Saturday, November 29, 2008

favorite thing friday

Do you remember how I wrote that we have learned that when we buy things, we generally get what we pay for?

So, when I spent $25.00 for a sleeping bag while I was in college and then couldn't sleep for the entire week of my geology field trip because I darn near froze my toes off, you better believe that I spared no expense on my next sleeping bag purchase.

Sure, my new bag is rated to 20 degrees below zero. Even though it never gets colder than 40 degrees in San Diego. But I'd rather have more fiber fill than I need. I'd prefer to be too warm than too cold. You can always cool off, but it can be very difficult to warm up.

Unless, you know.

You have a bottle of whiskey.

(And someone to sleep with that has a higher core body temperature than you.)

The point is, in the course of my life I have found a few things that are so worth the extra money, I just revel in owning such high quality goodness that I don't dwell on how much they cost.

Take knives for example.

Charlie and I have owned some really cheap knives in the course our 14-year marriage. We inherited a few. And because we were young newlyweds and then, shoestring budget graduate students, we would try to save money by purchasing a knife here or there. We had a hodge podge collection and they would quickly dull and never hold a good edge.

Now, in hindsight, if we'd just bought a high quality knife (or two) from the get go, we could have slowly added to our collection over time. Instead of adding more cheap knives to the mix. But we were young and didn't know any better. Eventually, we wised up. And currently, we are the proud owners of WÜSTHOF Classic knives.

This is the set that we own, but we bought ours before the most incredible santoku was added to the collection. Last year for Christmas, I bought Charlie the 5-inch santoku and I can easily say that it is by far my favorite knife in the entire collection. I could see owning two of these knives because whenever we are cooking together, we both grab for the santoku.

(Which can be quite dangerous.)

We don't own any of the WÜSTHOF steak knives, but instead own a set of Laguiole olive wood knives that we bought long before they cost as much as they do, now.

But my next favorite in the WÜSTHOF collection are the awesome pull-apart kitchen shears.


Except for today when my children used them to cut each other's hair less than 48-hours after everyone's hair had been professionally cut.

Even if you don't buy an entire set at once, the lovely thing about this collection (or any of the WÜSTHOF collections) is that you can add to it with time. And, in the eight years that we've owned our set, we have replaced two of the knives, free of charge, because the handles have cracked. Sure, you may be spending a little more for these knives, but with the high quality of construction and a lifetime guarantee, they very well may be the only knives you ever buy and in my opinion, that is money very well spent.

Much unlike the sum of money I spent on our children's hair cuts, a mere two days ago. But since they didn't wait to butcher each other's hair until after our Christmas photo, I'm sure whenever I lovingly gaze at our 2008 Holiday picture at any point in my life, I will instantly be reminded of just how crazy my life was living with three four-year-olds.

(Yes. I was reminded today of my then six-year-old brother, a pair of hair clippers, and the identical five-year-old French Canadian twins who had just moved in to our neighborhood and didn't speak English. As my mother so vividly recalls, those were the worst hair cuts you could ever possibly imagine. Thankfully, the fiasco at our house today wasn't quite that bad.)


  1. Couldn't agree more about the knives. We did buy excellent quality ones at the xmas sales the year after we were married/graduated. 14 years later they are still fantastic, no end in sight.

    Also, agree with you about buying good things when you do buy things. It is the only way to go as far as I'm concerned. We hate shopping, so it cuts down on mindless dragging kids around (lots of our expensive furniture has been purchased while making a nursing/rsst stop on a 3-5 hour trip). I think we must all suffer attention deficit disorder.

  2. omg! This post couldn't have come at a more timely moment! Just yesterday I took my visiting SIL to the mall, where there is a WIlliam's Sonoma. Their special was that very Santoku knife and sharpener for 49$ and I got one! PLUS, I got a ten dollar gift card to use in December.



  3. I totally agree that good knives are worth the money. My husband is building a set of Mundial knives a few at a time, and they're definitely worth it. A set of take-apart kitchen shears will probably be our next purchase.

  4. And where's the picture of the haircuts?

  5. Oh, good knives are a thing of beauty! Once I discovered that I was a much happier cook.

  6. I have the suckiest knives in the universe. You would laugh and fall down if you saw how sucky they are. I covet your knives.

    Someday I'll have nice knives and wood floors and a flat screen tv like you, Jen. Someday.

    My house is bigger than yours though. At least I've got SOMETHING. Neener. Neener. Neener.

  7. Jen,
    I remember those infamous clipper haircuts that Wally gave to the neighbors! And as I recall, your mother was so mad that she marched your brother into the barbershop and had his head shaved to match what he had done to the twins heads. Ahhhh....those were the I miss them!

    XOXO Anne Marie

  8. We have Wustof knives, too. They are indeed glorious. It's painful to go back to the cheap knives, but we had to for our temporary home in England. I live in fear that I'll slice off a finger trying to hack my way through a piece of bread with these cheap things, when that same slice of bread would've parted like butter with one of my Wustofs.

    Ah, the trappings of home...