At the moment I have no kitchen. That statement is misleading, in so far as I have had no kitchen since Christmas and see no prospect of having one before the autumn at the very best. However, this kitchenless state leads to fantasies of kitchens, kitchen equipment and cooking. I find what I most yearn for is not shiny cupboards, wooden cupboards, slate surfaces (though I do yearn for slate surfaces) but most basic things like ovens – and knives. I broke my only really good knife, a proper staining steel knife, some time ago and due to the kitchenless state did nothing about it.
Until today – when at the Royal Highland Show, a wonderful array of knives came into view. At that moment I was light-headed with a sudden drop in blood sugar (previous famine foolishly relieved with a kindly-offered child’s sweet lead to one of those disastrous falls in blood sugar levels) and I did have enough sense to get a snack before returning to view the wonders on display. Then I saw before me many different kinds of really good knife. In the end I decided on the best and most horrifically expensive – a damascened steel blade, glittering with the folded layers of steel, made in Japan. I bought the set with their whet-stone.
Gentle reader, this may well lead to economies elsewhere in the kitchen (I bought my ‘new’ kitchen for £30, though it cost a further £100 to get it home, so there I made a good start) but I think it will prove well worth while. I look forward to impeccably sliced tomatoes, the finest Julienne veggies, and the ability to bone out my meat dishes perfectly when I need to. I feel the extravagance was well justified.