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What couldn't you do without
Wed 3-Feb-10
10:06 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Barbara said:

(a) I'd never buy a knife I hadn't held! 

(b) I can't do without some new jeans. I can't remember when I last bought some.


Great points, Barbara.

(a) Knives: Maybe Fiona and I are a bit odd (5 degrees Left Of Top Dead Centre [Mutley will explain!] ) but we are both comfortable with all our knives. The exception is parers, but that is a minor difference and we have both his and her types. Still, yours is a valid point, and worth considering for my offer to select a knife for danast.

(b) Jeans: I must be one of the few men in the whole world who cannot wear jeans. Many years ago, I took my 2 x sis and bro into Arnott's department store in Dublin to help me choose some trews/jeans. I tried on a pair of Levi drainpipes in the dressing room. When I stepped out for a viewing, they both just roared with laughter and (literally) fell about.

Dammit.

I would love to wear cool jeans but, sadly for me, not in this lifetime Confused

Never knowingly underfed

Thu 4-Feb-10
6:19 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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I don't wear jeans either.  Somehow I feel awkward in them, probably because of my age I think.Whistle

I'll try that again!

Fri 5-Feb-10
11:11 am
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Ruthdigs
Devon

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I have  recently re-fallen in love with 8 hole DM boots again.  Heart  Got so annoyed of buying supposedly decent brand trainers (last ones were Trespass) then within 3 months the inside heel of the sole had broken down and the sole on one was splitting giving me wet feet when it rained. Frown  Used to live in docs when I did my A-levels (a while ago now!).  So love my new docs now and they have kept me upright in the snow and ice this year with dry warm feet.  Waterproof if looked after and will last for years and years making the initial outlay far more reasonable.

@ Toffeeapple - TK Max is great for homeware stuff, you get some interesting things and all pretty reasonable.  If you see a set of the small Le Crueset lidded bean pots get them - they so useful for lots of different things - cook in them, have soup in them etc and the lid keeps it warm.  Normally round the £14 mark I think and come in lots of diff colours.

Fri 5-Feb-10
12:37 pm
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veronica
France

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Barbara said:

I am looking for a good sharpener, as mine seems to be getting old and not doing as good a job as it once did. (Like me, I suspect.) I will look at TK Maxx or TJ Hughes next time I am near one, thanks for the tip.


Barbara, I bought a *brilliant* water sharpener recently. They are mainly marketed for Japanese knives, but they work really well on my classic carbon-steel Sabatiers too:

(similar but not identical to mine)

3-4 strokes on each wheel and your knife is ready to slice smoothly through anything.

As far as knives go, I bought a Global knife recently, which is fabulous. They are very expensive though and I don't think they are the kind of thing you find in TKMaxx. BBC Good Food magazine sometimes do special offers on sets though.

Fri 5-Feb-10
8:23 pm
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devongarden
Devon, UK

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Toffeeapple said:I don't wear jeans either.  Somehow I feel awkward in them, probably because of my age I think.Whistle


I regard jeans as work clothes, so I really should have asked where to find heavy duty work trousers, or what other people find works for gardening, since jeans are now so flimsy. I do wear jeans at times--even when I am using my bus pass!

Thanks, Veronica, for the knife-sharpener tip. I regard browsing in kitchen shops as one of life's pleasures--as long as it is not crowded, and I have enough time to enjoy it. Even better is coming out with (only) exactly what I went in for, something better and cheaper, or nothing and a feeling of virtue. So if I have time, Lakeland and The Kitchen Shop tomorrow since I need to go to Exeter for several other things. For online kitchen porn I look at Sur la Table or Williams-Sonoma, as well as Lakeland and The Kitchen Shop (http://www.justaddfood.co.uk)

I can't do without a trip to a city from time to time, though I need it far less often than I used to. And I tolerate crowds much less than I used to.

