Monday, March 2, 2015

They Must Be Silicone

There are many things I am happy to wash and dry by hand.  My beloved Le Creusets, my cast iron pans, my great grandmother's china, my grandma's stemware--these are all worth a little extra effort and attention.  But just about anything else in my kitchen needs to be able to withstand the dishwasher.  With the hottest water setting and the longest heated dry.  There is a chance I carry some obsessive tendencies, and sanitation is a big one.  I wash my hands like 25 times an hour and wash my dishes with soap and water before I put them in the dishwasher.  When I see those commercials advocating putting dirty dishes in a dishwasher, I am compelled to call the FCC and alert them to the violent vulgarity polluting the airwaves.  I think of the dishwasher as an autoclave, not a washing machine.  I would be burned at the stake in California when my water consumption was identified.  I always say that learning to cook ruined restaurants for me because I learned how disgusting food can be.  I fly my control freak flag high and proud.  One thing is for sure in my kitchen: no one will ever suffer from food poisoning via cross contamination.  A drop of soap, maybe--but not anything bacterial. I have the pile of six cutting boards at the end of the night to prove it. I know. Such a shock that I am single.  

Anyway, for the past tenish years I had used Williams-Sonoma wooden-handled with  silicone blade spatulas and spoons.  My brother got me 10 of them one year for Christmas and I loved the way they looked.  The only thing I wasn't so keen on was the fact that water could get between the silicone and the wooden handle.  It always kinda grossed me out, but they were great and sturdy tools.  Well they lasted a good, long time and I really can't complain about them at all.  As these things tend to go, they all broke within a two week period.  I was a little relieved to be able to replace them.  I imagined I would have an exhaustive search looking for the perfect solid silicone spatulas and spoons.  Apparently I am not the only one with such qualifications in baking utensils.  I found them in about thirty seconds on Amazon.  They are inexpensive, sturdy, and have stood up to a year of heavy use looking no worse for the wear. I love them.  If you bake a lot or are just a rigid neurotic like me, I would highly recommend them. 


I was taking them out of the dishwasher this morning and admiring what truly perfect tools they have turned out to be.  My only complaint is that the green appears very lime-y online, but is more of an avocado in person.  It didn't bother me enough to return them, but the pieces I ordered afterward have all been blue. They also come in red and black. 

39 comments:

  1. Surprise Surprise! You are a perfectionist. We don't have a dishwasher, except for my husband.

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    1. Haha I know it sounds like I am, but I'm really not. Just a touch of OCD!

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  2. Very funny post! I'm sure there's medication somewhere that can help you…. !
    I am not a germophobe, but this is because I was brought up thinking some germs were good. My Dad is a doctor, and while I do follow food hygiene (important in Australia due to the heat), and wash hands etc, I'm not that over the top about bleaching the kitchen every few hours or anything like that due to my upbringing emphasising the importance of dirt. In fact, I'll never forget my Dad watching me change a nappy in hospital of my newborn first child, and I washed my hands afterwards. Dad said "I hope you're not going to get over the top about germs, some germs are good for a baby" and I pointed out that as I'd changed a nappy (sorry, that's diaper to you Americans), I didn't think it was too excessive to wash my hands after?!

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    1. Haha no I wouldn't want to medicate to the point of casual sanitation! I think I just worry so much that something I've made could make someone sick that I go way overboard to assure everything is run with extreme cleanliness. Not a germaphobe except for in food prep. It only takes a little misstep to contaminate food! My dad is a doctor too and he has bugged me my whole life about how often I wash my hands and with such hot water. He also gets annoyed when we go on vacation and he tries to do the dishes only to have me redo them because I can't trust anyone else to do them "my way"! I just prefer to do things myself :) my best friend calls my condition "MSDE" which stands for Martha Stewart Dagger Eyes. My eyes flare and my expression says "put down the god damned whisk and let me do it". She coined this one year when we were attempting to cook our families' thanksgiving dinners together in my kitchen. I lasted about two hours until I couldn't stand her haphazard vegetable chopping and casual use of the same spoon in many pots. At that point she was confined to the couch and only allowed to get up to refill my drink. I don't share a kitchen well!

