Sharpening Stones

Every time I watch my husband, who is a chef like me, sharpen our knives on one of his old-fashioned oilstones, I admire the simple elegance of the process: he just rubs the moistened blade at an angle against the rectangular block's finely abrasive surface. Using a stone takes time, and good ones are more expensive than sharpening steels and even some automatic sharpeners, but that's made up for tenfold by the time you save when working with a flawlessly sharp blade. —Jennifer Hough-Loos, New Orleans, Louisiana

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