Monday, 26 May 2014

Stirring it.

I think my wooden spoons are well past their sell by date. Not sure at what stage you are supposed to replace them, but I have seen far worse than this. My spoons begin to look scruffy after using them only  a couple of times, they usually go yellow quite quickly due to the turmeric I put in my food. Anyway, I've had these for a while so they are due for chucking. 
I started looking last week for replacements, tried several shops in town, but couldn't find any. Have they stopped making them? I would have thought the £1 shops would have them in stock, not even the 99p shop had any. I resumed my search today at the Retail Park. Dunelm Mill had a wooden spoon for £1.20, I thought that was a bit steep, I would have expected a pack of three for that price. I browsed the kitchen department and found a selection of Silicone utensils. I have never tried one of these before, it doesn't seem quite right to put a silicone spoon into the food I am going to eat. Will it melt, will I ingest traces of plastic, yuk. 

The normal price of this spoon is £1.99, but I found a purple one in the reduced section, for 99p. I thought I would give it a try. 

It does say that it is for food contact, so I assume it is safe. Oh dear, I'm still not sure, will it poison me? Does anyone else use a silicone spoon? Can you taste it in the food? 
I went across to The Range, department store. I don't usually buy much from there as I find things are expensive. I went to look for offers on cat food. Just out of curiosity I looked for wooden spoons. Well blow me down, they had just what I was looking for, simple wooden spoons for 35p each, 39p if you wanted a longer handle. Doesn't it make you want to spit. You buy something that might just do the job because you can't find exactly the right thing, then you blooming well find the right thing. 
So what do I do, give the silicone spoon a try, or take it back for a refund? I wasn't planning on going in that direction in the near future, so it might be a couple of weeks before I take it back. Someone tell me a silicone spoon is ok to use to stir my curries and stews.

Another thing that niggles me is the silicone spoon is made in China, and the wooden ones are made in Poland. What's going on, are we not capable of making a simple wooden spoon in this country? I'll have a look in my garage and see if I can find a piece of wood the right size and make one myself :o))

No rain here today, it's been lovely.
Toodle pip.

37 comments:

  1. The silicone spoon should be safe,, cake tins and other cooking utensils are made out of this stuff. Love the colour of the silicone spoon!

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  2. I have a silicone spatula which I use to scape the mixing bowl and I'm still alive to tell the tale. Come to think of it I do have a few aches and pains and my tummy................ lol x

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  3. It's always the way when you want to buy something simple you can never find it. I don't know about a silicone spoon. I only use wooden.
    Rosezeeta.

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  4. Season your wooden spoons with mineral oil. Wipe some oil on, then let them sit for about an hour, then wipe the excess off. They will look lovely. You might be able to work magic on your old spoons. The mineral oil works great on cutting boards too. Learn this trick from the Susan Branch website.

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  5. If I had known you needed a wooden spoon I could have sent you one or two. I got 10 for £1 from a car boot sale a few years ago and several are still unused.

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  6. Ilona, here is a British maker of wooden spoons! BTW no worries with silicone spoons.
    Ann in Canada

    http://spitalfieldslife.com/2014/05/18/the-many-spoons-of-barn-the-spoon/

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  7. I'm saving up tokens from my butter spread to get a new wooden spoon. I have two wooden spoons - one I use for curries, stir fries, bolognaise etc and it gets discoloured, and the other I use for cheese sauces, porridge and so on which doesn't get discoloured. I'm still trying to get this through to the rest of the family when they help with the cooking or both spoons will end up orange.

    I did well in T**co today - bought £51 of food for £27. Lots of yellow stickers and half price food together with lots of vouchers. They had strawberries on yellow sticker with free cream to go with it. The cream cost 55p and they refunded 60p. So they paid me 5p to take their cream away!

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  8. not use a silicone spoon but have a silicone 2lb bread pan. and not noticed any taste or meltage.( is that a word.) bought in America made in China.used in the UK.

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  9. I was a big fan of silicone but it has not lived up to expectations for me. I had lots of silicone bakeware and found that it absorbs smells/flavours and it also has gone greasy/waxy/oily/gummy- very attractive, not! I've only kept some large framed sheets for meringues where it is peerless as the cooked meringues just pop off with no hassle and as they get little use they've survived ok. I have silicone scrapers and they are ok if used only occasionally.

    I don't use any wooden spoons or cookware as I don't like the idea of them absorbing bacteria in the grain of the wood. I also use my dishwasher and they are not recommended for that. I use IKEA's cheapie range of spoon, fork and fish slice for 79p which I think is made out of a plastic/nylon type substance and these do fabulously. For me they are cheap, go in the dishwasher, don't scratch my non-stick pots and last for ages.

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  10. Oh dear, you have made me feel quite embarrassed now - I have had my wooden spoons for years. They are part of the family, and I wouldn't even have thought about replacing them : (

    They are a bit stained I must admit (the big one I use for preserving is quite black from the dark fruit) but I just give them a good wash after use. Am I the only one who doesn't replace them? What do others do??

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    1. Don`t worry, your wooden spoons are quite ok as long as you wash them in boiling soapy water. I used mine for many years and still do. If you`re worried about discolouring, rub down with finest grade sandpaper to remove the colour, then oil the wood before re-using.

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    2. Ilona, don`t throw your old wooden spoons away! Get the finest grade of sandpaper you can buy and give them a good rub down to remove any unwanted dis-colourations, then apply a thin layer of cooking oil and rub that in well before re-using the spoons. It works fine. I think those spoons have plenty of life left in them.

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  11. I don't have a silicone spoon but i do have a spatula and whisk made from silicone and i not been poisoned yet. My wooden spoons were from wilko. Used the old ones as poles for growing plants up. X Laura.

