Hello there, Richard. I know people call you Richie but that’s simply intolerable and I prefer your more formal name. I am the hand-carved olive-wood spoon owned by Julia Child herself, that somehow got given away upon her death and in an unfortunate mix-up regarding a box labeled for charity now ended up in your grubby kitchen. I was hand-carved in the countryside in France, Richard. I have whipped the best soufflés and I’ve been placed to the lips of Julia herself to taste a burre blanc sauce with sole. And yet here I am now in your tiny matchbox kitchen in New Jersey, which is quite depressing.
I’m perched in a slightly-broken crockery designed to look like it may have come from Italy, but alas it came from Home Goods. Next to me is some sort of spatula that is red and green and says “Baking Spirits Bright!” It’s July, Richard. I can’t believe this is my life now. Did you forget I even existed? Are you just mocking me? I am a chef’s best tool. And yet you grab tongs over me every single time. TONGS. If I had salivary glands, I’d sob.
I see that you buy cookbooks and put them on that shelf there, under your kitchen island, yet you never crack the spine. Instead of making something worthy of a true chef, you dump a box of macaroni in a pan and stir it around with a stainless-steel fork. Last week you fried bologna in a skillet. Do you have any dignity? Do you not believe cooking is a work of art—something to be admired and revered and treasured?
Um okay. Looks like no. You’re now dumping cheese whiz into a container with rice and going for the microwave. I have no words. If I could turn my face to the backsplash to avoid seeing this treachery, I would. And yet I am only a spoon. I have no eyes to close. So I am forced to watch. Last week, you pulled me out to stir a sauce. This is my chance to escape! I was horrified that my beautiful face was smeared in a vat of jarred Ragu. I tried to throw myself off the counter and onto the floor but I didn’t have the upper-arm strength. Mostly because I have no arms.
I had hopes and dreams, Richard. I wanted to be the most revered spoon, the one people held lovingly in their hands in times of trouble, when someone stress-cooked a cassoulet for seven hours. I even have a matching tong and pasta fork, although no one ever used those and they are probably long gone, poor dears. Although they likely ended up in a better fate than this.
The wooden spoon is the star of the show, Le Grande Dame, the thing that’s tucked lovingly inside of a ribbon of twine on the exterior of a fancy-wrapped kitchen purchase. Julia once used me once to move a duck around a pan while browning its skin. Sure, the heat of the pan was difficult to tolerate, but this was pain I willingly and cheerfully endured. I see you stirring around some hamburger helper in a skillet with a pancake flipper. Please just chop me up and burn me in the fire.
I could do so much for you. Whip up a shortbread dough and never break a handle. Stir a mushroom cream sauce with ease. Ladle hot creamy soup to your mouth for a taste. But instead, I sit here gathering dust while you chat on the phone and rip open some sort of box of food, stab the plastic with a knife, and heat it for two minutes. If I never see another microwave in my life, I swear. I thought you wanted me, but now I see you just set me here for decoration. You toy with me while you cook scrambled eggs with one percent milk and margarine like a monster.
You’re a disgrace, you know? You are not good enough to even put me in your fat little hands. Oh wait—what is this I see? Do I see you coming for me, eying me, finally giving me the credit for the potential that I so clearly have earned? Do you finally see me for ME? I feel you lifting me from the crockery. Oh, here I come, beef bourguignon! I’m about to dive in, caramelized shallots! This is what I was made for!
Dear heavens. Why is this snot-nosed little girl coming close to me, Richard? I can feel her germs and grime wafting through the air. WHY ARE YOU GIVING ME TO YOUR OFFSPRING? Oh, I see. I see that I’m going to be banged upon an upside-down bowl for entertainment. I’m being used as a drumstick.
My worst nightmare has come to pass. I would scream for Julia, but it’s no use. This is hell, which hath frozen over. Except if it had frozen over, like into a nice thick custard, I’d be able to scoop my way out. And that is not something you can do with a stainless-steel fork from IKEA.