An essential kitchen tool for the string player

October 17, 2016 at 06:44 AM · In my pre-violin, pre college, pre career days I had aspired to being a professional Chef. Cuts, nicked fingers and bandages were ubiquitous in the kitchen and just part of life.

As a violinist (even an amateur like me) those kitchen slips mean time lost playing while things heal. One of these slips almost ended Nadia's career. Then I remembered something that was always around but rarely used in the professional kitchen - stainless steel chain mail gloves.

I now have one atop my knife block and always use it when using any kitchen knife. Since then I've not had a single cut although I have felt the pressure of the blade against the glove and realized that that could have been a nasty cut. (FWIW: my knives are razor sharp)

Just a thought for my fellow string players who also cook.

Replies (9)

October 17, 2016 at 07:04 AM · This is a wonderful idea, thank you! Just earlier tonight while cutting tomatoes for pasta, my mind wandered towards the boiling water, and for a second I lost track of the knife. I then had a horrible moment realizing I could had easily sliced myself, and glad I didn't pull a NNS on myself...

Do you have a particular brand you like to recommend?

October 17, 2016 at 06:56 PM · Dorian,

No particular brand. If you have a restaurant supply store nearby they will have a selection. Also the ubiquitous Amazon has some to chose from. The advantage of the restaurant supply is that you can try them on for size. They last almost forever.

October 17, 2016 at 09:11 PM · I thought this was going to be a thread about corkscrews.

October 17, 2016 at 10:42 PM · Do they also sell chain mail shirts for viola players?

October 18, 2016 at 01:04 AM · Using a kitchen knife is like using power tools. There are a lot of really stupid things you can do with either, and you just have to ask yourself, before doing something, whether what you're doing is the smart way or the dumb way to be doing it. A few moments planning how you're going to cut apart, say, a melon or a large piece of beef will spare your fingers.

October 18, 2016 at 09:35 PM · Paul, et al.,

In a perfect world... you are absolutely correct. And, if you've never nicked a finger with a knife in the kitchen you are lucky. Just like that tricky entrance in a quartette, a split second of inattention and bang - it happens.

I've used kitchen knives since I was about four and I've learned how to properly use them and I still get the occasional nick or cut. It happens to the best of us. Also, I'm the cook in our home and my wife makes excellent reservations.

However, since I've started using the glove - not a single nick because it is physically impossible. I don't get sloppy either because I don't want to dull my knives.

October 21, 2016 at 12:01 PM · 'a split second of inattention' - I identified this as a pattern when I sustained a series of (fortunately minor) finger injuries in the kitchen. The cure in my case has been the ancient practice of 'mindfulness' - total focus on what you are doing at that moment. Any distraction and I stop cutting. But the metal glove is a more secure solution.

I read that the conductor Jascha Horenstein was originally planning a career as a violinist, but an injury sustained in the kitchen put an end to that.

October 21, 2016 at 12:20 PM · Even if you are totally focusing on the job in hand someone accidentally bumping into you at the wrong moment could cause you to injure yourself.

October 21, 2016 at 02:59 PM · It is especially important when playing Handel to hold the knife by the handle and avoid playing sharp (Isn't that the point?).

(and, please, if you're responding to this, avoid any cutting remarks).

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