I have decided that Australia is the best place on the planet to find inventive utensils. It all began with a Kick Starter campaign for the ButterUp. For those of you who keep actual butter in their fridge and not spreadable margarine, you are familiar with the bread destroying inflexibility of the chilled substance. Many of you may have moved on to French butter keepers. If you are a Floridian, you may have tried French butter keepers and found our humid, fertile environment too mold rich for this method. You face a dilemma.
is designed to make spreadable ribbons out of your chilled butter. One side is cut into cheese grater like holes while the other side is gently serrated. I have found it requires the right butter dish (like a traditional butter dish and not the pyrex bowl I put my sticks of butter in) to achieve the knife to butter angle that best produces ribbons. You can order these fabulous knives from Australia right now!
After the ButterUp, what flatware collection is complete without a spork? I tend to make a lot of chili and stew in Fall which are both too meaty and chunky for spoons and too liquidy for non spoons. A spork seemed like the best solution, but my initial searching found only camping utensils and collapsible picnic ware. I wanted a table top edition, something that could fit in with the rest of my flatware. I found Splayd Utensils.
Some people say that the spork was invented by General MacArthur while he was in the pacific (“Spork’s Weird History” on Salon), others trace the roots of the spork to icecream forks and runcible spoons. Whatever the true past of the spork, the splayd was invented in 1940 by Bill MacArthur (explanation for the General MacArthur myth?), who apparently wanted to save ladies and their tea dresses from balancing plates, forks, and knives at outdoor barbeques. Splayd Utensils are a beautiful step in the evolution of the spork. The straight edges aid in cutting without being sharp or dangerous when using the utensil like a spoon. The bowl is a little shallow for good liquid retention, but it does the job. I found a used set that, like the picture, has a very angular design. New Splayd Utensils are a bit curvier and can be ordered from Australia.
Last, but not least, and, I suppose, not really a utensil is the Memobottle. This is another Kick Starter that I found answered a very specific question: how to properly organize a bag that carries your files, your laptop, paper, tablet, etc., things that are all flat and rectangular, with a water bottle as well? The answer is to make the bottle flat and rectangular. I know there are many of you who never encounter this problem, who do not attend academic conferences or corporate business retreats. You may not need this, but everyone else, all you paper pushers, should seriously check it out when Memobottle is finally made available for purchase online.