Thrifty Cooking for Frugal livingAre Your Knife Skills Holding You Back in the Kitchen?I have cut myself unintentionally hundreds of times. When you cook professionally andyou’re constantly under the gun to produce more and more and fast and faster…ouch…ithappens, and sometimes it’s serious. Under normal household circumstances it is totallypossible to perform like a pro and never cut yourself. All you have to do is follow a fewsimple rules.If you hold a knife in your right hand, the left hand must be very disciplined or else it getspunished – and vice versa.Rule number one, tuck your left thumb behind your left fingers at all times. The thumbcould be cut badly, if you forget to do this. Visualize a half inch, hunk of thumb rollingacross your cutting board and counter!Rule number two, be sure your knife is very sharp. A dull knife requires unnecessarysawing and excess pressure and this increases your chances of slipping and slicingyourself. And, a dull knife has its own uniquely unpleasant pain, as if it bruises and slicesat the same time.Rule number three, avoid cutting round objects. If you’re cutting a lemon, or an onion, ora potato, cut it in half first so that you’re dealing with a secure, flat surface. Rolling overand running the knife across your knuckles can cause a surprising but necessary trip tothe emergency room, if you have some weight behind the stroke.Like so many things, practice makes perfect, but it helps to have professional examplesclose up. Me, I started at 15, working beside a Master Chef and I had the good fortune toobserve his technique over and over--this is key. If you see the motion and you pay closeattention to the position of the fingers in all sorts of scenarios--cutting cabbage, slicingraw meat, dicing onions, mincing garlic, finely slicing fresh basil or Italian parsley, etc--you start to deeply understand the fundamentals.On my website, ThriftCultureNow.com, we have created a series of free online cookingclasses, using over 85 videos paired with written guidance. Our focus is cookingtechniques, frugal recipes and food cost, so we provide you with the knowledge you needto cook from scratch, using a huge variety of ingredients, without using a recipe book.We have a huge section devoted to knife skills called, First Thing’s First, Master theBlade, and it contains almost 20 videos showing a variety of situations and how to betotally efficient with your knife. This will help make you a great cook.
Not everyone learns the same way, this is a fact. All I have done is replicate the way Ilearned to be a pro with a chef’s knife. I learned by watching a pro and copying what hedid.If you love food and want to learn to cook better, or if you have children on which youwould like to offload some duties, have a look! There are dozens of delicious meal ideas,frugal recipes, cooking technique videos, and the food cost method.Cooking from scratch is the number one way that families can save more money. Eatingtake-out or packaged food is very expensive and unhealthy. If you learn the skillsrequired for cooking now, you will enjoy a lifetime of delicious meals. Teaching yourchildren to cook before they’re out of the house is a great way of helping them to be verythrifty in the future – you will save money!Happy Cooking!Travis Grier is a Chef and the founder of ThriftCultureNow.com