As far as I am concerned there is almost nothing as perfect as a wooden spoon. For the avoidance of doubt, I would hate for you to think that I was not tempted (and indeed often lured in) by the myriad cooks’ implements that grace the shelves of many a glamorous culinary boutique. However, I am always drawn back to my favourite, most trusted wooden spoon. It is perfect in every way; dare I say it is one of my closest friends? It does not criticise, it offers help at every turn and is always there when I need it. The burn marks, dents and chips that others might decide should relegate my spoon to the back of the drawer (or worse), serve only to remind me of shared trials and triumphs in my kitchen. The soft wear at the edges makes it perfect for catching every last morsel in the corners of a sticky pan, the curve in the handle is there from years of use by my grandmother, mother and me. It is almost as though it jointly holds the memories and knowledge of all those combined hours, helping me each time, to recall favourite family recipes and to assist in their creation as it has done so on countless occasions before.
Its smooth back is dented from crushing peppercorns, cardamom or garlic, the handle is burned from resting within copper pans and left to fend for itself, it has even withstood being baked in a turkey when absentmindedly abandoned in the cavity when assisting with stuffing a gargantuan bird. Its forgiving form awaits every new task patiently, uncomplaining and trusting as always. It is the spoon my grandmother handed me the first time I asked if I could help in her kitchen. It is not really my spoon at all, I suppose. I am simply its keeper for now. Perhaps one day it shall become an heirloom in its own right – already cherished by my son, who uses it as a drumstick against a pan as he sits propped up on the kitchen floor. Perhaps even one day it may be used by his son?
I am a cook as well as a hopeless romantic. But I know that my grandmother’s spoon will not last another day and so it is placed lovingly in my box of eclectic treasures in my parent’s attic. I have bought countless other spoons, none of which come close – It is of course an impossible task to live up to its predecessor. I have come to the quiet conclusion that I may never find another spoon.
And so my project begins. I am determined, if not to give him my grandmother’s spoon, to at least hand down as many of my recipes that I can to my son. In the spirit of sharing, I have decided to post them onto this blog so that they may bring others a little of the joy that I find every day in my kitchen. They are not fancy, they are not usually very complicated, and you can often see all the ingredients that are listed visible in the final result. I like food that is honest, food that is good, food that can be shared with those you love.
But most importantly; food that can be handed round and maybe even…handed down.
Here’s to Heirlooms…..and Wooden Spoons.
Do you take the pictures?
Yes, I do, but not all of them. A few have been taken by a good friend and talented photographer; Rachel Caprio. I am not a very good photographer, but I am trying, and I am learning (you will probably note that there is a slow progression in this over the years)!
Are the recipes original?
Yes. I create, test, and retest every recipe. I am often inspired by others, but every dish is original and created solely by me. I welcome any comments, suggestions or discussion. Occasionally, I come across something truly special, something that cannot be improved upon, and I feel it should be shared. When this happens I will always credit the originator.
Can I share your recipes or use your photographs?
The whole point of putting my work “out there” is so that it can be enjoyed by many. Please feel free to share anything on the site, as long as it is credited correctly and not used for your own gain. I am always happy discuss ways in which my work can be used, please fell free to contact me. I feel very strongly that good work should be shared, not taken. You know the difference.