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    2. Agree with Heidi. So important when there are children in family to grow one's resistance. Within reason they need to build up an immunity to common bacteria. One of my friends was telling me how her grandchildren were always sick. They pick up every cold and stomach bug going. Apparently her daughter has always sterilised everything - in kitchen she uses antiseptic wipes on everything all day, benches, everything. Then she is forever wiping her children's hands with stuff from those bottles of anti-bacterial liquid. No wonder they're always sick. Also, through their skin they're absorbing masses of chemicals that are not terribly good for you. It divides the masses, but there are researchers who believe that over-use of antiseptics contributes to the development of viruses and bacteria that are resistant to normal disease control pharmaceuticals.
      I wash my hands before and after preparing food and keep different cutting up boards for meats (including fish and chicken) separate from those for fruits, veggies or cheese, bread etc. Like you, also rinse boards and dishes and then wash in dishwasher.
      Your hands must be terribly dry and sore from all that washing in super hot water!
      Love that you have such a sense of humour - and love your comments on other blogs too. Pammie

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    3. Thank you! It's such an interesting topic to me. I certainly agree with this, even if I go a little overboard in the kitchen :) I have no allergies and rarely get sick. I've always believed there was a correlation between this and the tremendous amount of time I spent outside as a child always playing in the dirt and with animals. Thankfully where I grew up there are no dangerous animals! And oh...my poor hands. Between my hand washing and shampooing all day, my hands are atrocious. I make a restorative hand cream that does wonders though. It's beeswax, cocoa butter, aloe, and a few essential oils. If I didn't use that I think my hands would disintegrate!

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    4. Your hand cream sounds wonderful - perhaps you should patent and sell in your business - and more widely! Pammie

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    5. laughing so much at the MSDE. I'm pretty sure I've done that myself, and I'm commonly referred to as the "Interior Dictator" by my family :)

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  3. I wash my hands 24/7 and wipe my counter tops many times a day...I rinse my dishes before putting them in the dishwasher and do a lot of dishes by hand.
    I actually LOVE washing dishes!
    Cleanliness in the kitchen is very important so you needn't apologize...
    I am curious if you might do a post of your kitchen and your favourite pieces of equipment etc...dishes tools etc.
    Also what type of cutting boards you use? Bamboo? Silicone? Wood?

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    1. I like washing dishes, too. It's nice to know the delicate pieces are being fussed over! But I'm always glad when things don't require that much attention! Especially items of utility. Yes that would be a fun post-maybe my top ten favorite pieces of equipment. I use plastic cutting boards that I just love. They are so durable and go in the dishwasher. I much prefer the look and feel of wood, but only use my wooden cutting boards for things like breads or tarts. Happy birthday!

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  4. Thanks for the link! I had the Le Creuset set (wooden-handled like the Williams Sonoma you describe) on my birthday wish list, but realistically I think I will be happier with all-silicone pieces, for ease of cleaning. I also re-wash dishes done by others, but I only have 3 cutting boards.

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    1. Hello! I love the look of those LC pieces, but I will say the mastrad are soooo easy to care for. I do have several wooden spoons I still use though and my favorite is made by Le Creuset. It's thick and solid. I also love the Mastrad pieces because they are so inexpensive. I feel like when I need a scraper/spatula I need about four of them at one time!

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  5. I love all the banter on the topic. I assure you that you would never eat in my house. I have one cutting board for everything and it gets a brief swipe between items. Or I just chop on the counter. One big spoon for all pans. Seven people here and very little hand washing. Shoot... we'll leave dinner on the counter all night and snack on it in the morning (shudder). We are a house that rarely gets sick. My kids have always been exposed to all kinds of germs and we have strong immune systems. When we do get sick it's from something that about kills other people (and we get over it in a day or two). I'm guessing the 5-second rule for food that hits the ground would send you running. :) lol On another note.. I love the spatulas. Cute post.

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    1. Haha :) yes you are quite right-there is no five second rule for me! I even bring all my cutting boards on vacation with me!

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  6. I too am an Excessive Handwasher! I have recently got a dishwasher after living without one for about 20 years and I am luffing it Sick! Sick I tell you! I also love to wipe my kitchen benches 900 times and day and I hate drops of water in the sink. My child doesn't share my love of handwashing, which is upsetting, but with time maybe he will change.

    Speaking of food poisoning there is a big debacle here in Australia about people catching diseases like hepatitis from frozen berries imported from China. Scary times.

    Luff the blog and snorted out loud at the Silicone Title!

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    1. Oh FF! I am so happy for you re dishwasher. I am getting worried about the fate of the world as many dishwashers are moving away from heated dry. Luckily KitchenAid still has many options with heated dry.
      So terrible about the berries! But I'm also very suspicious of packaged fresh foods. The ones that upset me most are bagged lettuces.

