Monday, 28 May 2012

Favourite Things: Tablespoons

Aoife, Cambridge

I had always loved the tablespoons we used in my parents’ house. They had come to us from a clear out of my grandmother’s (or maybe one of my Dad’s Aunt’s) house. Now, cooking with them in my parents' kitchen makes me feel I have come home even though it is no longer the house I grew up in. I relish the heavy feel of them in the hand, the clean lines unadorned with fussy patterns, the patina of age bearing witness to the years of stirring, tasting and serving. A small connection to the previous generations of our family. I often feel an impulse to thrust my spoon-holding arm aloft as if armed and invincible in my culinary battle. After all a spoon is probably one of the few absolute essentials in the kitchen; and certainly what I would want to save out of all the gadgets filling my kitchen.

When I moved to the UK, my mother allowed me to take one of the precious spoons with me. The old spoon gave an element of gravitas to the array of hastily assembled plates, bowls and saucepans that made up my new kitchen. This spoon is my link back to my parent’s house and further back into family history. I had wanted to augment my collection of such spoons over the last few years but new spoons just didn't have the same feel. Old spoons I spotted in junk yards or antique shops always seemed to have the wrong type of “oldness” ingrained in them and I never loved them enough to give them houseroom. My wonderful mother came to the rescue again. On my birthday she appeared with two beautiful reconditioned tablespoons that she had found at a history fair. They look new but they have the weighty feel of a proper kitchen weapon. I feel fully equipped for new gastronomic adventures.

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