My brother’s a graduate of the CIA and I do a fair amount of cooking myself. In fact, all the men in my family can rattle them pots and pans with the best of ’em. So I’ve learned a little about good knives and keeping them sharp. Conventional wisdom was that you sharpen on a stone and bring an edge back with a steel. That used to be true if you were using a steel — one made of steel — that honed a blade, aligning the near-microscopic burrs on the edge after it had been used. But when Santa left a Wusthof ceramic sharpener under the tree a couple of years back, that all changed. With a few swipes at the right angle, it actually restores a sharp edge to a knife and gets you close to what you could do with some time on a proper stone. It’s about fifty bucks very well spent if, like me, you’re anal about keeping a good edge on your blades.