Hello! Rather than a CWS Summer Prompt today I’m giving you an old prompted piece, from a CWS meeting last October I think. I’ve recently discovered a few of these and so will be putting them up in due course!
At first, I was a little scared. Handling knives was something I tended to avoid back then, since from a very young age we are warned against them. But Mum had decided it was time, and so it was. I had to peel the potatoes for dinner. It was a task I didn’t particularly relish, although while I was afraid of knives and slightly annoyed that I couldn’t just keep watching TV, I also realised that Secret of the Kitchen was about to be revealed to me. It was almost… exciting.
Mum prepared me; wash your hands, wash the potato, how to handle the knife. Yet after a quick tutorial I was on my own. For the first few she observed my clumsy movements and corrected any occasional wrong stabs, then retreated to her own task, keeping watch, of course. Her hands were busily moving about the counter-tops.
By now I was very into the chopping and slicing, and had even bossily told my little sister to go away as I was busy ‘in the kitchen’. Unfortunately, my happy beginnings with potato peeling were not to last. It only took a single moment, after Mum had left the room in response to one the baby’s cries, and I managed to pull the knife slightly too far. A small chunk of my right thumb went flying off. It was only tiny, really, but how I stared in fascination at the miniature pale pink holes. For a millisecond they were empty, my body in shock, and then they flooded with red. Even then, I paused – they made me think of pink straws full of tomato soup.
It was only after the first drop fell that I started to scream.
Disclaimer: It really wasn’t that traumatic an event. I do still have an extremely tiny scar but it was just a rather colourful introduction to the world of cooking. Of course I’d done other things before but never been allowed an entire task by myself! I think I must have been around eight when this happened.