We had suspicions earlier in the week, but had managed to soldier on. Last night however the previously mentioned crisis point was reached when, even with a just cleaned load of cutlery from the dishwasher, the number of forks remained at one per diner – seven.
Given that we have a household of two adults plus assorted teenagers and twenty-somethings, numbers for dinner can be a little fluid. People are encouraged to invite others for dinner (on their cooking night) but having seven forks was cutting it a bit fine, I suggested that next time anyone invites someone for dinner they tell them to BYO fork.
I was worried that we were going to get down to so few forks that we would no longer be able to encourage each other to ”use the fork Luke – use the fork” (in spite of the fact that no-one in our house is named Luke this joke never wears thin).
First of all – what has happened to the forks? We still had the regulation amount (ie more than enough) knives and spoons. Could it have been the workers or the students of the house – taking a spoon to eat lunchtime leftover pasta or was it late-night snacking culprits with the cutlery hiding under their beds – I didn’t want to go there.An antique fork, probably found under a teenager's bed five hundred years ago
Laying blame was not going to solve the problem in the short-term, how to solve the current cutlery crisis?
I considered switching our regular diet to spoonable meals only, but the prospect of only soups, stews and risotto, whilst doable in the short term, could start to wear a bit thin by summer.
Not wanting to spend a small fortune on cutlery, which I keep promising myself I will do one day, I took myself off to the local $2 shop – a misnomer if I’ve ever heard one considering it sells some furniture upwards of the two hundred dollar mark, confident of making a purchase of an extra few forks for the household.
The shop had cane baskets full of cutlery – knives, spoons, teaspoons – no forks. Moving down the aisle to the pre-packaged cutlery section there were packets of teaspoons, spoons, knives, ridiculous looking seafood forks, a set of six cocktail forks – but no regular dining forks.
Unfortunately these handy, yet lethal finger forks are no longer in stock...
I approached the girl packing the shelves with the eternal question – “were there any out the back?” She rolled her eyes at me (at me! I've been eye rolling since before you were a speck in your own eye rolling father's eye girly!) and said she would check. She returned with a variety of plastic forks. I considered them momentarily, especially the sturdy looking metal coloured ones, but decided against them in case they melted in the dishwasher.
So, obviously this is not a phenomenon only occurring in our home but in the wider area – where have all the forks gone? I will of course venture further to search over the next few days, but in the meantime I can only conclude that they have gone off to join their spiritual cousins – the single socks.