Family Heirlooms: My wooden spoons
In my family, to make dinner, you have to have a “baby.”
Baby is not a living, breathing thing.
Baby is my Mom and Dranny’s trusty wooden spoon that is probably older than I am. It has scorch marks, dings, dents and all kinds of so-called imperfections that make it perfect for making supper, stirring cake batter or mixing up a big ol’ batch of potato salad.
And when I was getting ready to move in to my own apartment, one of the first things my parents gave me was my own set of wooden spoons. None of them fancy, but each one a little different. I still have most of them, but I only use one of them regularly. It has become my “baby.”
It’s been burned when a roommate left it in a pot too long. It has cut marks along the handle from where I used it for some cooking experiment. And it is the perfect size for all kinds of recipes.
Until recently, the one spoon was enough. And then my Dranny offered to let me go through her spare utensil drawer.
Folks, I do not exaggerate when I say I spent a good hour or so going through the drawer deciding what I could use versus what I wanted to take home with me just because I knew my Dranny or Mom had picked it out and used it. I figure that maybe, just maybe, using one of their old spoons would bring a little of their cooking magic into my own kitchen.
I officially adopted several spare utensils, but my favorites are the wooden spatulas and the bamboo spoon I brought home with me. My original spoon is an all-purpose work horse. The wooden spatulas are perfect for stove-top cooking, especially when I’m using my cast iron skillets. And the bamboo spoon, with its well-placed hole, is just the thing for mixing up bread dough.
But even if I wasn’t using these spoons regularly, they’d still have an honored spot in my kitchen because having them close by is like having a little bit of my Mom and Dranny with me in the kitchen. And, when it comes right down to it, that’s what matters most to me.