Leland v. taillage
After my knife slipped off the carrot and into the first knuckle of my left middle finger last night, I decided that I hate these cursed hard-as-wood vegetables. My anti-carrot sentiments only increased until I had my way with one tonight in the comfort of my own kitchen. I eked out a decent julienne, brunoise, and macédoine—the jardinière is deplorable—and I sharpened my school knife to the point where it’s not scarily dull anymore (Mom is always popping up on my shoulder and saying, “You can’t cut yourself with a sharp knife!”).
But none of this will make any difference when we progress to tournage tomorrow night; I’m already plotting out strategic Band-Aids to protect my delicate digits from further damage. Fancy French knifework is hard, and it may be especially hard for people like me who consider themselves competent cooks. I can turn out a decent meal for a group of friends, but can I really use my knife precisely? I never cut vegetables like this; I’m content to chop them coarsely by hand or in the food processor. But I appreciate the pedagogical value of forcing us to use our hands, and I’ll do my best to learn it (although I’m prepared to never master it, and to be content with my own caveman-like knife handling).