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Chris Amirault

Are You a Knife Cook or a Pot Cook?

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In his terrific book, Pot on the Fire, John Thorne declares that the world of cooks can be split into two camps:

Cooks, at least serious cooks, can be roughly divided into two major groups: pot cooks and knife cooks. Of course, each sort uses both implements; it is a matter of which serves as the lodestone of their kitchen -- the piece of cookware that, in case of fire, they would run to rescue first.

Your house is burning. The kids, pets, photographs, and personal papers are all secure, and the kitchen is the only room you can enter. You've got a few prized cookbooks under one arm.

What do you grab with the other? Pot or knife?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I'm grabbing my knives. They'd be harder to replace, and my pots might possibly survive the fire.


"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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I disagree with the basic premise. All of my knives and all of my cookware is perfectly replaceable. I'd grab another armful of books.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Yeah, my pots & knives are all easily replaced, and most of the cast iron might actually improve if it went thru a house fire. I'd save the hand-carved sassafras wood bread bowl. Sorry for not playing by the rules!

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What if I grab the knives and my perfectly seasoned cast-iron skillet?

Good lord, this is like Sophie's Choice.


Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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I think Chad Ward made the statement in his book that there are knife cooks and pot cooks. Forget about the fire. I'm a knife cook. I don't own All Clad cookware and find my current selection meets my needs well. For boiling water any big old pot will do. For steaks and burgurs a generic cast iron will work fine. I must have the right knife for the job and it must be razor sharp. I inspect my edges before sheathing and storing. I sharpen often. No question what I am. A knife nut.

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I don't cook out of books or use recipes much, and there's always the internet.

My Le Cruesset and cast iron will survive.

Grab the knives, and my dried chiles from last summer.


That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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Egads. What I'd grab first are my cookie cutters. They are legacy, heritage; some date back to my great-great grandmother. I've got pots and knives up at the cabin (north of Duluth, Chris, BTW).


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I think Chad Ward made the statement in his book that there are knife cooks and pot cooks. 

Yep -- quoting Thorne.

Egads.  What I'd grab first are my cookie cutters.  They are legacy, heritage; some date back to my great-great grandmother.  I've got pots and knives up at the cabin (north of Duluth, Chris, BTW).

Right. You grabbed those first and they're on the way to the cabin. Knives or pots, Susan? Which is it?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I'd take the knives.

In the words of AB: "don't touch my d*ck, don't touch my knife"

Knives are personal. Pots and pans aren't.

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Knives are personal.  Pots and pans aren't.

Bingo! Pots are always communal, knives are more like intimate cooking partners.


"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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Pots, definitely. Not that I'm that great a cook, but I do appreciate a nice pot. I would maybe change my tune if I could actually do a decent job sharpening a knife (I did once get an axe sharp enough to shave hair off my arm but it took days). So my knives aren't that great.

... Besides if the knives burn up maybe the insurance will buy me good ones :biggrin:


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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Wait, you're asking whether I would save all my pots or all my knives? In that case, pots it is. It'd be a lot less money to replace my one 8" Global knife than all of my Le Creuset.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Egads.  What I'd grab first are my cookie cutters.  They are legacy, heritage; some date back to my great-great grandmother.  I've got pots and knives up at the cabin (north of Duluth, Chris, BTW).

Right. You grabbed those first and they're on the way to the cabin. Knives or pots, Susan? Which is it?

Knives. More sentimental value. I'm a sucker for stuff I got from My Elders. Add to that I know how these knives work, how they sharpen. Oh, and when we're at the cabin, one needs knives to fillet those fish we (ahem) catch, or to slice the cheese and baguette.


Edited by snowangel (log)

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Knives are personal.  Pots and pans aren't.

When I think of the items that No One Else Can Use or Clean, they're all knives.

I'd save my wok. I can always replace a knife but a perfectly seasoned wok???

Um, and my wok.

Hrm.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Assuming that I have managed to already remove or store away all my cookbooks, all my recipe files, my spices from Thailand, my dried chiles from Mexico, my favorite toaster (no longer made), my wine, my favorite serving plates, my KitchenAid mixer (well-made older model), and any irreplaceable cooking utensils, I would grab my chef's knife. My cast-iron Indian tava should survive the fire.

As I'm sobbing in my front yard with the thought of all the other cookware, knives, and cooking implements left behind, I hope the fire engines arrive soon.

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Pots.

I know my very beat-up Henkels are inadequate and need replacing. But I've grown mighty attached to my All-Clad dutch oven. Yes, I could replace it, but it wouldn't be *mine*.

But first I'd save my c. 1982 Kitchen Aid mixer. Even if I died trying. Life just wouldn't be worth living.

- L.

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Knives are personal.  Pots and pans aren't.

When I think of the items that No One Else Can Use or Clean, they're all knives.

I'd save my wok. I can always replace a knife but a perfectly seasoned wok???

Um, and my wok.

Hrm.

Ha! If I may quote you from an earlier post upthread, Chris, which is it? Knives or pots?

Me, I'd grab my pots. Besides the fact that I love them, I could use an excuse to upgrade my knives. If I had to buy new pots, I'd buy the same.



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:blink:

Wow, that's tough. But it'd have to be my Wusthof knives, and the block where they reside. Those knives and that block have followed me through 26 years of residences, and relationships, and jobs, and so many many meals. I can replace the skillets and the pots (I'd probably take the opportunity to upgrade 'em to heavier-weight items)...but those knives are my friends and partners.

:cool:


Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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But hewing to the topic rules,I'd grab a couple of pots that remind me of good times.

Pots or pot? One burns easier than the other. This would be a better question, though easier to answer.

Assuming it's pots, I would grab one before all others, as it's really old and I don't think that it would make it. The Drip Drop Baster would go with me and as much artwork as I could grab (already have the list of art-it leaves for hurricanes, too).


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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