I love wooden utensils. I have a collection that I have bought all over the world, been given as gifts from friends and one from my Grandmother’s kitchen. Each time I use them I am reminded of the place I bought it or the person that gave it to me or my darling Grandmother.
But, I am a beast. Truly, I am. Just ask my precious collection of wooden spoons, wooden forks, wooden spatulas, wooden cutting boards. I am sure I have caught them trying to escape.
I use them constantly. I leave them sitting in pots of liquid. I leave them sitting in the sink getting all kinds of ick poured on them. I leave them sitting across hot pots and pans. They get poured on, steamed, stirred, scorched and burned regularly.
And you may want to avert your eyes here, I have even put them in the dishwasher.
Recently I have become the proud owner of a couple of beautiful wooden utensils from Kitchen Carvers (can you say spurtle?) and one from Thibeault’s Table (thank you Linda) – these have never been in the dishwasher, but, still, they do take a beating.
While reading a post over at Food in Jars, I came across a recipe for spoon butter. Thinking this would be something yummy to put on toast, I kept reading and then became enthralled with a recipe for a wood conditioning ‘butter’ for my poor, abused and neglected wooden treasures. Marisa had found the recipe over at 3191 Miles Apart.
I am telling you, this is ingenious.
This was something that had to be done, if for no other reason than to help my wooden implements know that they truly are loved.
There is some debate over using mineral oil for this process. They do make a mineral oil in a food grade so you might want to hunt that down, or try Amazon, they have it. I bought the mineral oil at IKEA (I can hear my friend Rick gasping). Jojoba oil works too. My health food store carried the beeswax.
Off we go to resuscitate my spoons.
Place a quart-sized jar in a small saucepan and fill it about a third of the way up with water. Put the beeswax in the jar and bring it to a good simmer.
As it is melting, drizzle in the contents of a 16 ounce bottle of mineral oil. They should emulsify on their own, use a wooden implement to stir it together if it needs a bit of help.
Take your jar out of the water bath, allow to cool and it’s ready to use. It will be a thick consistency.
To treat the wood, you may want to sand surfaces that are stained or nubbly with fine grit sandpaper. Then – and this is the icky part for me – dip your hand into the spoon oil and rub into the wood.
Allow the wood to sit and absorb the oil for anywhere from a few hours to a few days, then buff dry with a clean cloth. That’s it!
I did the same for my cutting boards and wooden rolling pins! And after all this, my hands felt great too!
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