Rom Polska Stirring Wood, the ideal tool for the minimalist kitchen

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The Rom Polska Stirring Wood, you could call it a stirring spatula if you would so wish but it is not really a spatula, but what I am using is the literal translation of the word, is the ideal tool for the minimalist kitchen when one might not want so many tools.

It replaces a great number of others as it is equally at home stirring the porridge as to doing the stir fry, and many other stirring jobs in between and, hand carved from local (local to area of the maker) woods and priced between £10 and £15 on cash sales in person, or £15 to £20 for online sales as postage is included in the latter, it does not break the bank either.

Properly treated, which means not, and here especially not, putting it into the dishwasher it will last for many, many years to come. In fact, as this product, like the majority of products I produce, is left untreated and thus the natural antibacterial action of the wood can work washing will rarely if ever be required. All that is needed, really, is to wipe the working end down after use and allow to air dry with the working end up.

Available from Wood, Leather & Recycled via the Facebook Page.

© 2021

Make your holiday gifts handmade or secondhand this year

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

And not just this year and not just for the gift-giving holidays but also for other gift-giving occasions.

When it comes to the handmade then it is a very nice touch when the gift is handmade by the giver but not everyone has the time nor the tools and the skills to make the gift they might like to gift to someone themselves. That is were makers come into the equation.

OK, you say, he would say that. He is a spoon carver after all and tries to sell his wares. Yes, that is true as well but whenever someone can I would say hand make your own gifts for people. Handmade is such a personal touch that nothing else can convey.

But where making the gifts yourself is not an option then consider buying handmade from a maker, ideally a local one or one as local as possible.

When it come to the other suggestion, namely that of secondhand, many people will balk at this option as they see it as cheapskate but maybe we should rename secondhand in this case to “preloved”, though that may not always be the case if the item(s) come from a secondhand store such as a so-called charity shop. But we would not balk at giving someone an antique. Is that not a secondhand item as well?

When I was a child secondhand gift often featured in the gifts that we received and they were no less valued by us than would have been newly bought ones. Often those gifts were exactly what we had hoped for – the giver being aware, no doubt, what we longed for – and had chose wisely, often actually giving us something of their own “collections”, as in my case when, as a sex-year-old I had ogled a small old pocket knife my uncle had in his collection. This was my New Year gift from him and I still have it to this very day.

Clothes were, generally, anyway secondhand in the form of hand-me-downs, or from other people, and they also were gifted on various occasions and events instead of new bought stuff. It is also, financially, much more practical for children to receive hand-me-downs, even in the form of holiday gifts, as they tend to grow out of them at a rapid rate.

Obviously, giving handmade and secondhand gifts rate also high on the environmental level as handmade and secondhand have, especially if the handmade has been made by the giver or purchased from a local maker, a much lower environmental footprint (I do no use the term carbon footprint as it does not cover all bases) because the transport and production costs and impacts are much lower than newly made from virgin materials and shipped from halfway across the globe.

I can't remember how many times, as a small boy, I got my favorite wooden tractor gifted back to me after it had been repaired. It was my favorite toy and it was at least as good getting it back repaired, better probably, than getting a new one or a new toy. I played so much with it that its wheels came off on occasions and needed, basically, glueing back on but I could not do that myself at that young age; later I was able to do it and then, later still, got handed down to little cousin of mine. So, getting a favorite toy, or other favorite item, repaired for the recipient rather than a new gift might also be something worth considering.

© 2021