The Vintage Spatula

When traveling and I tell people that I’m searching for the perfect vintage spatula, they look at me a little funny. It’s a great topic. You’re only as good as your bow and arrow, right?

That’s why I like a classic cast iron skillet (or wok) and a spatula that can stand the test of time and won’t bend or melt.

There are wood spatulas and plastic spatulas. There are metal spatulas that are slotted, and spatulas that aren’t. Flipping a burger requires a big one and, on the other hand, an egg needs a more delicate one. Any well-equipped kitchen will probably have several types, and all can be useful for a variety of things!

My utensil drawer is tidy and sweet. If I haven’t touched something in a year, or even six months, it goes. My spice drawer is pretty tight too. I don’t keep a lot of junk around. It makes it easy to find what I’m looking for.

If you visit my house, you’ll see that I don’t collect much. I cherish children’s books, but don’t amass much more than that. I like living minimally and what I do own is precious to me. It has either historical or sentimental value, or I absolutely adore it.

And yes, I adore good quality spatulas. Even more if their vintage.

Unfortunately, the modern materials that make spatulas safe for nonstick pans also tend to make them bad spatulas overall. Many nonstick spatulas are made from nylon and are difficult to maneuver under delicate items, like fish and omelets. Plus, these spatulas aren’t always as heat-resistant as manufacturers promise. They can melt or fray around the edges in a searing-hot pan and get into your food. Plus, your eggs can stick to nylon spatulas like glue and make (and break) a beautiful egg over-easy.

The right spatula can help you flip a delicate fish fillet without breaking it apart, and can make clean work of scraping the last bit of batter or sauce from a bowl.

A good spatula should offer some degree of precision and maneuverability. The fish spatula is an essential, and one of my personal faves. It can handle hand-pressed burgers just as well as neatly flipping gluten free pancakes. It is, for the most part, one of those wonderful and endlessly helpful kitchen tools!

My cousin Ann has a spatula she inherited from her Dad that he made for her mother in his barn workshop. She instantly understood. It’s a classic. You can see where it was soldered or welded together, and it’s beautiful. I don’t get jealous, but loved that one-of-a-kind so much! If I get a chance to hop in a thrift store, I always search for a sturdy vintage spatula like hers.

The funny thing about my search for antique spatulas is that I hardly ever find them at thrift or consignment stores. You’ll find some on Etsy and Ebay if you do an online search for antique or vintage spatula, but the good ones are hard to find. They must be loved so much by their owners.

Isn’t that true with anything wonderful?