Sharpen Up with Mister Edge
If you are a local, chances are you have seen the vintage silver van that Craig Richard, owner of Mister Edge Sharpening, uses to provide on-site sharpening at all three of the Saratoga County markets hosted by Saratoga Farmers’ Market Association: Malta (Tuesdays); Saratoga Springs (Wednesdays); and Clifton Park (Thursdays).
“Most people think of me as just a knife sharpener, but the truth is, I can sharpen just about anything,” notes Richard. “From micro eye surgery scissors, through all your kitchen knives, slicers, blenders, and food processors, and right on up to large farming equipment and mower blades, if it is dull, chances are I can sharpen it.”
As a high school student, he landed a job as a butcher, learning the trade in a small Italian meat shop on Long Island. Learning how to keep his knives sharp sparked an interest in sharpening, which led him to pursue formal training. In the early 1990s, he realized his dream of owning his own business when he started Mister Edge Sharpening.
Today, from his shop in Gansevoort (Saratoga County), and his mobile “Mister Edge” van, he provides much needed services for homeowners, chefs, veterinarians, foresters, and more. “Carpenters and builders ask me to sharpen drill bits, router bits, handsaws, and circular saw blades. I also frequently work on lawn and garden tools, including hedge trimmers, hand tools, mower blades, and chainsaws.” He prides himself on being able to provide quality services to both residential and commercial customers at reasonable rates.
“At the market, I usually suggest that my customers drop off the items they need sharpened as soon as they arrive. By the time they are done with their shopping, their items are ready. I bring larger projects or items that can’t be sharpened on the truck back to the shop and return them the following week,” Richard explains.
Asked for a few tips regarding the proper way to care for kitchen knives, he is quick to answer. “Please, whatever you do, don’t put your knives in the dishwasher!” The heat cycle can destroy wooden handles as well as warp the steel, rendering knives useless.
He also suggests avoiding glass cutting boards. “Although they look pretty on the counter, they will quickly dull your knives.”
Lastly, a good way to check a knife for sharpness is the “ripe tomato test.” If the knife is sharp, it will cut through the skin smoothly when drawn across the tomato’s surface, with no downward pressure on the blade and little leaking juice.
In his spare time, Richard raises beef cattle at his Gansevoort property for his family’s consumption. “It’s a great hobby and something I enjoy doing with my daughter. I like having kids know where their food comes from.”
Find out more about Mister Edge by visiting him at the market, at www.mredgesharpening.com, on Facebook or by contacting him directly at 518-793-6724.
Craig Richard’s favorite recipe is a rib-eye steak, with a dry rub of seasonings, cooked medium-rare over the grill.
Rib-Eye Steak with Dry Rub Seasonings
1 rib-eye steak*
Dry rub seasonings of your choice
One possible combination for the rub:
1 ½ Tbsp. coarse salt
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder*
1 tsp. smoked paprika
¼ to ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
Rub the outside of steak generously with the rub. Wrap steak in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 12 hours to improve flavor.
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Brush and oil grill rack to remove any build-up from previous uses.
Take the steaks out of the refrigerator about a half hour ahead of cooking. Leave wrapped on counter.
Before grilling, remove the plastic wrap and lightly brush the steaks with oil. Place steaks on a very hot grill to sear, and then move the steak to a cooler part of the grill to continue cooking for 6 to 7 minutes per side for medium rare.
Remember that grass-fed steaks will need a lower-heat, slower cooking procedure than grain-fed. (Ask the farmer where you are buying the steaks what the animals have been fed.)
If using a meat thermometer, cook until 120-135 degrees (depending on your preference for doneness).
Remove the steak from the grill and let rest in a warm spot for 7 to 8 minutes before carving and serving.