Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Where do you stand on wooden cooking utensils?

I have a friend who is freaked out by them. It’s something to do with the way they react to water. After you’ve washed them, you can’t quite get them dry, not with a tea towel. And the food, sometimes, clings to them.

Try stirring scrambled egg with a wooden spatula, you’ll see what I mean.

They splinter too. That’s not good in a cooking utensil, the splintering. It could be dangerous. Not to mention unhygienic. Where once was a splinter, there now are germs.

Here’s another thing: wood burns. Didn’t anyone ever think of that? Hardly safe to have flammable utensils near open flames.

And yet, and yet, despite all this, it has never occurred to me to be remotely disturbed by wooden cooking utensils. I find the wooden spoon, despite the connotations of failure, infinitely comforting. It’s something to do with helping my mum bake cakes when I was little, I think. I always got to stir the bowl. And lick the spoon.

Yes, it’s strange to lick wood. But, in this context at least, in the gentle, grainy dip of a baking spoon, it’s comforting.

There are more comforting objects here.

6 comments:

Steve Kane said...

And you can never entirely remove sauce stains from wooden sppons, can you.

Ah, but when stirring cake mix, you simply must use a wooden spoon. Licking cake mix off a metal spoon just isn't the same: it has to be a wooden spoon for cake mix.

roger said...

I'm so glad you know what I mean. A metal spoon just doesn't do it.

Thanks Steve.

Richard said...

Oh yeah, do I remember licking cake batter! What a bunch of happy boys were we, huh? Our mothers must have loved us in spite of the mandatory snips and snails and puppy dog tails.

Linda Donovan said...

You can NOT use metal utensils, especially as metal conducts electricity! If you have an electric stove, stirring water with a metal spoon is dangerous. Ask me, I got thrown across the room once by simply stirring boiling spaghetti with a metal spoon.

Yes, the grainy feeling of the wooden spoon when licking icing. Ah, yes....

roger said...

Thanks for the clarification on metal spoons Linda! I thought it was a taste thing. But now I know it's dangerous too.

Pierre Simard said...

According to the dictionary, stainless steel prevents metal corrosion. The chromium included in stainless steel is a powerful oxidizing agent. It neutralizes in part and alters the nature of organic materials. That is why you can actually taste the difference between eating with stainless steel utensils and using wooden ones.

Anyone interested in learning more about the harfmful effects of steel utensils, or advantages of using wooden utensils (such as their natural anti-bacterial agent) is welcome to check out my site:

http://www.justenbois.com/

Regards,
Pierre