While our risk-averse five year old daughter has spared us the worries of cutlery containment, my two year old son, with all his hardware fascination and exploratory ambition, is making us reassess our knife storage strategy.
We analyzed his skills and inventoried the hazards: we realized that he’s tall enough to open the utensil drawers, where pointy meat thermometers and various tined implements and burly stamped metal spatulas lurk. He’s dextrous enough to push a dining chair into the kitchen and use it as a step stool to scale the counters, where two knife blocks bristle with some 20 knives (an international mix of Japanese and German and French), kitchen shears, and a truffle shaver (both Italian). There’s the mandoline in the cabinet, the “travel knife” in its snap clasp plastic sleeve, the antique mezzaluna in the back of the drawer, still taped up in its cardboard sleeve from the cross country move some five years back. It’s a veritable armory. It’s time we tightened up security.
So here’s what we’ve done:
-We’ve relocated our knife blocks to the deepest section of our counter, in the corner where the two sections of the L shaped counter join. They’re out of his line of sight and tough to reach without a noisy full scale assault involving moving furniture.
-We’ve established a rule that, when an adult is cooking, knives must always rest BEHIND the cutting board, not ON it, in the off chance that a kid might grab for food being prepped or pull the board off the counter, facilitating some damoclean accident.
-We went through all our drawers (babylocked and otherwise) and moved the mandoline, the mezzaluna, the cheese grater, the vegetable peelers, the cuisinart blades, anything remotely sharp into high cabinets.
-And we’re open to any more suggestions on knife safety in the kitchen.