Have spork, will travel
Last year, on a trip to London, I picked up a spork – a light plastic utensil which features a spoon at one end, fork at the other and serrated knife edge on the fork side – in a kitchenware shop and I’ve rarely been without it since. The last quarter of 2008 was taken up with train trips to Dublin as I worked on the Foodtalk documentary series and, food on the train being what it is – or isn’t – my spork was invaluable.
Breakfast on the early morning Mallow-Dublin train was made easy by making sure there was some tortilla left over from last night’s dinner to pack and eat en route but it was on the homeward leg, normally in the late afternoon, that the spork really came into its own. Short on time, I often ran into Fallon & Byrne or Avoca to choose from a selection of hummus, crackers, cheese, bread and pâté with, perhaps, a few cherry tomatoes thrown in for good measure.
After my usual last minute scramble to make the train, I relaxed, ensconced in my train seat, and – to the amusment of my fellow passengers – happily cut, scooped, spread and (s)forked up my supper. At that stage in the year, pregnant with Little Missy, I just couldn’t wait until I got home for food or stomach the limp train sandwiches.
Since LM has started on solids, the spork is back in use again. For the last week, while we were housesitting for friends in East Cork, it let me prep her lunch on the move. Bananas, nectarines, pears or, on one day, much to Little Missy’s distain, a kiwi fruit were brought along in a little bowl, peeled, chopped, mashed and fed to the child while we were out and about. While we were able to enjoy lunch in the Ballymaloe House Café (yum), Stephen Pearce Emporium (yum) or Aherne’s of Youghal (hmm), LM chowed down on her own food, making it a positive experience for us as well as the other diners!
The only places I’ve seen these sporks in Ireland are in the shops at Ballymaloe House and the Ballmaloe Cooking School (priced about €2.95) but I think that they should be easy to find in outdoor shops and you can see them online at http://www.light-my-fire.se/230-147-spork.htm. Well worth picking up – for children of all ages.
I’m pretty sure I saw them for sale in the great outdoors in Dublin which is right beside a shop I’m sure you know, kitchen compl(e)(I)ments.
I just can imagine you sitting in train and being the envy of every otehr passenger with your ‘picnic’ 🙂
The minute I saw the photo I thought ‘yip LM is on solids and this is this is a cutie baby gadget’. But it’s actually an adult (of all ages) utensil. Hmmm I reckon HoneyB would love one – I must keep an eye out. Thanks for the tip!
Thanks for the tip – it does look like something that you’d find in the Great Outdoors. I used to love calling into Kitchen Complements when I lived in Dublin. They’re great for free demonstrations and I’ll never forget the night that I bought my large cast-iron casserole dish there. The Husband and I were en route to an exhibition opening in the RHA so it duly got dragged around the gallery, accompanying us to the pub for a few drinks afterwards. I’m surprised it ever made it home!I’m not sure if I was the envy or the opposite of my fellow passengers, Elke! I certainly got plenty of curious looks.Gillian: living in a wee cottage, everything has to do double duty. That’s why I liked the spork so much. It’s useful before, during and after solids for LM! I bet HoneyB would have a great time with it.
Lakeland sell them in the UK!