I consider myself a decent home cook, but, this might just be one of those things that "everybody" knows, except for me. So, please don't judge, but I never knew there was a right and wrong way to cut cold butter with a table knife.

Every once in a while when using a table knife to cut into cold butter, the knife just cuts a little bit off the top and then slides off onto the plate. I guess I just never paid attention and solved the problem by always using a sharp knife to cut the butter instead. It took my 17 year old daughter to teach me that the table knife is actually multi-purposed by design, and can easily slice a perfect tablespoon of cold butter.

"You didn't know that," my daughter asked me with a tint of happiness because she knows she just taught me something that I didn't know.

So, here's the deal: a table knife, or bread knife, is traditionally placed with a spoon and fork at the basic American dinner place setting. The table knife has two sides, the flat side and a serrated side. The serrated side makes it easy to use to the table knife to cut through bread and the flat side works really well spreading cold butter on a slice of bread without ripping it. The table knife, when used properly, cuts cold butter perfectly as long as you do this one thing: make sure the serrated side of the knife is facing out like in the video above. If you reverse it, the knife slides off and doesn't cut; but, if the serrated side is facing out, it cuts the cold butter perfectly.

I realize this isn't breaking news, but, it's one of those simple little things that makes life that much easier in the kitchen. Watch the short video above and you'll see it for yourself. If this is something you've always known and you're shocked I took the time to make a video and write a column about it, then feel free to do as my daughter did, and roll your eyes at me. I'm sure I deserve it.


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