Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Thursday, July 23, 2009

On Kitchen Knives

Having worked in a number of commercial kitchens, I have had the luxury to try about a million different kitchen knives, and I have a wide variety in my home kitchen. I am not fetishistic WRT knives, all of the knives I own cost well under a hundred dollars and most were bought on a whim. Not counting bread, paring, carving and the rest..just "Chef's Knifes", I have, A Chinese Cleaver, A Japanese Nakiri Veggie Knife, A Sabatier 8" Carbon Steel French Chef's Knife, a 12" Brazilian Stainless Chef's Knife, a 10" Henkel's Stainless Chef's Knife and an Italian Kitchen Knife that is like nothing I have seen elsewhere (it looks like a cleaver with a chef's knife's rocker). Non of these are what you could call high a end knife, but the two I reach for most often are; The Sabatier Carbon Steel, The Nakiri and the cheap Brazilian 12" Chef's Knife. Now mind you, I am NOT an expert in knife sharpening, I have a good (very good) electric sharpener and a steel. So, despite the fact that the Nakiri is only supposed to have a single bevel, it gets sharpened the same as all the others. The Sabatier is the easiest to sharpen and gets absolutely razor sharp with minimal effort, the blade is somewhat soft though and it looses it's edge quickly (Though I must say, a quick steel brings it right back). The Japanese Nakiri gets equally sharp, and is like voodoo on veggies, and while the edge lasts longer than the Sabatier, it is significantly more finicky. The Japanese knife must be sharpened just so, get it right and it's perfect, miss it and it sucks. The Brazilian stainless chef's knife is somewhere in the middle. It is never as sharp as the other two, but it's not bad and it's easier to get an edge on than the German knife. I think it may be my favorite knife. A 12" Chef's knife is big, but it really is very manageable if you have a decent sized cutting board and you choke up on it as you should.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Maltese Falcon - What? No Sharks With Frikkin' Lazer Beams?

The Maltese Falcon is without question the most audacious sailing yacht in the world, and gets my vote for "Most Likely to Appear as a Villains Superyacht in a James Bond Movie". The last decent Bond superyacht would have been Nabila, Adnan Kashoggi's former boat. The time is right for a "Green" Bond villain, and this should be his ride, hell it's even got it's own submarine (sadly lacking frikkin lazer beams). The most impressive thing about the Falcon though is it's amazing sailing rig. Combining the best elements of the Junk Rig and Traditional Square Rigging, with a hefty dose of technology, the ship can purportedly be "sailed" singlehandedly. The sails on the Falcon automatically furl into the hollow masts, which unfortunately eliminates belaying pins and manly winches. There is effectively no "Rigging" in the traditional sense as the spars/yards are fixed to the masts which have no stays and rotate to trim the sails. Best of all it's for sale for the reasonable sum of 100m Euros, or, you can rent it for 300k Euros per week, give or take (Food and Drink NOT Included)