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  7. I wash my hands constantly when I am around other people, and go through hand sanitizer like there's no tomorrow. But around the house, I am more relaxed. But I do throw food out if I even catch a whiff of something not being quite right. I think everyone has things they're more willing to take chances on than others.

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    1. It's funny, for my excessive hand washing I rarely use hand sanitizer. I have some that I keep in my car and use after I've been in the grocery, but that's about it. I won't keep produce or meat that is remotely on the edge, but comfortably use buttermilk that's about two weeks past its expiration date. I also keep a few sourdough starters and am not afraid of that bacteria. I really don't think of myself as a germaphobe...just running a strict kitchen!

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  8. Well, I guess we can pretty much rule out your traveling to Africa, India or China then... ;)

    Is Barbie allowed in the kitchen?

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    1. Oh I have always wanted to go to China! But as you know, there are so many things stopping me from getting abroad-food sanitation is way down the list! I hate crowds more than anything and think I would hardly last five seconds in India before I had a nervous breakdown! Luckily I have a few Indian friends who bring me souvenirs!
      OF COURSE Barbie is allowed in the kitchen! But I'll admit she is the world's cleanest dog. When I'm in a cooking marathon like Thanksgiving or Christmas, I pull up a chair for her by the island and she is right in on the action :)

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  9. My husband washes the dishes before he puts them in the dishwasher. he thinks it is like some steriliser instead of washer. We have had countless "philosophical discussions" about this and now it is firmly his domain and I don't do any dish related except for the purchasing of them. Reason why we are still married!

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    1. Haha your husband and I share an attitude! I love to buy dishes too. I'm trying to get rid of some. I have so many!

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    2. I thought my husband was the only person in the world who washes dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. It drives me crazy, but I guess it isn't so strange after all. He'll be delighted to know he is not alone in this.

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  10. Thanks for sharing I need some new Kitchen items!!

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  11. Another compulsive hand washer here. I'm sure it's prematurely aged my hands; they look 100 years old.
    I am crazy about one particular silicone spatula, and buy up every one I find, for fear they will discontinue it.

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    1. Oooh who makes your favorite spatula? Well if it does get discontinued, I think you'll rather like the Mastrad!

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  12. You can come over and wash our dishes ;-) Actually, I quite enjoy hand washing dishes. I hate the idea of dirty dishes piling in the dishwasher....waiting for a full load to start. Do they have a white spatula? You know how much I love white. Surprise surprise.

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    1. Haha I have never, ever had to wait for a full load of dishes! I have two dishwashers and they are both constantly running. No, I wish they did have white!

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    2. My dream kitchen would have two dishwashers! Whether cooking just for myself or having friends over, mise en place is always the rule - therefore lots of small glass prep bowls... The minute they're emptied, it's into the dishwasher. My friends laugh because I have little to no counter space to speak of, but I still like having all my ingredients out and ready for whatever the recipe - and looking pretty, too. They would also laugh and tell you I'm definitely prone to MSDE!

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    3. Even though we don't cook as much, I'd love to have 2 dishwashers ;) Especially handy for family gatherings. Both Tom and I have big families.

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  13. So funny!! I've always said that I love germs, but apparently they don't love me as I never get sick. I can't stop laughing over the part about, "Such a shock, I know. I am single!" :) Some day you'll meet your match SA - when you least expect it, and they will appreciate ALL of you! :)

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  14. I see that the packaging says "flexible head". I bought a few utensils that were too rigid, and basically worthless. I have five plastic cutting boards, and may use 2, 3 or 4 on any given meal. I thought it was normal. Looks like I need my very own control freak flag ;)

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  15. It's the Zyliss stir fry spatula, and my husband won't use anything else now. I just checked the Zyliss site and they don't show it.

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  16. I am just as much a germaphobe as you and people make fun of me but I haven't been sick in years.
    I go through a whole roll of paper towels in the kitchen every day and a half.
    Sheila

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  17. MY comment didNOT TAKE................
    JUST Know I am here ........READING!

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  18. Amazing blog and very interesting stuff you got here! I definitely learned a lot from reading through some of your earlier posts as well and decided to drop a comment on this one!

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  19. No dishwasher here, unless you count dear ol' me. And I like that water to be scalding hot, hence my dishpan hands. Could never get the hang of gloves...anyway, I really like those tools and will look into getting some!

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  20. Awesome work.Just wanted to drop a comment and say I am new to your blog and really like what I am reading.Thanks for the share

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