A story on kitchen knives and new wives.


June 16, 2008, 02:10 AM
I wasn't gonna post this, seeing how it's really a weapon forum of sorts and doesn't really reflect upon weapons, but you folks seem to appreciate good steel and it does regard some good steel.

You see, before my wife and I got married I fancied myself abit of a chef, well chef might be the wrong word. Here in the South we call it a cook, if you're good they call you The Cook, and if you're the best they call you Momma. But anyhow, thru the years I had put together a knife block with 9 JA Henckels in it. I didn't buy it as a set, mainly because I knew the pieces I wanted and they didn't all come together in a set, but also becasue I could only afford one at a time.

Well we had been married about a week when I went into the kitchen one day after work to slice me a tomato for a tomato sandwich. There was a new toaster where my knives had been. So, being the curious sort I asked, "Honey, where are my knives?" She bounded into the kitchen, just full of pride and glee. "I bought you some new ones, see." In her hands was a new knife block filled with Wal-mart special, made in china, serrated edged, knives. Oh, and one sharpening steel, not sure what that was for.:confused:

Well, my first reaction was to spit and curse, but here before me was my doe-eyed bride, just so happy that she had done this for me, so I just smiled and took the block as I said, "These are lovely dear." Then I added ,"So what did you do with the old ones?"

"I threw them out with the garbage."

Now many thoughts flew thru my head, but they all ended with a visit from the sheriff and my new father-in-law with 2 big brother-in-laws in tow, so I just said, "I'd better get them out so some kid doesn't find them." And I made a mad dash for the dumpster. Turns out I had time to ride a unicycle out there blindfolded, because the dumpster was empty. But I didn't want to upset my new bride, so I just went inside and smashed a tomato into pieces with my new knives. I used those knives for 3 long lean years when we barely had enough money to buy food to cut, let alone a decent kitchen knife. But then the day came when I had some spending money and she was with me as I bought a simple 4" utility knife.
She was amazed at what it costs and was laughing at me for buying it when all of the sudden she got real quiet. "How much were those knives worth that I threw out?"
Enough time had passed and we had been thru worse, so I could actually laugh as I told her, "About $600"
Since that day we've had an agreement, she stays out of the kitchen. If she want's a glass of water, I go get it for her. Marriages are built on compromise.:D

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June 16, 2008, 02:21 AM

I have learned that nothing's free. We pay for everything, in one way or another. You might have gotten off cheaply.

The Tourist
June 16, 2008, 02:29 AM
Oh, I know the feeling.

My wife never throws anything out. We have stacks of her school and business papers stacked up here so high that just bumping them starts an avalanche. We have a pile of mail that we have carried to three new homes. It never goes away.

About one month ago, I go looking for my favorite Japanese sharpening book, and it's gone. I turn the house upside down. It's really gone.

For no reason, my wife decided to gather up one and only one pile of papers and old newsprint, and the book must have slid into her pile.

It went out with the trash while every other tower of paper remains.

Fortunately, a google to Amazon replaced the book.

June 16, 2008, 07:17 AM
Ever find one of your kitchen knives missing only to find it 3 days later stuck in the dirt in the garden?:fire::cuss::banghead:

Now I keep my knives in a drawer, out of sight, out of mind.

June 21, 2008, 12:30 AM
My wife has learned-finally- that messing with my tools or my desk will drive me BERSERK every time. She now just asks me to clean up.

The other day she found the bull point bit to my rotohammer in my youngest son's room- after I searched high and low for it and then drove to the far side of town to buy another so I could finish installing the vent on her new Jenn-Air. I'm a packrat myself, but that kid's never going to make it to teenager if this keeps up!

Tom Krein
June 21, 2008, 12:39 AM
Ever find one of your kitchen knives missing only to find it 3 days later stuck in the dirt in the garden?

That would be pretty funny, IF it didn't happen all the time here!! I have 3 boys! They don't really mess with the knives anymore, but the other day I went to get a spoon... yep, not a spoon to be found!


June 21, 2008, 01:25 AM
Okay, I really shouldn't admit to this. My brother and I got into a play sword fight once in the kitchen. Mom had two of the biggest meanest looking butcher knives you ever saw, she was a meat cutter by trade. Well, to a couple of young boys they made great swords. How we kept from losing a finger that day is beyond me. But when mom saw those nicks all the way down both blades, we lost some skin on our behinds. Come to think of it, may have been less painfull to lose a finger.

