Monday, June 15, 2009

Herb Scissors: Do they make the cut?

As far as kitchen gadgets go, I'm what you would call a "hard sell". My personal experience dictates that more often than not, kitchen gadgets are long on novelty and short on function and performance. That is not to say that some gadgets aren't useful, just that in my experience most are not.

Recently, at COBW we received some Herb Scissors from to review. I will confess that my initial skepticism was partly abated when I looked at the Herb Scissors because they are weighty and better made than one would expect. 7.5" inches long and constructed of stainless steel with large, comfortable silicone lined handles. As the photo shows, they are basically several pairs of scissors made into one. Seems practical right?

I'll admit, my first attempt with the Herb Scissors went less than satisfactory. I tried using them on some freshly washed (and wet) parsley and I got a sticky mess. Truth be told, the same would have happened had I used a knife on wet parsley. When using the Herb Scissors on properly washed and drained herbs the results were good. They work as advertised and certainly better than I expected. They work well enough that I still use them regularly after several weeks.

You're not going to use herb scissors to cut a large amount of herbs. When I'm making chimichurri sauce and need cups of parsley, I am going to use a knife and cutting board. That doesn't mean there's no place for Herb Scissors in your kitchen. I find them excellent for quickly and conveniently cutting small to moderate amounts of herbs to a uniform size. They are really handy when adding fresh herbs to the pot or when garnishing finished dishes. For instance, when using a knife and cutting board I find I tend to overestimate what I'll need and that just leads to waste. With Herb Scissors I find that I can add just what I need to the pot or as a garnish. Another great use for Herb Scissors is for cutting nori sheets into a very classy and attractive garnish.

Well made, easy-to-use and really easy to clean, I say that Herb Scissors are a keeper in the COBW kitchen.

If you're interested, you can check them out at Be sure to let them know you read about them at Cook's Stuff!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Websites (and people) We Love: Depression Cooking with Clara Cannucciari

Join 93 year old cook and great grandmother, Clara, as she recounts her childhood during the Great Depression and prepares meals from that era. Learn how to make simple yet delicious dishes as she recounts personal stories of life during the Great Depression.

This is great stuff folks, give it a peak and tip your hat to Clara!

Just click here!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Review: Ontario Knife Company's Watermelon Knife

Personally, I don't find much of a difference between a well-made inexpensive kitchen knife and a premium expensive kitchen knife apart from the purchase price. That's not an uninformed opinion either. I know a fair share about metal and I've used enough knives inside and outside the kitchen to know of what I speak. Truth be told anyone who spends a little time learning what makes a good knife is often going to own some great knives for a minimum outlay of cash. There are no moving parts to this most basic of kitchen implements, it's not rocket science! That's why our opinions regarding the Ontario Knife Company's Watermelon knife were not surprising.

A full 17" overall, the Ontario Knife Company's Watermelon Knife's main feature is of course, its blade. It features a generous stainless steel blade with full-tang construction. The "tang" of a knife is the part of the blade that connects to, or is inserted in the handle. Inexpensive knives often have a partial tang that the handle is hot molded around. A full tang makes a knife stronger, insures a firm grip and greatly improves the knife's useable life. The slip-resistant polymer handle of the Watermelon Knife is triple-riveted to the blade which I believe is the superior way to fasten the handle of a kitchen knife.

Our tester loved the sample I gave him. I would consider him a kitchen knife aficionado and his collection is extensive and growing. He's also the guy who sharpens my knives and he does a damn fine job! While he also commented on the full tang construction and slip-resistant handle, he was also quick to point out a few other reasons he likes the Ontario Knife Company's Watermelon Knife. The blade thickness really impressed him, it's his opinion that a good kitchen knife should have a minimum thickness and the Watermelon Knife fell well above that standard without being too thick. He was impressed at how well the knife took and held and edge. In his testing, he was also impressed with how easy the knife was to control and how well it sliced. His final compliment was the pointed end, which he said many carving knives lack. He favors it because he said you can use it because it is helpful in moving the sliced meat to waiting plates.

In our summary, we found the Ontario Knife Company's Watermelon Knife to be a very sound investment at the $10 price we paid for it. It's also out opinion that calling it a "Watermelon Knife" is a little limiting and misleading as it is of great use as a quality slicer and more. If I have one negative comment regarding the Watermelon Knife, it would be the red, white and blue pattern of the blade. I would prefer the option of a more traditional black or brown. That's a small gripe though.

If you're looking for a great value in a large slicing and carving knife this may be your best bet. We loved the Ontario Knife Company's Watermelon Knife! All for a whopping $10.00 (US).

I guess when it comes to buying knives for your kitchen there are two roads to go. You can learn a little and buy a lot spending almost nothing. Or, you can just spend a lot knowing the extra cash is insurance for quality. I know what we like here at Cook's Stuff!

For more information on the Ontario Knife Company's full line of products, click here.

Review: Ontario Knife Company's Watermelon Knife by Cook's Stuff