It came! The whet stone arrived; even a day early. Amazon is the best; at least when you live on an island and there are no malls or departments stores available without a ferry ride. I decided to wait until everyone was gone for the day to begin my lesson in knife sharpening. I soaked the stone as instructed, selected the knifes that I wanted to sharpen as well as one to practice on first. I then turned on some background music and watched the Rouxbe video on using a whet stone. And then I watched it again. And again.
Today's lesson was to cut carrots into 1/4 cups of brunoise, small dice, medium dice, large dice, fine julienne, julienne, and batonnet. It was actually quite a bit of fun and I found that I actually was not too bad at it. My favorite was the brunoise cut. I love it and if I had the time, would use it as a confetti to celebrate each meal. I actually found cutting uniformly to come pretty naturally to me, and much like most cooking, rather relaxing. I may never become a chef, but I will definitely become a better cook. I had to post samples of each of my cuts and describe options for the scrap.
I have spent the last few days slicing, dicing, and chopping, all in an attempt to perfect my knife skills. It started with cutting through flour with a pastry scraper for about a half an hour as lookers-on shook their heads in confusion. It may have looked odd, but it really did help perfect the rolling action but without a doubt it was even more helpful in adjusting to the proper position of my guide hand and its precious fingers. It took quite a while to get the hang of the connection between my guide-knuckle and the pastry scraper. To be honest, I am still working on it, but with each assignment, I am getting more and more comfortable with it. From experience with several unintended slices and dices to my own fingers, I can tell you that learning proper technique is paramount.