Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Celebrating the Spatula

By Belinda

A small pile of three packages of cream cheese, a flat of eggs, some sugar, vanilla essence and a can of raspberry pie filling--oh, and of course, graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and brown sugar for the crumb crust--dessert is in the making for cell group tomorrow night. We'll be celebrating Tori's 12th birthday and Debbie's grown up birthday and their favourite cake is cheesecake.

As I reached for the perfect tool to scrape the creamy filling into the springform pan, already lined with a golden crumb crust, my mind zoomed back--how many years? I was 12--the same age as Tori will be on Friday--and in my domestic science class ( translation--"home economics")  in England. Miss Jones, the domestic science teacher was Welsh, as many people with the surname "Jones" are, and her voice was clipped and melodic all at once. She had short, sandy red hair, pale freckled skin and blue eyes and always wore a button down smock over her clothes--no doubt to protect them from stray batter flying through the air.  Oh, and she wore high heeled, pointy toed shoes. I must have studied her closely to remember all of this and I think I must have admired her greatly because I remember many of her pronouncements with the clarity of this morning's news broadcast.

I remember the day she brandished a new tool in the air and with great animation introduced us to "the spatula." This wonderful tool, new to all of us and endorsed by Miss Jones, the authority on all things domestic, was to the wooden spoon what communication through the internet is to the mail service. Miss Jones demonstrated for us how a bowl that was apparently skimmed of as much batter as was possible, actually had LOTS left, and she proved it by scraping its sides with the spatula--and voilĂ --a whole pile had been hiding "somewhere!"

Ever since that day I have fully appreciated that tool and am never without several of various shapes and sizes. I tried to discover tonight who invented the spatula and when, but Google and Wikipedia came up dry. I guess even they have their limits. :) All I know is that 48 years ago Miss Jones found one and impressed upon our young minds how great a thing it was in the kitchen and I have never forgotten.

In that time span so many new inventions have come and gone (remember Commodore 64s and palm pilots?) but the humble little spatula has maintained its grip on the stage of fame. What would we do without them I ask myself? So today I celebrate whoever invented this rubbery (or silicone if you have the latest thing) tool and say, "Thank you!"


7 comments:

Susan said...

I say "thank you" too! And will be even more thankful, I'm sure, when dessert time roles around tonight! Anticipating! :)

Susan said...

P.S. Happy birthday, Tori!

Dave Hingsburger said...

Ah, the blessed spatula! I remember teaching someone to cook and he was really taken by the spatula. In fact, we got him one for Christmas and it was his favourite gift. Now his daughter uses it and thinks it's magic.

It might seem like a bit of a stretch but once when I thought I was low energy and couldn't do what I had to do, I dug down and scraped up more - I now think that I have a 'spiritual spatula' which I can use in emergencies.

Today was the perfect day for me to reminded of both the kitchen and the spiritual tool.

Theresa said...

That dessert looks YUMMY!!!

I was thinking of you yesterday when I heard of the terrorist attack in Jerusalem. Hopefully none of the many people you met where injured.
The pictures you posted of your trip were really neat to look through. Interesting how pictures can belie the underlying tension of a country.

pharmgirlfollies.com said...

One of my most well used and oft replaced tools. I always looked at it with pure lust while my grandma baked. Hanging on every turn until she asked, "You want to lick the spatula" Why, sure.

Belinda said...

Ha ha, friends, I loved your comments and the memories you shared. I loved Dave's jump off to the spiritual spatula. Yes, we need one of those in our tool kit! :)

The cheesecake was a resounding success with 16 people managing to get a slice! I made the mistake of encircling the raspberry pie filling topping with a border of sprayed whipped cream, which looked beautiful until I removed the springform pan sides--whereupon the cream began to slide off and someone had to run behind me mopping up cream from the floor as I carried it, blazing with candles and leading the group in singing Happy Birthday! What fun.:)

Belinda said...

Theresa, yes, it was shocking to hear the news. Now it hits so much harder when we know the place. Very sad.