Sunday, 23 January 2011

One wooden spoon too many...?

I think it was William Morris who once said (and I paraphrase slightly), 'Do not have in your home anything you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful'. It was with these words ringing in my ears that I set about to de-clutter the kitchen ready for our move this week.

One of the tasks my husband had specifically asked me to do when going through the kitchen was to 'have a look at the wooden spoons'. His theory is that I have too many wooden spoons and that the cutlery drawer needs purging. Preparing for the move to Denmark, I've been completely on board with the de-cluttering and am in eager anticipation of embracing the Scandinavian minimalist style. Then I saw my wooden spoon collection...

I can't specifically recall going out to buy wooden spoons or even consciously setting about to become a wooden spoon collector but it turns out that I do have a number of them tucked away in my drawer of cooking utensils. Amongst the shiny stainless steel knives, tin opener, vegetable peeler, measuring spoons and spatulas etc are these wooden friends...

Full of texture and proudly showing off the scars from years of loyal service. There they are. Lots of them, the wooden spoons that my husband now wants me to cull.

It suddenly dawns on me that I can't part with these spoons. If I apply Mr Morris' maxim of utility and beauty, they win on both counts. How many sauces, stews, risottos, soups etc have they waded through? They alone could tell the tales of my cooking exploits.

But it isn't just the cooking. When my son first started hanging out with me in the kitchen, he would sit on the floor and bang a wooden spoon on an upturned pan. That was the start of his creative development and a first step on the path to imaginative play. These spoons have stayed the course and I can't recall a time when I opened the drawer to grab a spoon and there wasn't one there (having said that, this might be precisely my husband's problem - the endless supply of 'the wretched things'!!).

Well, what can I say? Even if I decide that they are too plentiful, how can I decide between them? The more old and battered amongst them are my favourites to behold but how absurd would it be the get rid of the new fresher looking models. I'm going to smuggle them all to Denmark. Maybe one day, I'll make a wooden spoon mobile or, who knows, maybe they'll be useful for firewood?! Minimalism be damned, this collection of humble cooking tools is coming with me. You can never have one wooden spoon too many...


  1. Buy yourself a pack of stick-on boggly eyes, a back marker pen and some coloured pipe cleaners and you've got a whole family of spoon men for the kids to play with. You remember Button Moon surely? :)

  2. Keep all of them! I too have a thing for wooden spoons...just did a quick count - only 6 of them!