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Follow Julia Child's Lead And Stop Hanging Your Knives Vertically

May 16, 2023

There are so many things the world has learned from Julia Child. Dry your meat so that it will brown, don't crowd the mushrooms, and never apologize if you're preparing a meal for someone and it's not perfect (via New York Times). When researching her, there are no shortages of fun facts about Child's life. She was an icon and a brilliant chef, but she was also a shining example of how to be a pretty cool human too.

If you've ever been lucky enough to visit the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., or you've watched the 2009 film, "Julie & Julia" then you might be familiar with Child's kitchen. For anyone who loves a spacious, organized kitchen, it's a sight to behold. All of her pots and pans are hung up neatly on a peg board because her counters were raised, since she was so tall. She even had three pantries — pastry, food and butler's, per Vox. However, one thing that really stands out that's aesthetically pleasing and safe, is the way she hung her knives.

Do a Google search for "magnetic knife strip" and you'll populate dozens of results where you can see the strips hung horizontally with knives sticking straight up toward the ceiling. Child on the other hand, had a better idea. While it's unclear if it was due to space or personal preference, she hung her knife strips vertically so that her knives were stored horizontally stacked going up the walls alongside of her sink.

If you're going to store your knives on a wall, this idea is brilliant for a few reasons. First off, as the Kitchn notes, it's much easier to grab a knife handle that is hanging horizontally. Secondly, knives are an investment and when you buy good ones you want to keep them in the best shape you can. As Literary Hub notes, Child said she didn't like to store knives in a drawer because they would get dull. Storing your knives on the wall keeps them nice and sharp.

Finally, if you have small children in the home that might get hurt, you can put your biggest, most dangerous knives at the top out of reach, and store your smaller, or duller knives toward the lower part of the strip. Child knew what she was doing in a kitchen and organizing her space made her an even more efficient cook. Any tips you can borrow from her genius, can only help you in your own kitchen.