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Chris Amirault

Are You a Knife Cook or a Pot Cook?

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My knives are regrettably inferior and replaceable. My pots (or rather my heirloom cast-iron skillets handed down from both sides of grandparents) NOT replaceable. After the passing of my last Grandma at the age of 97, I was given a deep h-u-g-e cast iron skillet and lid that my Grandpa used in his hometown restaurant during the 1950's. I'm still afraid to use it, but I'm going to one of these days to fry a couple chickens.


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“A favorite dish in Kansas is creamed corn on a stick.”

-Jeff Harms, actor, comedian.

>Enjoying every bite, because I don't know any better...

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At first I thought this would be an easy choice, pots, but then I keep thinking of this old, ratty, nasty 9 dollar knife I have that is the only knife I ever had that did not hurt my wrist after 10 minutes of steady chopping and get confused. I would just have to grab the kitchen aid and be done with it...


"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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It's funny. I have no emotional connection to my knives. Maybe a little nostalgia. But pots, and I mean my clay pots, are my friends. I know them better than I know myself! Each one has a purpose and I'm pretty sure if I buy just one more I'll be truly happy. Just one more.

So for me it's pots and I mean my clay ones and maybe one leCruset.

Most of my collection is here.

And of course the initial seed of obsession was planted here on eG long ago by Paula "go ahead- one won't harm you!" Wolfert.


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Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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In a fire, presuming everyone was safe, I'd probably grab my flash drive with all my writing on it, and then my cameras, but since that isn't an option, look at my avatar and take a guess. I've got good knives, but they're easier and less expensive to replace than the copperware I've collected over the years, and knives wear out and need to be replaced eventually anyway. Of course in the fire scenario, the knives would be easier to carry, but since the question is hypothetical, I'll stick with the pots.

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I think the fire premise is throwing people off course.  It is not so much what you value like an heirloom pot,  knife or cookbook but the fact that some people need certain pots or pans to feel complete in their kitchen task and some people need a certain knife.

I agree, but Thorne seems to be saying that there is a fundamental dichotomy here: that there are only two types of people, knife people and pot people. Regardless of the setup, that fundamental distinction is simply not true, in my opinion. It may well be true for "some people," but it's certainly not true for everyone, and I'm not even convinced it's true for the majority of cooks, or even the majority of eGullet cooks. I'm sure there are people who are indeed personally connected to a knife or to a pan, but there must be other people out there who, like me, like nice tools and would prefer to use them, but feel no deep commitment or attachment to them. I'm not a "knife person" or a "pot person," I'm a "food person."

Thorne's is an artificial, but not arbitrary, dichotomy. There's a good reason he set it up that way: Knives and pots/pans are the two most prominent non-food, non-appliance components of a "serious" cook's kitchen. He then used this dichotomy as the means to illustrate a brief history of his relationship with cooking. In fact, his wonderful last sentence suggests that living on one side of the dichotomy is a false paradise, so to speak: "And so it was that this knife cook finally found his pot and discovered that, with it, his kitchen was complete."

My interpretation of the knife-pot dichotomy--and his last sentence appears to reflect this--is that it's a manifestation of the yang and yin of cooking. There is the yang knife, active and dominating, and the yin pot, passive and receptive--in complementary, dynamic balance.


"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Easy! Since my kitchen isn't quite complete with the pots/pans that I would like. It's the knives for sure.


keep it simpull stoopid!

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This is a fun thread!

I'd take my "magic pot." It's my enameled cast iron dutch oven that turns perfectly good food into PERFECT food every time.

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Knives definitely. I was spoilt by my first gig in an abattoir oh so many moons ago. There is pride in the the care of a knife there that I could not imagine with any other cooking instrument. It is an extension of my body when I prepare food.

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