Wednesday, February 15, 2006
My copy of the Concise Oxford Dictionary defines a spatula as a broad-bladed instrument for working pigments, picking up powder, etc; a surgeon's instrument for pressing tongue down or to one side. This is used for cooking purposes. I have had it for more than forty years. The handle used to be a bright red but the paint has worn away. You can just see the remnants of the silvery metal that covered the blade but it too has worn away over nearly half a century. Do they still make spatulas like this? When pressure is applied to the handle there is a bit of a spring which is valuable when aerating a mixture. I use my spatula for two purposes - one for turning and lifting pikelets and pancakes; and the second for folding flour into the egg mixture when making a sponge cake. This was a tip that came with the sponge cake recipe. The springiness of the spatula folds air in with the flour making for lightness in the sponge. My spatula started life in Bowen, moved with me to Toowoomba, travelled half way around Australia on a working holiday with me, a husband, three kids and a cat in a 23 foot caravan pulled by a four-ton double-cab Bedford truck. It settled in Mount Isa, went to Townsville, then to Tennant Creek, followed by Sydney, Walgett, Townsville again and now Melbourne. It learned to make sponge cakes to satisfy a husband spoiled by his mother's wonderful sponges. It made two very large heart shaped cakes for my daughter's wedding. And plates and plates of pikelets and pancakes.