This weeks word for my blog is “SPATULA”. After drawing a blank on what to write about this week, I consulted with my Facebook friends and asked for a word to spark an idea. This is all a part of the ancient art of improv. This is often how our improv shows start. With just one word. And for some reason, whenever you ask an audience for a household object or kitchen appliance you will hear the word “spatula” as an answer. Including on Facebook. As a joke, it was the first word shouted out from someone who is in the improv community. And, yes I do have a funny spatula story that just happened to me. A story which proves many things – including the fact that I’m a fucking dunce in the kitchen.
Before I get to that, I’d like to briefly examine the overlooked importance of the spatula. I am assuming that the spatula is the evolved version of what was originally the caveman “stick”. Indeed, the first household item and kitchen appliance may have, in fact, been the spatula – or stick – used to prod the meat on the fire. And if your neighbor tries to steal your food you can use the spatula-stick as a weapon as well. Food is one of the bare neccessities after all. So it is not surprising that this object, which brings you food and defends your house, is what people think of when confronted with this question.
This would also explain why everyone shouts out “bathroom” when you ask for a room in a house, or a non-geographical location. Because once you eat the food it has to go somewhere and this is of equal importance. However, I do not know why people always shout out Paris Hilton when you ask for a celebrity.
My wife and I have a giant spatula. The end of it is round like a large pancake. And it is what we use to flip our pancakes every Sunday morning when we eat blueberry pancakes that are cooked on our teflon grill. My wife challenged me to start making more food in the house and I bragged about my ability to cook pancakes. So two weeks ago I did. I made every possible kind of mistake, though. I didn’t put oil in the pancakes and they got stuck on the grill. The blueberries were sticking half-out of the dough and when I flipped them they burst and burned to the overheated grill. I had put too much mix in and the cakes were really bready and burned. It was really humiliating.
Afterward I felt so bad I started cleaning up the kitchen. I scrubbed the teflon grill clean. The blueberry stains would not come off. Frustrated I used more abrasive cleaners until the stains came off. After I dried it I saw that I had scratched the teflon pretty badly. I’m pretty ignorant about these things. I have screwed up teflon stuff before, in other people’s houses. I have never really been clear about which surfaces are teflon and which aren’t, or which type of spatula to use on what surface. I’m not even clear about the dangers of damaged teflon other than it is supposed to cause cancer or something. Why are we cooking on things made out of cancer causing agents anyway?!!!
My wife was pretty mad about the ruined grill and told me I have to buy a new one. She said she bought it at William Sonoma. When I asked how much they were she said about sixty dollars. I can live with that, I thought. So I made my way to this store, which looked pretty fancy to me from the outside. They had one grill left. It was $130.00. The woman at the cashier told me to never clean teflon with abrasives and that you have to use a silicon spatula. I am going to remember this now forever. I am no longer unclear about the difference or which fucking spatula you are supposed to use. Cavemen learn slowly sometimes when conronted with modern household items.
And as I drove home I just kept thinking about how those pancakes cost me $130.00. Lesson learned. My pancakes have improved.