June 21, 2008, 11:00 AM
Is it just my wonderful wife who seems to think our Henckels serve double duty as pry bars and screwdrivers? When ever I find one of the knives with a twist to the blade or a distorted tip and point it out, she always says "who, me?" Its a real Family Circle type of response, "Idunno".

By the way, I love her, and have learned to accept this in her. I simply keep a drawer full of my own kitchen knives that she is forbidden to touch. The Henckels? Well, every once in awhile the worst gets replaced or repaired. Sigh.

June 21, 2008, 01:03 PM
I had to. :D

June 21, 2008, 01:34 PM
Great story.

My wife just seems to love using my better kitchen knives as screw drivers or for prying off lids. Needless to say, it is a bit of a sore point and I now have a couple screw drivers lying on the counter just in case she has the urge.

Women simply do not understand which confounds me.

June 21, 2008, 01:53 PM
Lol, nice pic.

My brother, a certified genius and licensed electrician, gave me a knife a couple of years ago. It's your basic folder, like a Buck 110 but without the buck name on it.
Anyway, I looked at it and he had apparently been using it as a screwdriver and hammer too (typical electrician move). So, I tossed it in my toolbox and used it from time to time when working on bikes and cars.
In my desire to have a Buck 110 due to this forum's denizens, I cruised the local stores but came up empty until looking for something in my toolbox. I fished it out with gasket sealer on the blade, a big nick in the area below the point, and a lot of gashes in the back blade lock.
I spent an hour this morning cleaning it up and now have a nice sharp folder that fits my hand and now has a good edge on it. Best thing is I didn't have to go spend cash on a new one.

My girlfriend doesn't bother my books or my knives, so I have no excuses.
But, I am sometimes my own worst enemy.

So, a little filing on the chip in the blade, sharpening on the stone, and I was in business with a good pocket knife. I'm going to look around and see what else I've stuck in my tools and stuff and forgotten.

At least you guys have someone else to blame. :)

June 21, 2008, 06:02 PM
Welcome to THR, Gryphon1410, and nice beginning (although most of the time the shoe would be replaced by a butter knife handle).

June 21, 2008, 10:15 PM

That, sir, is hilarious! Welcome to the forum.

And no, my wife will not be reading this thread.

June 22, 2008, 01:14 AM
Man, I can relate. But, not exactly - and it wasn't my beloved wife who does this kind of thing.

We're currently living with my FIL, who has nothing but serrated knives. The one or two steel knives he has were, until I got around to fixing them, not much sharper than a butter/dinner knife. (Side note: remember the "slab of metal" butter knives, which bore no resemblance to an actual knife?)

Anyway, I sharpened these two knives and returned them to their spot. FIL comes to me, kinda angry, for sharpening "his" knives and making them "dangerous". (He seems to have no problem using my JA Henckel knives in inappropriate manners >:() WTH?

I will occasionally go to use one of my knives and find the edge dulled, as if it was used for a can opener. And I once came home to find an odd mechanical beast sitting on the counter, which is supposedly used by Philistines to sharpen knives - and my knives had been gouged up by said contraption. I was not happy, not 't all, particularly as I'd only recently sharpened them all! Took a good two hours to fix them all.

My wife: she knows not to mess with good kitchen knives, but she's also somewhat of a "cultural rebel" in that she thinks for herself and isn't a princess, like most women her age. I thank God for that. :) Though, it is occasionally the case that she'll not notify me when the knives need to be sharpened, but I can't fault her for that in the least:

I "let" her use my knives, because she's the better cook when it comes to non-steak, and she enjoys doing it. :P And damn, am I ever appreciative of that fact!

June 22, 2008, 04:19 AM
My uncle bought his wife a J.A. Henckles Chef Knife because they'd had Old Hickories and cherry handled Case knives their whole lives, some inherited, and they didn't look nice. She admired this knife, and it was a top-end version, expensive, but she liked it, so he got it for her. Her favorite Christmas present.

Well, I visited some time after that, and they were down-sizing from cleaning out Grandma's house. I ended up with some neat old knives that have been in my family for several generations, and then I saw my aunt using her favorite new knife to cut up some veggies for dinner.

The tip was flat and about 1" shorter than it should have been. I wondered...

Uncle asked me if I could fix it. Of course, I can. It'll look like it never happened. But what happened? He tells me that he was getting some ice ready for something or other, and needed to break it up, and this 150 dollar knife was on the counter, so he grabbed it and started whacking away at it, and the tip broke.

I groaned. He promised not to do it again, so I agreed to fix it.

I got it done and returned it to my aunt, and said as a joke, "Now don't let uncle touch it again, and it will last a long time." What did I mean? I told her the story he'd told me, and she blushed up real pretty and pink.

