How they came to be ...
After I had been making bowls for about 10-12 years I started experiencing some severe pain and swelling in my right hand and wrist. Pain is nothing new to me. My back was broken in a couple of places many years ago while in the US Air Force and I've had to live with constant pain since. Due to the amount of abuse I'd put my arm through while chopping out bowls (hitting the average bowl 10-12,000 times while chipping them out). I figured that it was Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (which I was surely a candidate for) and thought that I'd have to live with it. The swelling and pain soon got to be so bad that I could hardly use my hand at all. I had to learn to write left handed since I couldn't hold a pen with my right, and I pretty much quit cooking which is something I like to do and am fairly good at. The doctors I visited all tested my lower arm and hand and couldn't find anything wrong with it so this went on for a couple of years.
One day while cleaning up some storm damage I noticed something odd. When I picked up anything small (twigs/small branches) even though they were very light, they caused a lot of pain - while bigger limbs, even those that were very heavy - were much more comfortable. For some reason if I kept my fingers in a more open position the pain lessened or was gone altogether.
I went to my shop and made a wooden "blade" that was wide enough to mimic the holding of a big branch and I went into the house to give it a try. My wife was making macaroni and cheese and as usual the bowl of the spoon was clogging up. I got her to let me try my "stick" and was amazed at the reduction of pain I experienced. After stirring a minute or so with it I saw that even more amazing than the pain reduction was what it was doing in the pot. By having a wide blade from top to bottom it was mixing the macaroni and cheese at a much faster rate than usual and was actually fluffing it up. I tried it on whipped potatoes and noticed that it did them much faster also and nothing seemed to stick to it due to it being a flat surface with no lines or crevices for anything to clobber up or hide in. By having straight sides it also kept the sides of the pot scraped clean. Cleaning the Kitchen Stick is a snap - hot soapy water doesn't bother it!
I also use it as a flipping tool when frying fish in hot oil. I'll hold one in each hand, trapping the fish between the two and can easily turn over things as they brown without having to worry about anything splashing out of the pan. Nothing seems to bother it. In preparation for putting these on sale nationally I placed one in a pot of spaghetti sauce and simmered it for over 3 hours with nothing more than some light staining to show for it.
Now I don't have the pain to deal with after finding a Doctor in Greensboro who found the problem to be in my shoulder, (instead of my wrist) and fixed it. The pain is long gone but the "Kitchen Stick" is here to stay. You can stir much better with your arm than you can with your wrist. To make it more useful, recently I chisel pointed one end (for scraping no stick cookware or prevent scorching in flat bottomed pots) and rounded the other end (for breaking apart frozen vegetables prior to preparation). It's very useful tool and after using it a very short time you won't want to be without it.
The price for KitchenSticks is $5 for a 2pak, plus $3 for postage. Any NC sales also are required to pay NC Sales taxes.
Here's what a couple a folks had to say about them ...
"They're Love at first stir! " ... (Tami of Durham, NC) another said ...
To see the KitchenStick in action ... click this link!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYHMGJTExHc