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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Confessions of a Utensil Hoarder

Got Utensils?
I was whipping up some cole slaw sauce today and panicked when I couldn’t find my favorite rubber spatula – the one with the end shaped like a spoon that extracts mayo from bottoms of jars as smoothly as a surgeon using robotic arms on an appendix removal.
Garth flew to the kitchen when he heard my ranting noises above the shouts of the baseball game blaring from the television set.
He arrived to find me frantically pulling items from the vintage-crock- turned-utensil- holder on my kitchen counter, using language that would put a drunken pirate to shame.
“What’s going on?  What’s the matter? Did you burn yourself or something? What happened?”
After I explained my dilemma, Garth sighed on his way back to the TV, “I don’t know how you can find anything in that holder anyway. It’s jammed tighter than Dodger stadium on bobble-head give-away night."
In a last ditch effort to find my special spatula, I spread all the utensils on the counter and went through the stash item by item, until – success!  My treasured spoon-spatula was recovered and I was able to finish the slaw sauce like a Cordon Bleu chef.
Then it dawned on me. The crock-on-the-counter was only one of the utensil holder places in the kitchen. That seven inch round crock held 5 wire whips (and I still can’t make a decent gravy), 8 spatulas (of which I use only two), 14 wooden spoons (including one shaped like a duck head at one end and ladle at the other), 2 pasta servers (one plastic with melted prongs), 3 wooden tongs (to extract hot bread from the toaster) and 2 wooden things shaped like rulers with notches that hook onto oven shelves so you can pull them out without burning your fingers or using a potholder). That adds up to 34 items – in one holder – just on my counter top.
Since it was Sunday afternoon and I didn’t have anything better to do, I decided to take an inventory of some of my other utensils. Spoiler alert - this gets ugly, so if you have a weak stomach, you may want to stop reading.
My regular utensil drawer is 34” wide x 21” deep. I won’t bother to list how many items are in there—I didn’t have a calculator handy—but suffice it to say I have multiple garlic presses, hand  sieves, melon baller/cookie scoops, and all the other usual stuff, like 8 metal tongs, 12 mixing spoons and at least 6 spatulas.
I did find a few fun items I’m not sure I've ever used…like a combination plastic orange corer/juice sipper, a butter press for corn on the cob and a bottle opener that’s shaped like a Moulin Rouge dancer’s leg (the one that plays the UCLA fight song when you open a beer is Garth’s).
Exhausted, and feeling kind of dumb for spending my Sunday afternoon counting utensils in drawers, I gave up my futile pursuit before looking in the china hutch, pantry and garage cabinet, which I’m sure harbor more items I’m too embarrassed to admit I have.
If you recall, awhile back I wrote about my friend, Ellie aka “The Gadget Queen”. Today I made a discovery about myself that may necessitate an apology to Ellie. If she is “The Gadget Queen”, then alas, I must be “The Utensil Queen”.
Although, if I looked thru El’s kitchen drawers, my guess is she could match me item for item...but that’s for another Snippet.


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