Julie Lyles Carr: Tongs of Love...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tongs of Love...

I got a little care package in the mail this week.
One of those postal surprises that just make your day.

And this one in particular held an item that made me feel known, made me feel loved.

Made me feel like tossing salad and flippping chicken.

I suppose a little backstory would be in order.

Upon my marriage 20 years ago, I hit my local Wal-Mart to fill in the kitchen ware gaps following my wedding showers. Somehow tongs had never made it into a gift basket and so I purchased the cheapest pair I could find.

Now, I can't be the only girl out there who is still using a utensil or appliance or linen or whatever from her newlywed nuptial days that is showing the wear and tear of daily household chore life. I just feel it deep in my heart. I can't be the only one.

And I was well-schooled in this use-beyond-expiration-date model in my mother, because she can absolutely beat the life out of an appliance and then take the EKG paddles to it and use it for another 15 years.


This would be that original set of tongs...

Now I realize that this photo does not exactly show that there is any problem with these tongs. So let me point out a little something...

Apparently one of the beneficial features of tongs is that they should have matching ends in length so that lifting heavy pieces of meat out of frying oil does not become a circus act akin to swallowing swords in its level of danger.

As it is, one must perfect a balance ability by which one must carefully position a smoking hot piece of poultry on the longer end of the tong while attempting to grasp any part of the poultry with the other, shorter end of the tong. And please note that the ends had already snapped off a good inch or so, so they're already operating at a significant length disadvantage.
And then there's this little issue.

That would be called rust.

I hear that it's not advised on cooking utensils.

Or that may just be an urban myth.

Moving on.

So my brother and sis-n-law got to witness my tong issues awhile back and were a little, uh, underwhelmed. And when I visited them in Indiana this summer, I marveled at the advance in tong technology and the stability that having tong ends of equal length can yield. They were insistent that it was time for me to trade in the gimpy tongs for something better, something newer.

Something without rust.

I declined their kind offer, packed the van and went home.

Which took a few days.

Because Indiana is a long way away.

So imagine my delight this week when this care package arrived. Inside were treats and goodies for everyone, a potpourri of items we left behind at their house, a pound of some of my favorite coffee beans and this:

Yes. New tongs.

They are beautiful.

They shine. They have ends that are the same length.

It's flipping Nirvana.

And I mean that in the literal sense of the word, as in, really a joy to flip things, as opposed to the colloquialism of the word which is a substitute amongst cool teens for the R rated profanity. Flipping. Seriously.

Best of all was this little note tapped to the new tongs...

You've just got to know you're loved when someone knows the state of your tongs and is willing to send you the replacement you won't just go out and buy for yourself.

Known and loved.

Thank you, R&J.

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