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Monday, July 19, 2010

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without, tip #1

I have heard this saying all my life. Sometimes, the admonition was one of the four aspects, as in the almost empty shampoo bottle--"use it up."

Make it do

Over the years, I have owned several white spatulas that I used for scraping the mixing bowl to remove all the cake mix or mashed potatoes or whatever, getting every last bit in order not to waste anything. In order to clean more food from dishes, I used the spatula.  Then, someone decided it would be a good idea to use my white, curved spatula in a skillet. You know the rest of this story....

No more spatula for me. There was never a replacement offered. By the way, this torture of my tools happened way before the spatulas of today that can deal with a skillet. Misuse and lack of caring was the only reason behind destruction of my stuff....okay, Linda, take a deep breath and continue the post!

Yes, I know they make "rubber" spatulas that can withstand skillet cooking heat. But, mine were not that kind. I now have one.

You have heard it said that "necessity is the mother of invention." I don't know if this would quality as an invention, but it worked in a pinch.

Of course, the rubber spatulas wear out. One day, I was spatuless and needed one.

Just take a lid that you are going to throw out or that is not needed. DON'T use the Tupperware unless you have just given up on using the stuff. Take a knife of your choice or any cutting instrument, scissors or razor, and fashion a new spatula for scraping.

You will not have a real handle. It won't work for mayonaisse jars. However, it will scrape a bowl or plate. Just cut the lid in half and use the round side to scrape. Or, if the plastic is sturdy, cut it with a wide "handle" that is short and has a curved edge. The handle is not to use as a handle.  It is just to have plastic extending into the palm of the hand for easier handling. The first shape I made was not handy at all because the plastic was thin. I used it with difficulty. It did the job. The next time, either the plastic or the design was better.

The whole lid can be used without cutting. Usually, there is a lip on the lid that won't be as easily cleaned. Just use it however it works best for you. Maybe you can just cut off the lip that slips onto the package. Consider the lids from round oatmeal cannisters. These are just the right size for the hand. Cut off the rim and you have a utensil to scrap every bit of food from a bowl or plate.

I usually use these only in a pinch. Maybe the two bought spatulas I have now are dirty. Then, I grab this one from the drawer or cut a new scraper. The first time I cut one of these from a lid, someone had just destroyed my last spatula! Since I wanted a certain kind for a replacement and was unwilling to buy something I did not really want, a lid looked perfect to me.

Hold the lid with the thumb on one side and fingers on the back. Use the position to push with the fingers to curl the lid around the thumb slightly. The curve/curl makes the side stronger.

Except for scraping jars, I could easily use one of these forever.

Has anyone tried this? How do you like it for a "make do?"

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