When I was young, I remember watching my Nonno fashion wooden spoons at the tall bench in his makeshift garage workshop. His wife used the carefully crafted creations almost exclusively; her irresistible Italian meals somehow enhanced by the handmade offerings.
A few years ago my widowed Nonnina had to leave her home and kitchen behind, living now without a stove or her collection of wooden spoons. When we picked through and packed up six decades of possessions the spoons and their significance were not lost on our family. Though the function of some had long since disappeared - riddled with rot, split and splintered - their form and formation made these treasures worth holding onto.
I keep mine alongside other wooden and bamboo utensils, easily accessible and prominently displayed – small details that add an element of warmth to our kitchen, even on the coldest Montreal nights.
(Images: MaryAnne Petrella)