Dressing your beautiful new hand carved spoon up is a personal thing; some people like a raw spoon that ages and develops a beautiful patina through years of use, and others like a sleek and shiny little number that sits pride of place in the cutlery drawer.
Whatever your choice, there are some basic things that you can do that will see you and your spoon growing old together. Put simply, wash it after you use it by running it under a tap and then leave it to air dry. Don’t soak it as this may cause the wood to split, and don’t pop it in the dishwasher!
Now if you want to treat it, a really good thing to use is a homemade oil and beeswax blend. It’s super easy to make, completely food safe and is handy for adding a bit of shine to any bit of wood lying around the house.
This is what you do: put about 1/2 cup of organic flax seed oil (the type you get from the health food store or supermarket) in a glass jar along with about 15 grams of organic beeswax (about the size of a 25mm cube). Put the jar into a saucepan half filled with water, pop it on the stove and gently heat until the wax melts into a liquid. Give it a sir and set aside to cool where it will turn into a beautiful smelling paste. Pop the lid back on the jar and Bob's your uncle.
Now all you need to do is slather your spoon in the paste, then buff off the excess with a paper towel. You’ll end up with a spoon that likes to show off its lustre and vibrant grain to all its mass produced stainless steel compatriots.
Keep what’s left over in the fridge and reapply whenever the wood is looking a little dry and tired.
If you don’t have flax seed oil you can use other oils like nut oils, but be wary of sharing the spoon with people who may have a nut allergy. Try to avoid olive oil as it can go rancid, and never use mineral oil or boiled linseed oil as they contain nasties.
The oil/beeswax method works best on spoons that aren't used in hot liquids because all your slathering and buffing will be lost the moment you stir a pot of soup as it'll melt into your dinner, and beeswax smells better than it tastes!
What I do for spoons that like a hot bath is to pour some warm flax seed oil into a ziplock bag big enough for your spoon, pop in your spoon, close the bag and leave your spoon wallowing in it's oil bath overnight. The oil will then soak deep into the wood and in the morning, wipe it off, give it a buff and the oil will also harden over the next week or so.
And that's it...enjoy your beautiful new spoon!