Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Monday, 12 April 2010

Byproducts of Spring

Spring is sprung, the grass is ris.
I wonders where the birdies is.
They say the birds is on the wing.
Ain't that absurd?
I always thought the wing was on the bird.

So says Anon (no it isn’t Ogden Nash nor e.e.cummings). So it’s time to get into the garden and perform familiar acts of self-flagellation. Or should I say it’s time for someone to mortify themselves. Here at Chez Bonden our thoughts are on higher things – literally. Both of us sit at our computers on the first floor and watch our neighbour Brian attack weeds in our garden with self-confessed enthusiasm. Brian will be paid but believe me we have no complaints.

A spring clean-out revealed two items which, like boomerangs, are hard to throw away. It would not only be irresponsible to toss these cutting devices into the dustbin it would be illegal. One of us must transport them to les flics. But that in itself opens up risks; being in possession on the public roads is also illegal. Perhaps I’ll have to use my angle grinder and render them anonymous, like the verse.

The knife dates back to Mrs BB’s dad – a chef – who used it in his kitchen. There’s a touch of sentiment but it’s surplus to requirements. The herb-chopper (I’m sure Lucy will know the French word) looks charming but is being discarded because of its ineffectuality. For one thing it requires a special wooden bowl to work properly. But even then it must bow the knee to a combination of a pair of scissors and grandson Zach’s Melamine drinking cup.

Novel progress 13/4/10. Ch. 20: 913 words. Chs. 1 - 19: 85,903 words. Comments: Hatch bollocked for over-writing.


Plutarch said...

If Lucy will foregive me, the herb chopper is known as a Mezzalucna. It is often used in conjunction with a gently curved board or bowl. I've never owned one but often thought that they looked attractive and practical, when I have seen them in kitchen shops. On the other hand, what can they do, that a traditional chefs' knife, when properly handled, can't. I've never seen a professional chef use one. Though, given its Italian name, pehaps it is found in professional Italian kitchens of which I have limited experience.

Hattie said...

I can't believe you are getting rid of that knife. You can't even find knives like that any more.

Occasional Speeder said...

The Mezzalucna was bought in a very swanky kitchen shop in Lille. I have one too but have lost its blade sheath. So when rummaging in the utensil drawer, it adds an element of danger.
Rarely use it... do you think we'd get a deal on a pair?

herhimnbryn said...

I am looking at that well used knife. The history of it's sharpening, evident on the blade.

I can't be doing with mezzalunas either. Prefer a knife for herbs.

Relucent Reader said...

Mezzalunas for many herbs; a gp chef knife suffices.
Shame about that knife , prob a nice hunk of steel. Is that a dent, midway on the blade?
Sorry to read you've had to give up swimming. Physical exercise in a particular location becomes a touch stone, hard to give up. Hope the shed works out...

Barrett Bonden said...

Plutarch: As you say, the work could be done with a conventional knife. A further disadvantage of this device is that it would require the acquisition of a new skill. I'd rather learn Hindi.

Hattie: But we don't need it.

OS: Too late, alas. This morning we went to the Hereford cop-shop and handed them over. A receipt was provided and we were asked if "Kitchen knives" covered our donations. We rode with the imprecision and said "Yes".

HHB: Quite correct: the inward curve on the blade is the result of 60 - 70 years of sharpening. Once the curve is this well established it becomes almost impossible to avoid enlarging it. There seems to be a critical consensus about the mezzaluna which is just as well because it's hard to spell.

RR: Its usefulness would have been retrievable if I'd been prepared to grind the blade into a straight line and then re-sharpen. But we have all the knives we need.

The bike in the shed is tedious but Joyce in audio is working. The same actor has recorded Finnegans Wake but that may be a step too far.

Julia said...

Now that they are turned in to the police, what happens to them next? Do they get melted down or sold at the next police fair?

Rouchswalwe said...

When I think that we have Sauerkraut pots from my Great-great-Grandmama Katharina ... they sit on a high kitchen shelf, decoratively exuding nostalgia.

Barrett Bonden said...

Julia: They are stored carelessly in a plastic garbage bin from which criminals are easily able to steal them.

RW (zS): But if that principle were extended I'd be wearing my grandpa's suits and requiring Mrs BB to use my grannie's mangle when doing the laundry. Sentimentality gets short shrift here if the things don't work. We have, for instance, a Welsh dresser passed down through the family and now worth thousands. It's goodness knows how many years old but a glance at the inside of the drawers reveals it to be jerry-built. So much for craftsmen of a bygone era. It looks well but it irritates the hell out of me.