Over the holidays, I decided that I needed to buy a new spoon rest. We’ve been using a small plated every since I broke our old one. Maybe it was seeing the lovely spoon rests in other people’s kitchens. Maybe it was just that New Year thing that convinced me I needed something new in the kitchen. Maybe I was possessed by Martha Stewart.
Whatever the cause, my search for a spoon rest proved enlightening. (I say search because I was so dedicated. I went to two whole stores.) Assuming spoon rests would be hard to find, I tried big name chains that carry lots of inventory. The first was an “international” decorating store that I hoped would have something delightfully funky.
What I found was unexpected. Their suppliers all defined spoon rest the same way: a metal monstrosity with a quirky hard-to-clean owl design. I like owls and these spoon rests were funky, but these were not what I was looking for.
The second store was geared towards house keeping. I knew they would have more practical designs, and they did. They were so practical that they qualified as The World’s Most Boring spoon rests Ever. They were also metal and large. No owls, though. The only ceramic spoon rest I saw was glazed to look like a fat Italian chef. I didn’t think it fit in with our kitchen, even though our style is basically No Plan Whatsoever (also known as It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time).
Along with being practical, the second store was also clueless. They had loads of “double” spoon rests, designed to handle more than one spoon at a time. All I could see when I looked at it was a penis. All I could think was “Who buys these?” (My husband tells me not everyone will think these are phallic, but I’m not sure I believe him.)
I returned home empty handed, discouraged, and fearing that I would never find a spoon rest that was truly us. In my mind, I’d pictured something ceramic, handmade, small, and easy to clean. Nothing I’d seen in the stores was even close. My only hope was that some potter somewhere had made a spoon rest, and was trying to sell it in a store near me.
I stood in my kitchen, feeling defeated. More shopping was the last thing I wanted to do.
Then I saw it, sitting on my kitchen counter. The green plate with flamingos my mother made as a test and gave to me because I thought it was cute. The plate I was already using as a spoon rest.
Handmade. Compact. Ceramic. Quirky. Not at all owl-ly or obscene.
I didn’t have to settle for someone else’s strange or bland idea of what a spoon rest should be. I already had the perfect spoon rest. No more shopping required! (I did a happy dance.)
What did I learn? First, that I hate shopping because they never have what I want.* And second, that I am essentially a handmade woman. I prefer items that show the maker’s thought, care, and hard work. I want every object in my house to have heart, even my spoon rest.
Lucky for me there’s a potter in my family.
*You could argue that someone has what I want, I just didn’t go to the right store. The question is: am I willing to look that hard? Clearly, the answer is “no.”
Do you have a spoon rest? What does it say about you?