Burning With Pride: How I Gave Up Spatulas and Learned to Embrace Pain

Editor's note: Boing Boing's Radical Natural Living series continues. We brought you a year of bathing without soap, 18 months without shampoo, and the joy of alarm-clock-less living. Now, cooking without utensils! This guest post comes from weatherman, a Boing Boing commenter living in Brooklyn. His musings can be found on just about any gadget site and many a culture or politics blog. Because of his commitment to self improvement, he has few friends and no steady work.


About five years ago I was down on my luck; I had moved to a new apartment and between the increased rent and moving expenses, I didn't have much money to spare. To compound the problem, I had lost a box of kitchen utensils in the move. I found myself one early morning trying to make a couple of fried eggs, reaching for the spatula and finding only disappointment.

But in a flash of inspiration, as I stared at my hand I realized that it is shaped very much like a spatula.

Why, I thought to myself, have I succumbed to the pressures of the corporate kitchen culture all these years? Why do I need a spatula made of metal, or worse, plastic?

I flipped my eggs that morning using only my bare hand, and while it hurt a bit, I consider that the pain of a "natural kitchen" rebirth. I gave up cooking utensils that day and never looked back.

You see, the human body was designed to be adaptable. If you use kitchen tools to do things, like grab hot roasts from the oven, stir your curry, or flip hamburgers on the grill, you're only fighting nature and making yourself soft in the process. That's not what nature intended; we evolved these paddles at the ends of our arms for a reason!

If you use your hands for these tasks, there will be pain at first, and you will blister (sometimes horribly) but eventually you will find that you are developing callouses and that your hands become inured to the pain.

Eventually they'll be completely numb and essentially be just large blackened lumps that you'll be able to use for just about anything – not just in the kitchen, but even for hammering nails or breaking small rocks. This is the human body refined and evolved. And that's exactly what the Kitchen Industrial Complex doesn't want.

Sure, I still use a whisk or even tongs on occasion, but only when I'm feeling festive. For the most part my kitchen is bare of unnecessary utensils and my friends admire and envy me for my dedication to the cause of self improvement.

I recommend you become part of the Natural Kitchen Movement; I think that you'll find that you feel better about yourself and even come to realize that you are better than everyone else because of it.

(IMAGE: drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci, spatula from random Google image search results, shooped by Xeni)