Friends often send me links to articles, tv clips or websites related to my work, whether that’s Ross Poldark scything on the BBC or a video of traditional woodworking on YouTube. Some make me cringe, some amaze me, some make me wonder what my friends think I do all day…
This week I was sent a link for a recent edition of Woman’s Hour featuring the author Bee Wilson promoting her book, Consider the Fork. While making bechemal sauce with a wooden spoon in her kitchen, Bee talks about the history and importance of the wooden spoon, her “most trusty and lovable of kitchen implements”.
It was lovely to hear someone reminding us of the significance of the wooden spoon in our lives, it’s often underplayed importance in how we cook and the special pleasures in a handmade utensil:
“The thing that would have been magical about most pre-industrial spoons is that they would have just been hand whittled by somebody in the family or somebody in the local community and they might have been made specially for you; they were personal objects.”
Finally, she sums up what we all know already: “nothing does the job of the wooden spoon better than the wooden spoon.”
Well, the hand carved spoon is alive and well today and the feeling of personal connection people make with them is just the same.
Though she does resort in the end to using a whisk for her sauce she admits that this is partly due to being distracted by the interview and, in my mind, just another example of using the best tools for the job in hand.
Listen to the Woman’s Hour interview here, (wooden spoons start at 18:54).