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  • Writer's pictureThe Kitchen Paddler

The Kitchen Paddler

It's been several years now that I've taken a heightened interest in eating well, and living a simpler life. Out of that interest came a desire to make things - not only my famous food concoctions, sourdough breads (which I am still perfecting), but knitting, sewing, hammering, gardening and of course, my kitchen paddles. And I admit, I'm an amateur at everything.

I did get a boost with the kitchen paddles. My husband, Dave Connell, is a canoe builder. He's a highly regarded craftsman in the Muskoka and surrounding area, and I have not only capitalized on his expertise and knowledge of wood, but I also get all of his scraps.

Yes, scraps. I sell finely crafted scraps. My wooden paddles are environmentally friendly. I use up the stuff others can't and make it into a beautiful and useful product. No plastic here.

How did I get started? My daughter's friend was getting married, and for her wedding shower, I wanted to give her a collection of items that I enjoy using in the kitchen. One of them was an old, very long wooden spoon made by a friend. I wanted to find something similar but couldn't. My husband suggested I make one. This made me start thinking about the design and functionality of the spoon. I liked the 16-inch length, but it needed a flat edge and a corner to scrape the bottom and edges of a pot. It also needed a slightly rounded back edge for bowls. I also did not need the scoop shape of a spoon for the way that I preferred to use it. I drew a few mock-ups and when I found one I liked, Dave set me up at the bandsaw, an the rest is history.

One little problem though. Setup was in our unfinished garage. Not sure if you're familiar with the Muskoka area, but we do winter with a vengence! Here I am in late fall, bundled to the max to work on the paddles.

My husband started to feel sorry for me after the first winter. I now have an insulated garage, with windows, and a small, but pretty efficient space heater. I can work in winter without fear of hypothermia or frostbite!

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