Quirky Tag

Wooden Spoons
I've been cooking at my Mom's the past few weeks and find myself rummaging through her wooden spoon collection in search of the one pictured above. Yes, its bowl is broken,  but I like how it can simultaneously stir and scrape the sides of a pot. It's so useful, more than once I've considered taking a saw to one of my own. This blunt-sided spoon has been in my mother's kitchen for well over 35 years. Although it arrived symmetrical and unremarkable, a single, emotionally-charged incident transformed it into a conversation piece. And yes, it was my fault. I was very young and always getting into trouble. This innocent utensil just happened to be at hand when I did something that pushed my normally patient mother too far. While the details of my mischief have faded, the moment she lost her temper is very clear. I'd done something. Mom found out. My younger sister happened to be on hand and the three of us were in the kitchen when the spoon hit the counter. In her sternest, most authoritative voice, Mom emphasized each word with a slap of the spoon to the edge of the counter. "Don't. *whack* Ever. *whack* Do. *whack* That. *whack* AGAIN! *whack*!" On the final strike, it split. No one moved. There was a horrifying, all-enveloping silence as a fragment of wood flew across the kitchen.  When the projectile landed I waited for a fresh wave of fury, wondering if it were physically possible for someone to get any angrier than my mom already was.
Sticker Shock — Part 2

May 23, 2008, I had an essay, Sticker Shock, published in The Globe and Mail. In it I confessed to Impostor Syndrome brought on by a cobalt blue belly dance bumper sticker from my mother-in-law. With little talent and none of the elaborate costumes, I...

From the Archives: Carob is for the Dogs

I'm on the road this week and will be dipping into the archives for a few tasty blasts from the past. This posts is one of my more popular rants. Now, let me tell you how I really feel...

From the Archives: $112 Cinnamon Ice Cream

I'm on the road this week and will be dipping into the archives for a few tasty blasts from the past. This posts has a bit of a back story so click through the hyperlinks to understand why I salvaged $8 worth of brownies with...

Bitchin’ Kitchen

I could really use a laugh. Not only does my butcher retire at the end of this week (sniff), the little community craft store next to it — the one where I bought my groovy reusable coffee sleeves — has closed shop. The sudden demise...

Battlestar Galactica — The Last Frakkin’ Meal

That's me in the middle. If you saw the Star Trek Meets Monty Python video I posted at Hallowe'en, you won't be surprised to learn I'm a bit of a sci-fi geek. Should I ever be forced to choose between The Space Channel and the Food...

Cleaning Copper Bottom Pots

We left Kingston with more than an auto repair bill. My mother-in-law gave me a couple of her well-loved copper bottom pots and an enameled cast-iron skillet. Both work beautifully despite years of use. I know how to take care of the skillet, but being new...

Beatles Buffet

Saturday, February 7, 2009 marked the 45th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in North America. To celebrate, my friend Theresa hosted an Across the Universe party. Great food and bad puns set the mood as we watched the video and sang along. I apologize to the...

Anti-theft lunch bags

These clear anti-theft lunch bags come pre-printed with fake mold to deter light-fingered coworkers. Do I file this under Now I've Seen Everything or Another Reason Not to Miss Office Life? ...

What Type Are You?

The internet is full of time-wasting tools I can pretend pertain to my work. Last year, thanks to the Gender Genie, I learned I write masculine columns and feminine blog posts. No matter which on-line version of Myers-Briggs I take, I'm always an ENFP. This not...

Subscribe to my newsletter.

It’s easy. It’s free. It’s informative.


Receive weekly tips, recipes and advanced notice of upcoming events.

Yes, please!