She'd done the deed with the ice. He told me a story to spare her feelings. It seems that you can whack on blocks of ice with an Old Hickory for a long time and not break it (though the tip will be quite dull), but three strikes and you're out with a fancy Henckels. :D

Took uncle to the store and got a stupid ice pick for three bucks.

Rich K
June 22, 2008, 06:33 AM
I like a good sharp knife in the kitchen(or anywhere else, for that matter.)
When I was married, I sharpened up all the knives in the kitchen, so they would do their work cleanly and safely. My now ex wife complained that "They are too sharp."

I told her that there is no such thing as too sharp. Now, my knives are sharp, and they stay that way.

June 22, 2008, 06:48 AM
I too have some $100 pry bars in my knife drawer. The only solution I have found is to buy some additional tools for the kitchen. Get a couple of screwdrivers, pliers, small hammer etc. Put them in a mason jar or crock and set em right there on the counter somewhere (maybe right beside the knife block). This is the only thing I've found that stops the overwhelming urge to use my knives as all other forms of instrument when the need arises.

June 22, 2008, 07:19 AM
The tip broke on that expensive chef's knife because the tip was overheated because the heat treat wasn't done properly (which one would never know until the knife was dropped or whacked on something). Interesting how the "just an old knife my Mama had" stood up to that abuse and the $100+ newness wouldn't.

June 22, 2008, 09:28 AM
Except for one 6" boning knife my good kitchen knives spent 15 years in the hobby/gun room except when I needed a sharp knife to do enough work or special job bad enough to go get one for that particular chore, carve the turkey, cut up a deer or elk ect.. The ex and her kids could ruin the edge on a knife practically overnight. They didn't seem to know the difference between a good knife or one from a dollar store, so everyone was happy.
Now days they are all nice and handy with the lady of the house appreciating quality in her hand. She likes guns too, I am a lucky guy.

June 26, 2008, 08:03 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome fellas! :) I feel your pain as I was out for some training a while back for around a month and when I came home, I found my good bread knife all goobered up with wax in the serrations. When I asked my wife what had happened she said "Oh I used it to clean some candle holders. Worked great!"

I used to have a Heneckles myself by my ex wife took that. I got a Shun when I married my second wife and never looked back. Those are pretty much lightsabers for the kitchen.

Dave McCracken
June 27, 2008, 09:54 AM
When WW and I first met, her sole kitchen knife was a nice Sabatier chef knife. As we went along, we added a good set of Henckels one at a time. A Henckels steel and some crock sticks pretty much handle sharpening, though we've some bench stones also.

An early gift from her to me was a set of good Fiskars kitchen shears. That was for cleaning squirrels and beat using my old set of side cutters for depawing.

June 27, 2008, 10:59 AM
I couldn't function without my Fiskar shears in the kitchen.
Good to see you back Dave. You dancing yet?

Dave McCracken
June 27, 2008, 11:49 AM

Not yet but soon. One day at a time.

June 27, 2008, 12:10 PM
The OP's story made me sad... :(

I am an avid cook and the kitchen is definitely MY domain. My wife only goes in there to grab a coke.

I was going to get myself a Shun 8" Chef's knife for my birthday, but My wife bought me an Xbox 360 and I ended up buying a couple of games instead! Until I can upgrade to the good stuff I am using the JA Henckles budget line (I think they mistakenly call it the "Pro" series?). They are better than the WalMart Chicago Cutlery, but still not the best.

My brother is a Sushi chef and taught me the value of good steel. The owner of the restaurant he works at gave him a ~$400 knife for his birthday. I forget the make of it (Japanese), but I have used it and it was incredible!

June 27, 2008, 04:40 PM
I have 3 Japanese kitchen knives.

My wife knows not to touch them where they lay in their boxes in the small drawer at the end of the counter.

All the others she can do whatever she wants with (because she will {I just cleaned one up that she took to the garden to cut root vegetables from the ground with}), but she may not touch mine.

June 27, 2008, 07:34 PM
Wives and fine kitchen knives just don't seem to mix.

Last Christmas I presented my mother with the gift of a Japanese Santoku. It is the sharpest knife she has ever owned. My fiancée took one look and said that she hates the knife due to its rustic look. She wants "good stuff,” AKA the stuff you see in Macy’s. Never mind the fact that my mom’s Santoku works better than any Western blade I've ever used. So when we get married next year we will register for a set of overpriced, butt-ugly blades.

It should work out though. She can have her brand name stuff. I’ll keep my own set of kitchen knives. I know those knives will be sharp.

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