Iris the Idiot’s Kitchen: the point, and how I am proving it.

[CONTENT NOTE: description of injury; no graphic images.]


Williams-Sonoma: Like a crack house for cooks.

Williams-Sonoma is a fine purveyor of high-end kitchen porn for aspiring at-home chefs. And aspiring is really the key word here, because everything in the store is outrageously expensive. $350 for an “Elite 8-Cup Egg Poacher“? $400 for a corkscrew? $4,000 for an espresso machine? FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS?


Who even buys this stuff? People I’d probably hate, that’s who.


To be fair, anything I’ve ever purchased at Williams-Sonoma (on sale of course) has been top notch, and yes, a case can be made that you get what you pay for and that it’s less expensive in the long run to invest in better quality and blah blah blah.

These prices are still comically absurd.

Well. After years of working with craptastic kitchen knives, I experienced an epiphany using My Amazing Lover™’s Wüsthof knife set, purchased years ago at Williams-Sonoma. I was wowed. I totally get it! They’re easier to keep sharp, more efficient for accomplishing whatever task is at hand and a pleasure to work with.

As it happens, one of my Many Tens of Loyal Readers™ (who is also family to me as well as someone I consider a friend—hi, R!) graciously bestowed upon me a Williams-Sonoma gift certificate for $75 (thanks, R!). So last weekend these Williams-Sonoma fuckers were having a big sale and running an additional 20% off promotion, and I decided to check it out. And I saw this knife OMG OMG OMG. Behold the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pro Serrated 8” Chef’s Knife:


This serrated chef’s knife is ideal for cutting tough-skinned produce as well as delicate items like tomatoes. The Zwilling Pro collection features an arched bolster designed by architect Matteo Thun that promotes a perfect thumb grip.

Matteo who? Anyway:

  • Precision forged using Zwilling’s Sigmaforge process, for an exceptionally hard yet flexible blade.

  • Zwilling’s Friodur ice-hardening technique results in a harder, sharper blade that is corrosion-resistant and highly elastic.

  • Precise lasers ensure each blade’s edge is at the optimal cutting angle for maximum sharpness.

I don’t know what any of that means, but doesn’t it sound fantastic?

The suggested retail price for this fantastic knife is $165 (#$@+&!?!), on sale for $99.95. Plus I got 20% off. Plus I happened to be in Delaware, where there is no sales tax. Plus I had a $75 gift certificate (thanks again, R!). I got this fantastic knife for $4.95. WIN. 

I took it home and lovingly washed and dried it, exactly as recommended by the manufacturer. And I could not wait to prepare dinner that evening: Moroccan b’steeya with spinach salad. And oh! How effortlessly it sliced right through day-old French bread (for the croutons), garlic cloves, hard boiled egg, yellow onion, phyllo dough and mushrooms! And the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pro Serrated 8” Chef’s Knife was lovingly washed and dried, again and again, each time.


I was gushing on and on about this amazing fucking knife as the lover and I cleaned up after dinner. Washing it with the soapy sponge for the umpteenth time that day, I discovered something else that it effortlessly slices through: the tip of my right index finger. You know what else I discovered? When you cut yourself fairly deeply just beneath your nail bed, you bleed, like, a lot. And for a disturbingly long time. Also FYI, when the wound on the tip of your finger is in the shape of an arc, the pressure necessary to stop the bleeding on one side increases the bleeding on the other, and vice versa. Therefore it takes multiple bandaids applied at various angles more or less simultaneously to even begin to stanch the bleeding. And you may have heard the adage that a cut from a sharp blade is a more, uh, desirable cut(?!) because it heals cleaner and quicker than a cut from a duller blade. While that may be true, I also discovered that given equivalent motion and force, a sharp blade will cut much deeper than a dull one. (See also: serrated.)

I am sure you will agree that at this point I deserve my own show on the Discovery Channel. (Definitely not Food Network, tho.)

It’s been about five days and I’m nowhere near being bandaid-free in the foreseeable future. Although it’s no longer bleeding, the cut has not completely closed up near the surface, and it’s still tender at the slightest touch. Typing with this finger is completely out of the question, so as you can imagine it’s been pretty slow-going around here, what with my hacking and tapping my way through this post (and this one).


Iris haz a boo-boo.


And I discovered something else.


Williams-Sonoma Rustic Melamine Dinnerware Collection!

armoireI NEEEEED this Rustic Melamine Dinnerware Collection! (I do not need this “rustic melamine” dinnerware collection.) I neeeeed it for the outdoor dinner parties I throw on the fabulous Palace veranda! (I have neither a Palace nor a veranda, fabulous or otherwise, upon which I throw outdoor dinner parties.) And I neeeeed to store my Rustic Melamine Dinnerware Collection in a gorgeous armoire! (I do not even have the space to store all my own shoes, much less a Rustic Melamine Dinnerware Collection. Or, you know, an armoire.)



Rustic melamine. FFS, Williams-Sonoma. Why you gotta?

3 thoughts on “Iris the Idiot’s Kitchen: the point, and how I am proving it.

  1. After several years of dealing with my mother-in-law’s shitty ass Cutco knives (that she washes in terms dishwasher and stores jumbled up in a drawer), I bought myself a 5″ Chicago Cutlery utility knife.

    I almost removed a finger with that thing. While chopping onions. It was not fun, but I respect the hell out of now.

  2. Even in my tiny town, we have a similar cooking-porn store. My knife set was a gift from my parents (from an “as seen on TV” company) and is quite sharp enough for my cookery, never needs sharpening and washes up like a dream. I do admit that “rustic melamine” dish set iz da bomb; my current set was purchased from a yard sale over a decade ago and has held up very well (I bought it for the pattern). I be a puer widder woman so high-end shopping is rare for me, but I do like seeing what others discover. Thanks!

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