Woodworking, too??

Not only do I have an affinity for cooking, but I also enjoy creating things beyond the kitchen—specifically woodworking. There is something about transforming a bare piece of wood into something special.

This Christmas project was special in its own way. My father-in-law’s family owned some property on Bayou Dularge in Theriot, Louisiana. Connie’s grandmother grew up on this property. More recently, they grew navel oranges, satsumas, and lemons for Connie and her family to sell at the Baton Rouge Farmers Market. A few years ago, they tore down the house her grandmother grew up in but salvaged much of the cypress wood. Left on the property were three small buildings protecting the farm equipment.

Fast forward a few years. This summer, the family sold the property, and we had to remove the three sheds. I went down with the Boudreauxs to help take down, de-nail, and clean the salvaged cypress. I had a trailer full of boards for Connie and me to use. There are some plans for me to make a headboard for our bedroom using this wood.

But how does this wood tie into #CajsianCooking? I had a difficult time trying to figure out what to give Connie’s dad and brother for Christmas. Being the two Boudreaux men that took care of the property and their love of cooking, I decided to make them roux spoons out of the cypress boards.

I found a good piece of cypress and using my planer, cleaned it down and smoothed it out. From there, I drew a template of the spoon size and shape I wanted. See, a roux spoon is made different ways: it could have a flat edge with a little curve or flat edge with a “bowl.” The flat side is for stirring the roux while its color deepens to that chocolate-y, deep brown color. I decided on the flat edge with a bowl.

After drawing the template, I proceeded to make the bowl of the spoon. I started using a hand chisel, and from there I ended up using my hand router. To smooth out the bowl, I just used my hand orbital sander and carefully cleared out excess.

When that was complete, I cut out the utensil using my jigsaw. I used my belt sander to create the shape I wanted. To smooth out imperfections, I just used my orbital sander again.

With all that was said and done, I gave the spoons a bath. Then, another wipe down using vinegar and water. After that, I rubbed the spoons with cooking oil and baked at 350 degrees for two minutes to season them. They’re ready to use now!

Here is the final product. It was great to see my in-laws’ reactions when I gifted them the spoons. It brought me great joy to create and make them, and I know that they will bring joy (and delicious food) to the family as well.

Merry Christmas!

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