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  12. I'm not keen on silicon anything, I'm really funny about plastics, but Dave uses a silicon spatula thing for stirring all his creations (he cooks rather like you, lots of herbs/spices, very experimental, chuck it all in the one pan!) and it seems ok. We've had it for at least 5 years and it does sometimes get discoloured from the food (it's white) but it usually comes clean eventually (not sure why!) and aside from not being white as white, it's not worn at all.

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  13. A British wooden spoon would probably have cost £3-50. Try oiling them with sunflower oil before you use them - it seems to keep them looking good for longer! Most of them are made from softwood these days which is not so good; I'd hang onto the silicone one, it's a wonderful colour!

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  14. I've used a silicone spatula and I love it! Lasted much longer and adds a nice splash of colour to the kitchen! Can't comment on anything else though, I'm afraid! x

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  15. I had to replace my wooden spoons last week and got a couple of replacements from Asda for about 50p each. I think my wooden spoons go the same ways as socks!!

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  16. Dont know what happened to my other comment but apologies if this is a duplicate. I had to replace wooden spoons last week and bought 2 new ones from Asda for about 50p each. Mine get used for all sorts of things including stirring paint etc.

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  17. Don't throw good wooden spoons away, they can be sanded down to get rid of any rough or discoloured parts, then a dab of olive oil on them and they're good as new. They're like any wood, need nourishing from time to time or they'll dry out.

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  18. Call me old fashioned but I do like a good old wooden spoon and mine tend to come from good old Wilkos. Oiling them is exactly what I do too.

    X x

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  19. You can sand your old wooden spoons smooth. I always rub in a bit of olive oil after washing and let it soak in, keeps them in good shape much longer.

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  20. Next time you find a beech log, take it home and split it, start carving your own wooden spoons.........you'll be so proud to stir your food with them!

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  21. From Margie in Toronto - have to say that I'm not really keen on silicone myself - prefer the old fashioned wooden ones. I just replaced mine and got them fairly cheaply a the local supermarket - I try to do as one of the readers above and use a couple for sauces and tomato based foods - and the others for baking, porridge etc, I replace them once they start to get chipped and broken. Didn't think to oil them - I'll have to give that a try.

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  22. I think your silicone spoon will be fine, but your old wooden spoons didn't really look that bad. Your comment on finding items in your country made me smile. I live in America, nothing comes from here :-), so we are used to that.

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  23. I'd be lost without my wooden spoons...things just don't feel the same with metal spoons.
    Jane x

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  24. Sand them down but don't put olive oil on them. Use the kind of oil that goes on wooden bowls. I forget the kind.

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  25. I agree with the comments above, sand the old spoons, they will be fine. I don't think putting plastic into hot food or near our food is a good idea, the silicone must give off something which we ingest, all those silicone baking trays really make me nervous too. We're not meant to have chemicals near our food and silicone is made using chemicals.

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  26. I'd be worried about using the silicone spoon for beetroot or red cabbage, it would be hard to find. And the material its made from, silicone, look at all the trouble that theres been with silicone breast implants. Hopefully they weren't purple though. So maybe you should take it back before something terrible happens.
    I wonder sometimes about Chinese industrial processess and some of the chemicals and dyes that they might use that are banned here. Its great to get cheap stuff but how safe is it?
    Good luck with trying to make a wooden spoon, it'll take ages and you'll see that 35p is a real bargain.
    I'm off on a council run bike ride now, i just turn up and they lend me a bike and we cycle along a riverside path for an hour.
    Dave.

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  27. My kitchen utensils are all second hand and years old. If you want to clean something - use hot water and salt - have a good scrub and leave to air dry in sunshine. My Dad did chemical engineering at Imperial, London and always advises natural materials. Oh and by the way, thanks for altering that statement. Natalie

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  28. Even if you aren't going to use the wooden spoons again , don't throw them away! Paint them or use them in crafts.
    I was taught to scrub my wooden utensils with a scrub brush after use. They still get stained but hopefully
    I get rid of the bacteria that way. I don't buy anything made in China. Consequently my house is becoming quite bare.

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  29. My wooden spoons are about 20 years old and still going. I do what others have suggested and just rub them with olive oil from time to time. My mom still uses the ones she threatened us with when we were children, which qualify as antiques now!

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  30. As tana50 commented previously, Susan Branch has a link on her blog specifically for the care of 'wooden things,' which you might like to read: http://www.susanbranch.com/how-to-care-for-wooden-cutting-boards-wooden-spoons-using-mineral-oil/. I prefer wooden or metal utensils over plastic or silicone

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  31. I oil mine with coconut oil but I suppose you could use any kind of food safe oil--cheers from Alaska! : )

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  32. Thank you all for posting your tips on here. I shall now sand and oil my wooden spoons.

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  33. Hi I inherited my wooden spoons from my mother they are fifty years old stained but still in use

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  34. Did you know that you can sand them and get more life out of them?

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  35. Hi Ilona. Im glad I've come on to comment because I didn't think of sanding and oiling the spoons, but that's a great idea I'm glad to have got from your commenters! I might also try that on my chopping board. I don't like using the wooden chop board because it does require a good scrub to feel like its really clean. Anyway, regarding silicon, personally I love the silicon spatulas I have, for one reason - they are so good at getting every last bit of food off the plate/bowl/saucepan! you will waste not a single bit of eg cake batter, or anything you're cooking in a pan or off the plate, and best of all, you can scrap every bit off leaving it practically clean already!! - I thought you might appreciate this! Personally I lick the plate clean sometimes (!) i mean you cant waste the last bits of ice cream or pasta sauce, but if one is more refined, one could do this will a spatula / silicone sppon. even oil and greasey food is easy to get off. If you don't use it to cook, try it as a washing up plate scraper aid! ;)
    Love the colourful cat quilt by the way!
    Lucy

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