PATI'S MEXICAN TABLE

March 7, 2012 12:00 PM
Wooden Spoons

Wooden spoons are much more than essential tools in my kitchen. There is not one but many reasons why wooden spoons have been used for centuries and continue to this day.

Not only are they beautiful, but they are also good natured: they do not scrape or damage pots and pans. What's more, they don't absorb flavoring, so you can use them for something salty and then after a wash, use them for something sweet.

The spoons I have fill my kitchen with meaning, as they tell me stories from where I found them and where they come from. They connect me to those places and age with me, as they last so long (continue for more information and photos).


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These pictured gorgeous spoons come from the middle of the jungle in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve in the Southeastern state of Chiapas. They are handcrafted, made one by one, by the Hernandez family. Last December, we visited the area and stayed at the Eco-friendly hotel of Las Guacamayas. And there was Sandra Hernandez with her stand of wooden spoons and bowls. I got a couple the first day and then went back the next to get some for my mom and sisters, and ...the day before we left, I ran back to get some more for my friends.


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Mexican wooden spoons come in all shapes and sizes for all cooking needs. Sandra's family makes theirs from Jobillo and Rokssul wood. Most of them are incredibly practical from big heavy spoons with large handles and deep bowls for making beans and soups,  to flat and straight spatulas. There are also some with an inclined edge that aligns with the way the arm moves as it stirs a pan for such things as scrambled eggs.

See the smallest one up there? So small and cute. Sandra recommended for spreading butter or jam. Although that little one may not seem so practical, it is a pleasure to use and it makes me smile each time I do.