By Martha Hoover, Cafe Patachou
My most valuable possession is not made of sterling silver or gold, it is not encrusted with diamonds, nor is it an expensive imported item ladened with logos. In the place of all of the aforementioned status items that normally connote a “valuable possession” is a simple wooden spoon. What makes this wooden spoon so precious, so dear, is that it bears the signature of Julia Child on its bowl. Her signature elevates this common tool of the kitchen to rare kitchen art. How it came to me is just as important in my mind-it was given to me nearly twenty years ago by one of my dearest friends who happened to meet Julia at a book signing held in a cooking supply shop in Aspen, Colorado. Knowing how I revered Mrs. Child, she thought of this clever way to get the well known chef to sign something not quite as ordinary as a book (although I have that too). A wooden spoon is as basic to a kitchen as a refrigerator and a stove. Designer kitchens have them, old tattered kitchens have them too. This utilitarian item – so often ubiquitous and utterly unordinary – will never be used. Instead, it will remain proudly displayed wherever I cook for my family as a reminder of the woman who inspired me as a young girl to devote my life to food.