As many of you know, my personal nakiri and its babmboo cutting board were sold to a visitor over the weekend. I don't seriously regret it. If you sell stuff, pretty soon the really good stuff you have amongst all of the rest of the stuff gets frittered away because in the end, it's just "stuff."
But now, I didn't have a knife--and the cutting board
My wife leaves the purchasing of new non-Pampered Chefs knives to me, but she had a footlocker full of cutting boards. And I would be without one for almost a week. She offered one, I took her up on her offer.
There are many times in life when you are offered a "loaner." You ding your car, the dealer offers you a two year old Taurus. My bike was in the shop two weeks ago, I got the use of a Sportster.
The one thing I have realized is that sometimes the "loaner" has features you enjoy but may have missed by simply being a 'snob.'
My supplier, The Japan Woodworker, sells bamboo boards. And I like them
. I like the tactile feel, the way the knife finishes a cut, the ease of maintenance and the quiet reflection of oiling them periodically and enjoying your craft. But I did not have that luxury, and I still had to eat.
My "loaner" garden variety 14x12 PC board which I initially felt was so layered with polyurethane
it could legally be re-classed as a Barbie Doll. I must say, my enthusiasm fell. The actual work area was large enough, and it had one of those little spillage insets where you could flick errant seeds with the tip of the blade.
The first thing I sliced was a strawberry for the dogs' dinner. After washing, I slid the nakiri across the top section of the berry to remove the stem, halved it, and the diced it. I scooped up the pieces and snapped them into the dishes. It takes longer to describe it here.
I then washed the implements. The knife is so polished that nothing sticks to it. The board left me a bit of respect
It had not mars or scratches, it dripped dry in my hand, and it had ample surface area for my mitts to work confortably. More to the point, the food was diced perfectly, and the presentation was, well, presentable. The finish of the cut was perfectly smooth.
In short, it did what a cutting board should do.
My point here is that I live like most folks. Oh, I have expensive knives for both the kitchen and for daily use--but not dozens. Very few meals are banquets, most are sandwiches and assisting my wife with dinner. When my package arrives I will personally own a one (1) nakiri, one (1) small gyuto, and one (1) untreated 14x11 end-grain bamboo board. I consider everything else to be inventory, and it stays wrapped in the original packaging.
Much like that loaner Taurus, I needed to be reminded that while I make a latte' and consume it like a guzzling SUV, there are peanutbutter sandwiches in my world. In fact, I recently made one using the chunky style from the dogs' jar.
Many folks will cringe at the thought of dragging a real-deal laminate knife across a PC, generic, machine punched, polyurethane
dipped, universally marketed and oft discounted "bamboo" cutting board. Granted, if things went afield, I know a tinker.
But the board performed, I'm impressed, and I think I'm going to continue using it. And yes, that means a future gyuto with an edge worth more than +140 dollars.