(Updated: The above picture is of an off-set spatula. Some people (ahem, Jenifer) said they didn't know what one looked like, so here it is.)
There are certain things in life that aren't neccessary but help make life so much sweeter. Right now I'm sitting out on my deck overlooking my backyard (thank you husband for the wireless laptop!). The grass is that amazing green that it gets only in late spring when the spring rains and the first warm days collide. My flower pots are full of pansies which are running riot, much to my delight. My chickens are wandering the yard, nibbling grass and clucking softly to each other. My neighbor is mowing his lawn which makes for some noise I could do without but is also generating that heavenly fresh-cut grass smell which says "Spring!" to me. I don't need any of these things, but man, do they make life better!
There are some kitchen gadgets that are a lot like fresh-cut grass and foraging chickens, you can cook without them but they sure make it a lot more fun. My off-set spatula is one of these. I love my off-set spatula. You can get them in lots of different sizes but my favorite is my little one. It is about the size of a butter knife, I got mine from Pampered Chef the last time the Pampered Chef parties went through my group of friends. I don't think I bought it on purpose, it was probably that extra $5.oo I needed to get that free gift or something, but oh, am I glad I did! The official use of an off-set spatula is for spreading things like frosting on a cake or sandwhich spread on bread, or something like that. For this use it is fabulous. Because the handle is off-set (hence the brilliant name!), you don't get your fingers covered in goop. It also provides a good angle so that you can make those frosting swirls on the top of the cake like you see in the cookbooks.
The other uses are what I really love. My favorite use is to unstick muffins. I never use paper liners when I make muffins, partly because I really cheap, partly because I'm trying to be "green" and the wasted paper just kind of gets to me, and partly because I have silicone muffin tins so I don't really need liners. But I do need to go around the edges to loosen the muffins from the pan and then tip them out without burning my hand. The off-set spatula is perfect for this! The angled handle lets me get it in along side the muffin and the fact that it doesn't have a sharp edge lets me pop them out without gouging my muffins all to bits. I also use the spatula for loosening the bread from the bread pans before turning them out on the rack to cool.
I could go on and on, but I won't. Just suffice it to say that I love my off-set spatula, almost as much as my chickens!