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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

The Wooden Cooking Spoon and Why You Should Care

Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give much thought to the humble wooden spoon. After all, it’s just a spoon, right? Well, as it turns out, there’s a lot more to this kitchen staple than meets the eye. Let’s take a closer look at the history of the wooden cooking spoon and find out why it just might be the best all-around kitchen tool.

Wood Spoons
Wooden Spoons

A History Of The Wooden Spoon

The history of the wooden spoon is long and storied. Wooden spoons have been used for since prehistoric times, and they remain a popular kitchen tool today. The first documented use of a wooden spoon is in the 4th century AD. However, a wooden spoon was found in the Royal Tomb of pharaoh Tutankhamun and is estimated to be over 3,300 years old. These early spoons were carved from a single piece of wood and had a long handle with a flat, paddle-like head. These early spoons were crudely made and not very durable. However, they served their purpose and were used for centuries by cooks all over Europe.

Beechwood spoons for cooking didn’t gain widespread popularity in the United States until the early 1900s. By then, they were mass-produced and widely available. Today, they are still made in both France and Italy from French beechwood and Italian olive wood.

Wood cooking spoon made in France
Beechwood Spoon

How to Make A Beechwood Spoon

The process of making a wooden spoon is relatively simple, but it does require a bit of patience and skill. The first step is to select the right piece of wood for the project. The wood should be sturdy, but also flexible enough to be carved. Once the wood is selected, it needs to be cut into the desired shape and size. This can be done with a saw, or even a sharp knife.

Hand-carving a beechwood spoon
Carving a Wooden Spoon

Next, the rough edges of the spoon need to be smoothed out. This can be done with a sandpaper or other grinding tool. Once the spoon has been smoothed out, it’s time to start carving. This can be done with a variety of tools, such as a chisel or a knife. The carver will need to use careful strokes and pay attention to the details in order to create a properly shaped spoon.

Finally, the spoon needs to be finished and polished. This can be done with a variety of materials, such as beeswax, lacquer or varnish. The spoon can then be ready to use!

Pros: Many Benefits Using A Wooden Spoon

Wooden spoons are a kitchen essential for many reasons. Here are the many reasons why wooden spoons are a must-have in your kitchen:

  1. Wooden spoons are generally less expensive than other kitchen utensils made of metal or silicone.
  2. They are versatile and can be used for a variety of tasks, from stirring soups and sauces to scrambling eggs.
  3. They are heat-resistant and can be used to cook on the stovetop without fear of melting or warping. They won’t burn your hand if left in a boiling pot like most metal and plastic utensils.
  4. Wooden spoons are non-stick, which makes them great for stirring and scraping bowls and pots clean.
  5. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can find the perfect one for every job.
  6. Wooden spoons and spatulas are biodegradable and environmentally friendly, unlike some other kitchen utensils made from plastic or metal.
  7. Wood is easy to clean – just hand wash with warm soapy water and air dry.
  8. Wooden tools won’t scratch your cookware like metal utensils can. Non-stick and copper cookware will not be damaged.
  9. Because they will not cause damage, the chef can use more force to scrape the bottom of a bowl or pan with a wooden cooking spoon.
  10. Spoons and spatulas made from wood add a touch of rustic charm to your kitchen décor displayed on the counter in a crock or other utensil holder.
  11. And lastly, they just feel good in your hand – they’re warm, smooth, sturdy, and cozy!
Wooden Spoons and Spatulas
Wooden Spoons and Spatulas

Cons: Not Many

There are a few drawbacks to using beechwood spoons, however. They can be more expensive than other types of spoons, and they require special care to prevent them from splitting or cracking. But if you’re looking for a sturdy, handsome spoon that will last for years, a wooden one is the way to go.

  1. A wooden spoon can warp or split if it is exposed to too much heat.
  2. A wooden spoon can also absorb the flavors of the foods it is cooking with. But do not fret! Just wash with warm soapy water and air dry and you are good to go on your next culinary adventure!
  3. A beechwood spoon will discolor. This isn’t really a con because it’s normal and will not effect the spoon’s performance.
  4. If your dog grabs it, time for new spoon.
Wooden Spoons for Cooking
Wooden Spoons

Our Conclusion: Buy One!

In summary, there are a few basic reasons why using a wood spoon is recommended when cooking. Firstly, a wooden spoon will not scratch or damage your pots and pans like metal utensils can. Secondly, a wooden spoon is a natural insulator and will not conduct heat as quickly as metal utensils, meaning that you can use it for longer without burning your hands. Finally, wooden spoons are easy to clean and do not harbour bacteria like plastic spoons can.

