The Wooden Spoon: Not Just an Instrument of Discipline from Your Childhood


Sure, it’s used for cooking, but that’s not its full potential. Days when my fingers are swollen, I use it push buttons on my blender or select the crushed ice option on my fridge, but that’s just my kitchen. In my car I use it for tricky seat belts buttons, my son’s car seat and I have even used the handle to get my keys from between the driver’s seat and middle console. Sometimes, it’s even handy in the grocery store.

Have you ever noticed kitchen utensils like wooden spoons hanging randomly from shelves on every aisle?  One night I was shopping and down to the last item on my list. Over my head a blue canister of Progressive breadcrumbs sat mocking me from the top shelf. Not even on the edge…no, two spaces back. A person with some sense would shop during a busier time, so she could ask someone for help, but that’s not how I operate….I’m senseless. I could’ve tried for the Contadina or store brand breadcrumbs, but no,  they’d have been expecting that. I was leaving with what I came for and no out of reach shelf was going to stop me. It was time to be a smarter than that canister of breadcrumbs.

Still alone in the aisle, I noticed a bag of long handled spoons hanging from the shelf. I parked the shopping cart in below next to the shelves below the breadcrumbs. I grabbed the bag of spoons, held them by the spoon end, stood on my tip-toes, reached up and was able to wedge the handles behind the canister and pulled it off the shelf and knocked it right into my cart. I took off to the check stand and had the store in my rear view mirror five minutes later.

Article Written by Staff Writer, Karen Vasquez

Karen Vasquez is a mom of a 6 year old son, writer, blogger and patient. Symptoms of tingling and blue fingers baffled Navy doctors in 1992. She was diagnosed with Scleroderma at age 23 in 1994. Then in 2007 she was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis. Karen has had her share of medical “adventures” and tries to find the humor in them wherever she can.

  • I don’t use spoons to grab things as you do, but I do use my hot mitts for many things other than grabbing a pan…

    They’re silicon impregnated mitten-ish things, so they’re great for grabbing things like the slick olive oil bottle or the pitcher of iced tea. They’re also the best bottle and jar opener ever – less pain on the hands because they’re heavily cushioned, and the coating doesn’t slip.

  • irish

    I keep a nut cracker in my kitchen drawer to use to open screw tops on bottles. Great idea from my aunt years ago!

  • linda

    My handy tool is a pair of kitchen tongs. The are great for reaching things from the high shelves in my kitchen or other areas of my home where things are just out of reach. I’m only 5’2″ and some days stretching, reaching, or climbing on my step ladder is just out of question, so out come my handy tongs!

  • Dottie Balin

    Great story. I have used my share of spoons, or whatever I could find to get things down from shelves as well as many other uses. But my favorite is I now use my cane. I turn the cane over and use the curved handle. It is really good for reaching things high. Thanks for sharing..I will keep a spoon now in my car. 🙂

  • Much-needed product that was completely sold out on the reachable shelves, but there was some stored on an insanely high shelf (probably 12 feet up), and far enough over from the regular shelves that even if I’d stood on the top shelf I would’ve had to lean out far enough to fall off.

    Hmmmm, wait a minute. I’m a jock!

    Grabbed a 4-pack of bar soap, and instructed my companion to stand under the shelf. Threw two perfect strikes on the inside, knocking two off the edge of the shelf into my companion’s hands, and I’m sure WalMart staff is still scratching their heads over how anyone got stuff down off that shelf. 🙂

  • Cathy

    And rubber spatulas are great for putting sunscreen and lotion on places I can’t reach!

  • Sapphire

    I’m always using spoons to get things off the top shelf or from the top of the fridge at home. Sure my husband is 6′, but he’s not always home and he forgets that I can’t reach! I think that’s why wooden spoons exist! Those sporks are great, too, since they can grab onto things 🙂

  • Julie VanNorman

    Applause on the Wooden Spoon story! Another creative and helpful use for; “Our Spoons”!
    Understand about what we want on the grocery shelf being out of reach. There are alot of things that are not within my reach from a electric wheelchair cart. Amazing how the little victories can mean so much! Thanks for the great idea.

  • Lara

    spoons, spoons, spoons, spoons! Me too!

    I actually open the bottom cabinet, stand on that shelf to give my self a two inches of height and use the biggest spoon in the Flynn(t?) set… the gigantic spaghetti spoon to get things down from heights only my husband can see.

    Spoons! Gotta love ’em!
    feel good!

  • Great story Karen! Spoons are sooooo helpful when you have them around!
    In stores, I have used my cane just the same way you have used the wooden spoons… it’s about the only time I like carrying it around 😉
    That’s it: there will be a wooden spoon in my car starting today 🙂

  • hahaha

    I love it!

  • chris

    What a great story, who new the stores had strategically placed mommas little helpers around the store, with you in mind.

  • Kathy Vasquez-shaw

    I love it !!!