ve got a Japanese knife, now where do I get a Japanese newspaper?