I have reached the age where thoughtful and clever gifts outperform the showstoppers. So I was tickled when my brother- and sister-in-law gave me a sandwich spreader (that sleek little tool you see above). On a family vacation, I had casually remarked that I liked the sandwich spreader that hangs on the knife strip. It has a wooden handle and like many of the tools in this kitchen, it had the character and stature of something that's been in service for generations. The sandwich spreader, with its cartoonish blade and exaggeratedly menacing teeth, charmed me; it's like the awkward teen in the knife family.
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I come from a tradition of cooks who would think: who needs a spreader when you have dinner knives? But now that I've test driven the car, I can tell you that it is every bit as zippy as promised. A sandwich spreader scrapes hard butter into soft curls and can coat a piece of bread with mayo in a single swipe. It knows what it does, and it does it well.
The Wusthof Sandwich Spreader arrived the day before kindergarten began, the day before I would face years of lunch making. I would have seen this as an ominous sign had I known better. But soon I was in the thick of lunch making and searching for my spreader before even a cup of coffee. I've made some mean sandwiches with my spreader, and have enjoyed plenty of toast with salted butter (my reward for sandwich making). And now I have some ideas for you and your future sandwich spreader. Have fun in the trenches; I will think of you:
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.