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Being Neighborly  


Yesterday I made my neighbor very happy. I sharpened her knives. She is a wonderful person, a very dynamic and vibrant woman in her late eighties who is my son's best friend. She is originally from Vienna, and loves to cook all kinds of dishes from her youth. She also has high expectations of craft, since the standards that were around when she left Europe were very high (she is a refugee from Hitler's annexation of Austria, and now a very grateful citizen of the US). She told me her knives hadn't been this sharp in 25 years! My wife and I love to cook too. I have a lot of good knives that I use mainly for trimming meat, and my wife has some crappy paring knives she uses every day for fruits and vegetables. I sharpen my knives regularly, but I recently sharpened my wife's knives and she was astonished how well they worked. Once you learn how to sharpen and hone, it's no big deal to sharpen knives, penknives, shears, etc. One of the businesses on our floor is a very fancy purveyor of dried flower arrangements. They came by with some shears they asked us to sharpen. I didn't have much time but I went over them with a few stones. The owner came by to thank me - the shears work better than the super-fancy shears she just bought. A cooking teacher once told a friend of ours who took a class to befriend a woodworker if they wanted sharp tools - "woodworkers always have the best, sharpest knives," she said. What gets me is that I really didn't do much work.
For under 15 minutes, doing something I enjoy and which improves my own skills, I made a bunch of people happy. Doesn't get much better than this.

Comments: 1
09/03/2007Ray Drake 
I am glad I check your website before I stopped in for a visit !! Congrates on the move. The old place was getting crowded.
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