As I am getting a little older and more familiar with my way around the kitchen I am discovering certain tools that I feel no kitchen should be without. A really good knife is one of those tools.
When Chris and I first got married I got a set of knives that came in a plastic holder. They are supposed to never need to be sharpenend. I have used them for 14 years now. They did the job OK (I did manage to keep us fed somehow.). But, they also aren't the easiest thing to chop a lot with without making my hand tired.
When my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year, I told her that I wanted a Santoku knife. Being the good Mommy that she is - guess what I got? Let me just say - I. LOVE. IT! I does all the work for me without making my hand tired. It cuts like buttah, I tell ya. But, that also leads me to the next tool that no kitchen should be without.
Enter the knife sharpener... There are all different types of sharpeneners. Find one that suits you. My dad gave me this one.
This end has two V notches. The knife gets run through each side of the notches, sharpening each side of the knife blades. The other end has an attachment that is supposed to sharpen serrated knives. I haven't broken out my manual to see how to do that, though.
The key that I'm finding with a good knife is that it needs to be sharpened frequently. Like, I sharpen it every day. A really sharp knife takes a lot of the work out of chopping. It is also supposed to be safer to use than a dull knife.
My Santoku is also very versatile. I use it for everything from chopping veggies, to slicing bread (I've never had an actual bread knife), to cutting meat, to slicing my banana in the morning. I won't say that it is the only knife needed in the kitchen. But, I will say that if you could only own 3 knives - I'd make this one of them.
I'm realizing that it is better to own a good quality piece that is very functional and versatile than to waste money on many little gadgets that take up lots of space and have only 1 purpose. So, the next time you're in the market for a good, versatile knife - the Santoku is a good bet.