For my wedding shower 16 years ago my Dad bought me a set of steak knives. At the time, I thought it was kind of a weird, impersonal gift. I didn't cook--so certainly I didn't know that they were very expensive J.A. Henckels steak knives, not that that would have made a difference to me. I simply thought, while any gift is nice, it was a weird one to get from my Dad. He told my husband they were the "never-dull" kind, as if this explained his choice. I thought of it as this little inside joke...my Dad, rather than giving me something that was sentimental and would make me cry, gave me boring old steak knives.
We danced at my wedding, and had these great moments that I will never forget. But he got sick in 1999, and didn't find out it was lung cancer until it was too late. He passed away in February of 2000.
You might wonder what this has to do with the knives. But I'm not digressing, I'm just letting you know that I loved him, and I lost him. The knives come in now. I started doing all of the cooking when I became a suck at home mom. At first, I really did suck at it, and we ate a LOT of hotdogs and plain baked chicken or pork. But as the months went by, our wallets got thinner and I got so sick of having chicken the same way all the time. I began to buy fresh foods, because believe it or not, they were cheaper. I could make a dish that would last for days by cutting up all the veggies and making a big pot full of chicken stir-fry, homemade chili, beef with broccoli, etc. I could spice up meat or pork with my trusty sea-salt and garlic grinder (that thing is magical), so that it would be tender and delicious. I cut the vegetables with--you guessed it--my Henckels knives. I cut my steak & pork with--right again--my Henckels knives.
And every single time I use them, I think about how I once thought they were a boring gift, not sentimental at all. Not sentimental, except for those tears that sneak up to my eyes, because my Dad gave me those knives.
(And FYI...they're still sharp:)