Fri 5-Feb-10
11:39 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Veronica: I have not heard of the Global brand (probably because we do not watch TV?). Good info. Are they on a par with Sabatier?

Kate: Fiona used to wear DMs when decorating. No doubt that they are tops. Lately she used to favour Caterpillar. More workmanlike, and less stylish, but very comfy - for a work boot.

Never knowingly underfed

Sat 6-Feb-10
12:24 pm
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veronica
France

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I don't watch TV either, Danny 🙂 Global are the leading brand of Japanese knives – made from a single piece of stainless steel. Here you are:

http://www.kitchenknivesdirect.co.uk/acatalog/glob.....nives.html

I only have one, which I reserve for fruit and vegetables; it is a real pleasure to use.

Sat 6-Feb-10
12:28 pm
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veronica
France

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I forgot to add that you have to be careful when buying Sabatier knives. It's a kind of franchise, and not all of them are created equal, so best to choose a reputable supplier to be sure of getting a good knife and not a cheap knock-off. My Sabatiers are carbon-steel (I don't think they make carbon-steel ones any more) and have been in my kitchen for nearly 30 years!

Sat 6-Feb-10
12:56 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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Thanks for that advice Veronica.  I am hoping to buy one soon.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Sat 6-Feb-10
5:41 pm
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devongarden
Devon, UK

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I think I remember reading somewhere that Sabatier split into different companies--maybe it was a family firm and broke up--so you get completely different knives legitimately but confusingly using the same name. And some, as Veronica says, are better than others!

I looked at knife sharpeners today, and didn't buy. I gather that European knives are ground at an angle of 20 degrees and Japanese ones at 15 degrees, so perfectionists use the right one for the type of knife. Me? I am going to try using my old one left-handed and see if I can get bit more use from it, since the good knife-sharpeners I saw were £25 and up.

Sun 7-Feb-10
11:17 am
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veronica
France

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I haven't trashed any of my knives yet using the Japanese sharpener 🙂 It certainly keeps a good edge on all of them when used regularly.

Sun 7-Feb-10
5:19 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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danast said:I'm looking for a really good chef's or cook's knife that will do most kitchen jobs.  I have had a look, but cannot decide what to buy.  I know they are not cheap, but hope I will only ever have to buy once.  Any ideas?


Danuta, I checked out the range in TK Maxx today and they have some nice offerings at attractive prices. Our store in Newmarket is one of the better ones and not all stores have the same ranges. But there was a Judge Sabatier cook's knife, 15cm or 5 inches and another 20cm or 7 inches. Both felt good to hold although the packaging does not help when testing for comfort or balance. They were in the £5 to £7 price range. My favourite is a Judge Sabatier 20cm that doubles up as a carving knife in our kitchen. It's the one I most always reach for.

They also had a set of 7 of the same brand in a block for £25 and Professional set of 5 in a block for £50 as well as many other brands that I know nothing of.

I realised that it would not be practical to select a knife for somebody else but well worth fitting in a visit on your next trip to the big smoke.

Never knowingly underfed

Sun 7-Feb-10
6:02 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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Thanks Danny.  They seem a lot cheaper than I thought.  I  haven't been in the one in Glasgow - or any other for that matter - but you would think Glasgow would be a good store.  Thanks for taking the time to look for me.  I'm hoping to get there in the next two to three weeks  ( and a visit to Ikea, Whoopee!! )   A visit to the metropolis is a big day out for me.   Star

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Mon 8-Feb-10
6:15 pm
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KateUK
uk

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Remember to eat before going round Ikea- means you don't get quite so cross about halfway round when it just becomes ENDLESS...

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Mon 8-Feb-10
6:44 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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Oh it is endless Kate.  I remember it.  However I have a shopping list ready so will know what I am going for.  It's mainly shelving units for the wee room I am converting from a bedroom into a larder/ storeroom. I am sure I will extend that list when I get there though -I always do.  Easily swayed you see!!!!!

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

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