The spatula is one of my fave kitchen tools. They are flexible. They are heat-resistant (to a point). They have fun colors and they do something really well: They scrape up remains from a bowl, pot, pan, or plate, and suddenly what seemed like nothing, becomes something more substantial.
This is important. I do not want to waste food. As a decent cook (not a chef, but a cook) I adhere to the tradition that one makes the most of what one has. If you’re nodding your head, you’re remembering really good Sunday meals made of nothing but leftovers and unused ingredients.
What seems like nothing, turns out to be something
It’s always surprising. Run the spatula around the side of the saucepan, and voila, there’s more! Discovering how a little adds up to a lot goes to the heart of keeping to a diet. A calorie here, a calorie there, ( often attributed to the late Illinois politician Everett Dirksen*) “and pretty soon you’re talking real money.”
It goes to the heart of perception, and to our favorite quote by George Bernard Shaw, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion it has taken place.”
The metaphor of the spatula phenomena--the illusion of what's really there --extends beyond the kitchen and into your daily work.
|paying attention?||Are there pieces of information that, “scraped” together, would help you to be more informed, and make better decisions?|
|in search of lost time?||Or “scraps”** of time? Yes, it adds up. ’nough said?|
|seeking quality assurance?||It can be a deal-breaker when your clients or colleagues don’t use the spatula to aggregate (test, review, or research) the project before you washed the bowl.|
Whether it is in lean manufacturing, cooking, or your next staff meeting, act on eliminating waste. When we use a spatula --mental or physical --to scrape up the scraps, good things can happen.