Another kitchen widget!

July 26, 2010

Gym night. After-gym caprese for me, meatball sandwich for NS. Child B has headed east. Child C stopped by briefly, gone again. And God bless us every one, it’s rained about an inch or so this evening! Thank the Sweet Baby Jesus. Temps are down to the bearable level, and supposed to stay there until maybe Thursday.

And I have a new toy:

All-that-and-a-bag-of-chips when it comes to chopping herbs, this is.

It’s an ulu knife. An authentic Alaskan ulu knife. I know this because the co-worker who brought it to me got it in Alaska when she was there visiting her father earlier this month. Also because its carved bone handle says so.

If it was really made in Malaysia, I do NOT want to know about it.

Sumbitch is sharp. I ran it through my knife sharpener just on general principles before I used it. Tested it on my thumb. Not the best move I’ve made this week. It’s only a very shallow slice, but it stings like hell when I’ve got my hands in something acidic.

Pictured (OK, ignore my dirty cutting board. It’s not really dirty. It’s stained. Too many tomatos over the years) is what it will do in just a few seconds with some dill that went into the mentioned-last-night raita, which I have still not eaten because I still have nothing on hand with which to eat it.  It made short work of a pile of dill leaves plucked from my back porch herb garden.

I also used it on the basil for the caprese I did not photograph tonight. It’s a caprese. You’ve seen at least a half-dozen of them on this very blog. This one looked like most of them. Get over it.

I didn’t photograph the meatball sandwich because I dropped a meatball out while transferring it from oven to plate, and it was therefore not very photogenic. Get over that, too.

I learned, with some Googling (the interwebs is a wonderful thing), that an ulu knife is similar to the Italian mezzaluna.  From what I can see, the mezzaluna is bigger, and often has a double blade, but is used for pretty much what I used the ulu for — chopping stuff. It’s used to chop basil really, really fine for pesto. The Inuit who make the ulu use it for scraping seal blubber off of seal hides.

Given my druthers, I’d druther have pesto. I’m just sayin’. But my ulu takes up significantly less room in my tiny kitchen than a mezzaluna would, and I’m happy with it. I’m going to try it out on carrots next. Bet it would chop onions or garlic like a champ, too.

So thanks, Lisa; I appreciate my ulu. Now, when are we going to have some of that phenomenal smoked salmon?

If you and y’mama ‘n ’em got anything that needs chopping, just bring it on over.

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2 Responses to “Another kitchen widget!”

  1. Lisa Says:

    I am thrilled that you have found a true use of the ulu.. in my three trips to Alaska this is the first time I have gotten one for myself or anyone else for that matter but I will definetely remember that it is a very practical souvenire to bring home in the future. We will be enjoying the smoked salmon in August at our staff potluck 🙂

  2. Kate Says:

    Hey. I wondered what “that thing” was when I was your houseguest. I just steered clear. Thanks for the great dinner last night, and breakfast after you left … which was some of that homemade pimento cheese on whole wheat! I was tempted to abscond with a container of it in my Diet Dr. Pepper cooler!


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