So there you have it—everything you need to know about wood spoons! Next time you’re in the market for a new spoon, don’t discount this kitchen staple; it just might be the best option for your needs. Thanks for reading!

The Perpetual Salad Dressing

Monday, April 26th, 2021
Salad in large acacia wood bowl

Perpetual Salad Dressing – Tasty Salad Tip

As you might already be able to tell from our blog, I love giving out my best tips on making the tastiest salads. Here is another one of my favorite closely-guarded recipes I call my “Perpetual Salad Dressing”—it’s perpetual because you never run out!

As you use the salad dressing, you continually add and replenish ingredients like rice wine, balsamic vinegar, first-press olive oil, fresh garlic, cracked black pepper and salt. There are no rules so you can add more or less of any of the ingredients, or add your own ingredients like red pepper flakes.

I have a confession to make: I use Lawry’s seasoned pepper and garlic salt. While I love the simple taste that freshly ground pepper and sea salt bring to a recipe, I am also very much into easy, simple and tasty ingredients. Lawry’s blended spices are easy and add a little more ‘zip’ than just plain salt and pepper.

Ingredients

  • 32 oz bottle of Marukan seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 oz balsamic vinegar (or to taste)
  • 1-2 oz olive oil (or to taste)
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • ½ teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Lawry’s garlic salt

Directions

You can make this concoction right in the Marukan bottle or use an empty bottle that reseals. Add all the ingredients into the bottle and SHAKE! Yes, this is a complicated and difficult recipe (joking).

Note: if you do use the Marukan bottle as your container you will have to pour off enough of the rice wine vinegar to accommodate the other ingredients. Use the poured off vinegar later when you need to pour more into the bottle.

This is a delicious a vinaigrette that is slightly sweet and refreshing. It can be used on other foods like fresh veggies or grilled seafood (yes, it is that versatile).

There you go – another easy secret recipe that will make you look like a star!

Sushi: More Than Raw Fish

Monday, March 1st, 2021

There is More to Sushi Than Raw Fish

Sushi came into existence around the second century A.D. when there was a need to keep meat preserved and fresh without the availability of advanced machines, like refrigerators. Thus, the inventors came up with an idea to wrap the fish in rice. Several myths regard sushi as just simple raw fish. When in reality sushi is much more than rice and fish!

Sushi on wood serving tray and soy sauce in dipping bowl

To many, sushi is a form of art. Here are some facts about sushi that we bet you’ve never heard…

Fun Facts About Sushi

Sushi was not invented in Japan.  Yes, you read that correctly! Sushi was originally invented by the Southeast Asian people. The fish wrap came from the areas surrounding the Mekong River. From there, it reached China and later, Japan. People around these countries became aware of Sushi somewhere in the mid 1800s. 

It has various health benefits.  Sushi is full of ingredients that benefit our physical health and body. It contains Omega-3  fats (healthy fats) and does not have any adverse impacts on our health. Nori (seaweed) is a rich source of iodine that improves the thyroid and gives Vitamin A  to the body. What more could you ask for?

The sushi rice was discarded in the early days  When sushi was first introduced to mankind, people used to throw away the rice that was wrapped around the fish, and would only consume the fish. Who knew?

Sushi was used as currency. When it first emerged, sushi was considered a highly prized possession. In AD 8th Century in  Japan, people used sushi to pay their taxes. Imagine how cool would that be! 

Different Types of Sushi.

Here are the most common:

Nigirizushi is a thin slice of fish is hand-pressed on top of the sushi rice, along with different vegetables or omelets. 

Inarizushi is a pouch of fried tofu which is filled with sushi rice. The overall flavor is on the sweet side.

Makizushi is one of the most common types of sushi and you have probably seen it, or even eaten it on many occasions. The rice and filling are rolled within seaweed. Let the good times roll! 

Narezushi is the earliest form of sushi. The fish is fermented with rice, and the rice is thrown away before  consumption. 

Oshizushi describes the toppings that are layered onto each other one by one. The sushi is then cut into different  shapes, such as rectangles, triangles, etc. 

Chirashizushi where the rice is served in a bowl, covered with different vegetables. 

Is Sashimi a type of sushi? 

No, Sashimi is quite different from Sushi. It has raw, thin slices of fish, typically salmon or tuna.  Sashimi is not served with rice, but with daikon radish.

No matter which way you slice it, sushi is a winner in our books. Be sure to serve up your sushi on your favorite Acaciaware plate from Pacific Merchants. Yum!


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