LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
I suppose, if we were really to drill down, Peter would argue that women aren’t as handy with knives as men are. Why that would be I’m not sure, as my little brother Matthew and I both spent a good amount of time whittling sticks around the campfire when we were kids. Matthew actually got obsessed with pocketknives and accrued quite a collection, including what he called a Rambo knife whose handle boasted a compass at the bottom that could be screwed off to reveal a cache of waterproof matches.
Since I only ever remember being fascinated that the knife actually had a little house inside it that, possibly, one of my peanut dolls could live in, maybe he did get more actual knife-slicing instruction than I did.
I do know one thing: I don’t ever learn my lesson with knives. I have two scars on my left palm that attest to this, both of which came from the identical attempt to try to get the seed out of the avocado. About 15 years ago, I saw my friend Stefan pierce the seed with a knife, setting the blade deep enough so that he simply turned the knife and the seed popped out. I was so impressed, I tried to do the same while hosting my very first dinner party, stomping the blade down and then having it slide straight off the slippery seed and straight into my palm. I’m not going to lie: for that one I actually turned my hand over to see if the knife had gone straight through. Luckily, it didn’t but I did get a stern talking-to courtesy of my lovely husband.
And yet, eight years later, there I was again, this time thankfully alone in the kitchen with a fresh avocado in my hand. So what did I do? The same exact move with the same exact result.