A large part of kitchen safety is keeping your tools in good working order.
For knives, that means keeping them sharp and hand washing them.
That doesn’t mean taking out the sharpener once in a blue moon. No. That means sharpening them each and every time. And not sneaking them into the dishwasher when your wife isn’t looking.
Skimming through my rss feeds on the train home today, (there’s now an Android app for Google Reader. No, I don’t know why it took so long either. But I’m happy to have it.) I came across a very timely article on BoingBoing, Notes from a professional knife sharpener, the original article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and I think everyone should read it — Knife sharpener Eric E. Weiss gets to the point.
Weiss touched on two key points I wanted to make:
Sharp knives are safer.
Dishwashers are evil for knives.
The other point which he hints upon:
Children can use knives. He started sharpening knives at age 5. I received my first pocket knife (a beautiful swiss army one from L.L. Bean which I still love dearly) at about that age (We went to Bean and I met Penny the Fish) and a few years later my dad showed me how to sharpen it. That skill came in quite handy many years later when I started making my own bassoon reeds…
My attempted point is this: my parents taught me how to use forks, spoons, and knives from a younger age than most of my peers. No one cut up meat for me (unless it was really really tough). I do know there are certain situations where you would not want to do what my parents did for me, but I think if the child is treated with respect, then there is no reason why a six year old can’t use a steak knife.