Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Knives and the secret life of a blokes kitchen


There is a very male reaction that I have to my kitchen knives. No, not that one, that would be strange and you'd probably have to report me to the police. No, it's a result of a misspent youth watching kung fu movies to be honest. An endless parade of samurais, ninjas wielding swords and the like. To me these just aren't tools for cutting up veg, oh no, these are the very mark of honour. They are the end result of hundreds of years of sword making, the timeless perfection of honed metal, forged in heat and sharpened with loving care. You see what I mean? I can't help myself to be honest. Every time I'm cutting up tomatoes a part of my brain is in a Kurosawa movie, or that bit in Kill Bill in the sushi bar, the "..you speak Japanese" bit.

Obviously, I can't speak for all you blokes but I tend to see my kitchen in cinematic terms. It is inhabited by the Godfather movies when I making a pasta sauce, the whole hitting the mattresses bit, by the Sopranos when I have left over pasta and cold Italian meats in the house where I can stand and munch in front of an open fridge. That great scene at the end of Jamon, Jamon where the two lovers are duelling with the cured legs of ham makes me smirk when I have some pata negra in the house. Chinese food? Eat Drink Man Woman and Tampopo come to mind. Making linguini with my mum? Big Night. Eating a pastrami sandwich? Come on, you know. Chocolate spread or slightly bizarre fusion cooking? Life is Sweet. I know, I know, I'm a terrible geek, and I should probably just get on with chopping the onions. Actually, that reminds me of that bit in Goodfellas, "..he used too many onions in the sauce..."


Chubby Hubby said...

Some great food movies mentioned. Hmmm... Maybe we should start a once-off meme on dishes cooked in some of these movies. I'd love to see how some people manage that Timbalo from Big Night!

Matt Armendariz said...

Hahaha what a wonderful and great posting! I'm seriously digging it. And this entry here is a perfect reason why.

How come when I cook at home I'm only reminded of movies like "Tootsie" and "La Cafe Au Folles"?

Ok, I better shut up now.

Ed Charles said...

yes, more sharp obkjects in blogs and Kung Fu – I'm coming from the same place and hanker after one of those fancy Damascus Japanese knives. For now I'll live with the one I found wrapped in a towel under the sink. Every time I finely grate garlic with my Accutec I'm reminded of the prison scene in the Goodfellas when they shave garlic with razor blades.
Inspirational pic.

Ed Charles said...

Sorry, meant inspired pictured.

anna said...

Hmm. This is why I can buy my husband Japanese kitchen knives for his birthday, along with The Code of the Samurai, and he is in sword-wielding heaven... On an additional plus side I am never wanting for a volunteer to assist in vegetable chopping; only thing is that the whole job becomes a military campaign and takes as long to complete as I spend doing all other stuff. Ho hum.

vanessa said...

Ha! The Godfather is one of hte best food movies of all time. Goodfellas is a close second in the whole gangster-food genre. When some friends and i were crazy enough to attempt canoli from scratch and were finished with our second degree oil burns, we stood there with some good treats saying to each other, "leave the gun. take the canoli."

and whenever i make sauce, i remember that quote from goodfellas about "slicing the garlic so thin with a razor, it practically melted into the sauce." that's food writing for you.