Sharp As A Knife and A Food Gal Giveaway

ProHold 13-piece knife set. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Cutlery)

ProHold 13-piece knife set. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Cutlery)

One of the best investments any home-cook can make is a great knife.

Sure, knives can cost a small fortune. But take care of them, and they will last you a lifetime.

The first time you use a knife that is sharp and fits your hand well will be a revelation. Slicing and chopping will feel miraculously effortless. I know when I plunked down some cold hard cash for my first really good knife, I practically screamed when I cut an onion for the first time. The blade went through it like nobody’s business.

Over the years, I’ve tried a couple Chicago Cutlery knives, in addition to other brands. This moderate-priced line delivers a lot for a modest amount of money. The stainless steel blades also come with a lifetime warranty.

So, if you don’t yet have a well-made set of knives in your kitchen, it’s high-time you went shopping for some. They truly will change the way you cook.

CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win a Chicago Cutlery 13-piece block set, a value of $69.99. The set includes an 8-inch chef’s knife, 8-inch bread knife, 5-inch utility knife, 5-inch partoku, a parer, a peeler, shears, a sharpening steel and 4 steak knives.

Entries, restricted to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST July 6. Winner will be announced July 8.

How to win?

Just tell me about a time when you weren’t necessarily the sharpest knife in the block. In other words, an incident when you sheepishly admit you didn’t use your head. Best answer wins.

Here’s my own response:

“Long ago, when I was a reporter interning at the Portland Oregonian for the summer, I was assigned to write a story about the state fair. When I arrived, I noticed that the dairy cow competition was just about to begin. I made my way over to where the cows were penned and I asked a young man if he was entered in the dairy cow contest. He looked at me, then looked at his cows, then looked back at me again and answered, “Ma’am, these are beef cows.”   Uh, right. OK, so on second glance, maybe they did look rather muscular and hefty. What can I say? I’m a city girl. And obviously, I needed Lesson 101 on cows that day.”


WINNER OF THE PREVIOUS CONTEST: In last week’s Food Gal contest, I asked you to tell me your favorite way of enjoying iced tea. The winner will receive samples of Mighty Leaf Tea’s iced tea blends, plus a Takeya plastic iced tea pitcher and Takeya glass water bottle.

Congrats to:

David Silver, who wrote, “I love Ginger Peach iced tea, and to give it more ‘snap.’ I simply add a couple of slices (~ 1/4″ thick and cut through a knuckle of the ginger)) of fresh ginger and half a cinnamon stick. However, there is a process. I add the cinnamon when first brewing the tea, then after the tea has steeped, I remove the cinnamon stick, add the ginger and the ice. Cooked Ginger can be a bit strong. Of course, nothing is better than cutting a round slice of peach and adding it to the glass when serving.”

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  • This past weekend, I seeded and chopped a jalapeno to make guacamole for a potluck. Not too long after, I put my contacts in as I was getting ready to leave…boy did that sting- a lot! Even after washing my hands! It was a painful, mindless mistake, cus I definitely know better.

  • My past semester in college, I decided to head out to San Francisco and check out this new restaurant. With my lack of direction in unfamiliar territory, I saw a cop and jay-walked to ask him for directions. I should have thought that one through.

  • which story to choose?? there are, unfortunately, many to choose from!!

    Hmm.. in college, I was in a philosophy and literature class and we had to do oral presentations. I was the only underclassman in the class.. I completed mine and during the whole presentation, I said, “George this, George that…..” (as in George Jetson)… At the end of the presentation, people were required to ask questions. The first question, someone says, “when GAY-ORG (Georg) blah blah blah”…. It still took me a second when they said that to realize that I had pronounced the main subject’s name wrong the entire presentation and I am sure I turned beet red and stammered through the Q&A part… My friends thought it was hilarious that I that Georg was pronounced George but I was utterly embarrassed for the rest of the semester!!!

  • As I was landing in the Los Angeles(emigrated to the US) for the first time, excited for the land opportunity and all it has to offer, I saw a large house.Excited, I tapped my kids on their shoulders and told them to look out the window at “The White House”. I now know that Washington DC was thousands of miles away and I let my excitement get the best of me. With my children recalling the story – I never hear the end of it.

  • I grew up in the Sacramento Valley during the time when one would excessively tan and add lemon juice to one’s hair for the blonde effect. The next item to improve was eye lashes. I had heard that if you were to trim or cut off your eye lashes that they would grow back even longer. This didn’t work. Instead I had stumps in my eyes.

  • When I was in the 6th grade, I thought it’d be cool to trim my own bangs. I placed my left palm on TOP of my bangs and then cut them with a scissor with my right hand. When I was done, my hair stood up on its own because it was way too short! Needless to say, I got in so much trouble. 🙁

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