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Fingerpainting with a Spoon


I surfaced yesterday after several days immersed in copyedits, which are done and returned now through chapter 8, of 12. (Another batch will fly out from NY on Monday, if I understand the sked correctly.) My publisher surprised me last night by sending me a first draft of the book’s catalog copy, which was so unspeakably horrible that I immediately volunteered to rewrite it from scratch. I used to do that a lot at Coriolis and I’m good at it, and I think my editor knows me well enough to know that I’m good at it. She might have just asked me to do it (I certainly would have) but I’ll admit that seeing what other people would say about my 200,000 words if I did not added some urgency to the task.

Done in a trice. So I woke up this morning with no more work to do than I generally have, and that’s a feeling I haven’t felt in some time. Over breakfast I let my mind wander, and when I got down to the bottom of my bowl of yogurt, I had an idea, an idea born out of irritation: There is no way to get the last of the yogurt out of the bowl. I mean, you can scrape with the spoon until you’re purple in the face (which can happen, with blueberries in the mix) but that’s just fingerpainting with the spoon and you’re always going to leave a little. This yogurt is peculiarly good, too: Greek Gods full-fat pomegranite, just half a notch thinner than cream cheese and capable of keeping me cranking most of the morning. (A scrambled egg, its partner-in-breakfast, takes care of the rest.) I am loath to leave any, even for the dogs…and besides, having a pure-white dog lick purple yogurt out of a bowl has consequences.

Then it struck me: All-metal spoons are just so third-century. Why are we still eating Greek yogurt with the same implements the ancient Greeks used? Is this not 2009? And so I sketched out what I wanted: Spoons with metal handles but bowls molded from heatproof silicone rubber, formulated to be a little stiffer than a kitchen spatula, but sufficiently flexible under a little force to conform to the curve of the bowl and get enough of the yogurt out so that leaving what remains wouldn’t bother me.

I looked online for such a thing this morning and came up empty. The basic concept is feasible: We have a silicone-rubber serving spoon in the drawer, but it’s far too big to fit in my mouth. Could it be that nobody else has ever thought of this? Or could it be that we just don’t like our food enough to want to finish all of it?


  1. Jeff: Pop over to Target, in the baby section. You’ll find little spoons that are exactly that (silicone bowls, metal handles). Possibly a little too small though…

    Reason I know is we’ve bought enough of them for baby shower presents.

    Cheers, Julian

  2. Tom R. says:

    Jeff, The solution is simple. Don’t eat the scrambled egg until you have finished the yogurt. Then dump the eggs in the bowl and stir them around to pick up the last of the yogurt!

    Of course there is a digital alternative. That’s digital as in finger not binary. If you are not in a public place USE the tools that you were born with!

  3. Brook Monroe says:

    First of all, don’t eat the yogurt out of a bowl. Eat out of a mug. When you get down to the last of it, pour in a little milk, swirl a bit, and drink the mix.

  4. Donna Mielke says:

    I have something very much like what you’re looking for. It is a small, wood-handled, silicon spatula-type gizmo, slightly curved like a spoon. It was marketed for getting every last bit out of a baby food jar. Since my youngest just turned 13, I don’t remember where I bought it. Check some catalog/websites aimed at parents of little ones and you’ll probably find what you want.

  5. Chuck Waggoner says:

    Ah, they make the tool you need at Rubbermaid. They are those very slender plastic/rubber scrapers that Rubbermaid is so famous for (not the big regular sized ones). Most people only use them to scrape out a jar or pan, but I often use them as a spoon. Gets it all!

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