Saturday, April 18, 2015

Momma's Knife Skills

There was a cantaloupe ready for slicing on the counter this morning, no, not from the garden, I must admit I purchased this one.  As I walked to the counter with a chef's knife in my hand along with a paring knife.  Here she was,  Momma picking up the well worn butcher knife, slicing the cantaloupe first in half and then, beginning to take off slices.  Picking up the paring knife, she placed it between the rind and flesh at one end, with one clean cut the knife came out of the other end.  At that time she would drop the rindless slice of cantaloupe on your plate.

Wow, I was always so impressed, when I grow up I am going to be able to do this.  It must be that easy,  if you are adult you can do this.  Much to my surprise, when my first kitchen was setup in 1964 it did not come with the skill of slicing the cantaloupe or peeling the apple or peach without breaking the peel.  I felt very let down with myself as I presented many fruits which looked as if someone may have nibbled on them before I put them on the table.  

Momma, also, peeled potatoes and once again, there was one long piece of peeling.  I asked her about a veggie peeler, her answer was no.  She did not want one of those things.  She had one paring knife and Daddy would sharpen it for her, she did not use dull knives.  I look at the collection of kitchen tools most of us have today and think of Momma.  I know in her kitchen there would be no place for many of these as she valued her ability to do things using her own 2 hands. 

I admired this lady so much, I wanted to grow up and be able to do the things she could do.  I wanted to raise a garden, preserve the harvest, along with taking care of the farm animals.  It took me many years to reach the point, where I was able to begin to my journey of following in my momma's  footsteps, but I made it. 

So, this morning I walked over to the counter, stood up tall, picked up one of my chef's knives and cut my cantaloupe in half, then quarters and finally slices.  With paring knife in hand I could feel the swift move of the knife separating the melon from the rind.  I have been able to do for a number of years but I always find myself sitting at the table in Momma's kitchen waiting as the slice of cantaloupe slides  into my plate, being salted gently and looking into my momma's proud face while I said, "Thank you".

I know my thank you was for much more the slice of cantaloupe, it was for the life lessons she taught me everyday, and for this I am so Thankful.