Friday, March 6, 2009

Not Without My Clogs

I was asked what my Must Have tool is, and here they are: My old worn Dansko clogs.
Yep, I love my knife. I cried when it was stolen only to feel like the world had been reborn when I found it under the driver’s seat of my car. If you ask me to cook at your house, I’m bringing my cutting board, too. Your’s probably is all warped and sucky and too small with a weird texture. I’ll be putting a rubber net under the board, too, so that it doesn’t slide and rock on your uneven tile counter when I start chopping. I’ll be honest, as long as we’re having this conversation: I probably won’t like your peeler. It’s dull and rusty or it’s takes too much flesh off the carrots. And my tongs. Because yours will probably look like a surgical tool, or the alignment is off, or be flimsy so when I try to pick up meat it won’t hold, or the spring will be too tight and tire my hand, or it won’t have a lock, or it will but the release will be stiff and I’ll have to pull it with my fingers and I’ll get annoyed because I’m getting Rub with Love all over everything and the chicken’s burning.

But I’m not even heading out the door without my clogs. I’ll slip them on to scramble eggs for a quick breakfast, or I’m taking them off at the end of a marathon day of cooking Thanksgiving for 30 people.

These guys have seen me through culinary school, where they saw shocking abuse that I polished away due to uniform policies, to restaurants where they were abused hourly and I might remember to wipe off at the end of my shift. Spilled hot stock, sugar syrup at the soft-ball stage, dropped knives, stubbed toes, I spilled eggs on one shoe and forgot- the yolk collected bits of parsley and flour and then hardened into an impossible crusty mess that didn’t budge for any cleaning product but eventually wore off, probably due to the accumulated tomato acid that in time softened the black material over the toes to a texture similar to the sticky on a Post-It note. The soles of these shoes are part Spiderman, I’ve never slipped in the kitchen while wearing my clogs. I wore them on the icy sidewalk to guide my husband down to the garage.
After a few years of neglect, I tried to give them some love, and then only thing that would cut through the years of mistreatment? Simple Green. Which also took off the black on the toes, but I blame that on tomato slop.

I bought a new pair recently and I hate to admit, that I keep pulling these guys out. I don’t want to ruin my new ones.

Now, which is hiding in your kitchen? Warped cutting board, rusty dull peeler or the worst offense... the scissor tongs. There's a special door in hell with your name on it.

What do you plan on doing with those? Retracting a bowel section? Just say No!


Blogger Debra said...

ummmm. not Danskos... but we do share the favorite cooking tools. My sister is a huge Dansko fan and I have given them to her as gifts in all kinds of funky colors. They just look sooo heavy!
I'm going to go cook something wonderful- in LLBean stocking feet!

March 6, 2009 at 3:40 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

You are right about the tongs...I freaking LOVE those oxo fact, I got TWO I love them so much.

March 7, 2009 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger MB Shaw said...

So interesting. I am a painter, but have always felt strong similarities between cooking and art (duh, cooking *is* art). My Dansko clogs (same color) look about like yours except they also have splatters of paint on them.

Loved your book btw, have made the Boef Bourgignon (sp?) and have recommended it - the book!- to many folks.

March 7, 2009 at 7:52 AM  
Blogger middleson said...

great post. i liked it so much i had to think about what my own "not without"'s were and post them to my blog.

March 8, 2009 at 6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting to read this post on why you won't use other people's kitchen tools - and then read the post higher up where you say people won't cook for you. Do you think there's a connection?

May 11, 2009 at 3:49 PM  

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