Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Here’s a Sharp Subject for a Blog

Despite all the “new and improved,” the “Wait! Before you buy” hype in the TV commercials, some things are better unchanged. Some things last.

To fix our breakfast grapefruit this morning, I rummaged though the knife drawer until I found our good old grapefruit knife, Suzy’s Dad gave us a set of knives when we were young marrieds (at least 45 years ago), and this grapefruit knife was part of the set. (To see the pictures larger, click the picture, wait a second or two. To come back, close the new window.)

IMG_4580 Over the years we have used other grapefruit knives, but none can beat this one, It has a gently curving blade, and precisely machined tiny teeth. It was even made in the USA! My Dad had a grapefruit knife he loved, It had a strange curve to the blade, and I could never get it to work right when we lived in his house after moving back to California.

IMG_4594 When we acquired our new trailer here in Benson, we bought a shiny new grapefruit knife for the motorhome. It’s got a sharply serrated stainless steel blade, and it cuts right through the membranes separating the sections (I don’t want those membranes cut! They are supposed to be intact, but separated from the good fruit inside.). It’s got a bright yellow plastic handle. It was made in China.

We’ll keep using the good old grapefruit knife from years ago. Heck, it nearly qualifies as an antique!

IMG_4581 Suzy has a favorite paring knife. It also was in the set her Dad gave us so long ago. She says it just fits her hand right, and does the right job. And it was made in the USA. Somehow it ended up in the motorhome instead of our new home. I wonder how long that situation will last.

My favorite knife has to be one that daughter Deb gave me one year for Christmas.

IMG_4586 It’s a very sharp carving knife, made in the USA, and it’s engraved “Dad’s Knife.” It’s mine, you can’t use it, you can’t even touch it! I do let Suzy touch it to dry it and put it away after I wash it. Deb got that for me the year she moved out of our home in Butte, Montana, to attend school in Missoula, 125 miles away. She had gotten a job in a gift kiosk at a mall, and this was an item they offered for sale.

IMG_4590 A year or two later, daughter Kathie joined Deb in buying me a carving fork. Yes, it was engraved “Dad’s Fork.” The fork was made in … Austria! (To see the engraving, click on the picture. Don't forget to come back!)

IMG_4587 Why are those tools so special to me, besides the fact that they were gifts from our girls? They were thoughtful gifts, they took some thinking and consideration. Heck, I used to buy MY Dad Gillette razors. Every year he’d exclaim about how it was just what he needed; later he’d drop it into the drawer with all the others.

Deb and Kathie were responding to our traditional “fight” whenever we had a major feast at home. I’d be carving the turkey or slicing the beef roast or ham, and one or both of them would be trying to snitch shards of meat from my carving board. I’d roar and wave my knife at them, but then they’d still grab a piece of meat. While I was trying to shoo them away, Suzy would come in from the other side and grab a scrap of meat!

During all of this excitement, I was was waving a very special “roast beef knife” from Suzy’s Dad. He had been a chef in his younger and more successful days, and this particular knife had been his pride and joy. He passed it on to us when it was time to do so. The blade was at least 14 inches long, with a rounded end, and man, did it keep a sharp edge! A stroke or two on the steel was all it ever needed. Today’s knives won’t keep an edge very long, unless you pay a fortune when you buy them.

That old knife was also called “Dad’s Knife,” but is was a different Dad that was referred to. As far as we know, it’s still in the family. We believe that Grandson Jason has it.

Some things can’t be improved on. Some things last.

Good friends last, and we are glad you are along for this episode in … Our Life on Wheels.


  1. You're right Jerry, that was a pretty "sharp" post - you might even call it "cutting edge" stuff! You've made me envious now - I don't have any special knives. In fact, for carving turkeys, roasts etc. I just plug in an electric knife and go at it! Your approach seems much more sensible so the next time one of the kid's says "what do you want for xmas, I'm just going to say "A knife like Jerry's"!! Thanks for the great story and the pics.

  2. My Grandma always said, "You can't keep house without a really good knife". Looks like you got that covered, Jerry. You can keep house and RV both, with the collection of great knives you've got there.

  3. Had a boy scout knife once but I sat on it so they had to take it away from me & I was told not to play with sharp things ever again. But, I am allowed to read about them so I found your blog most enjoyable to-day. If I would have ever had any knives that big I probably would have sliced & diced myself a long time ago!!


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