It took me more than 20 years to figure out how to properly empty all the peanut butter out of a jar. Things I tried, fruitlessly: Poking at the bottom edges with a butter knife. Sticking my entire hand in the jar (much more of it gets on your knuckles than your fingers). Using a piece of fluffy white bread to wipe down the sides.
It wasn’t until a friend raved about the Tovolo all-silicone jar scraper that I realized the answer to my problems could be solved with $9. I’ve never been a big fan of single-use kitchen tools, deeming it wasteful to spend money on an item that can only do one thing. But at some point, when you’ve done something unsuccessfully too many times, a drastic change is necessary.
The jar scraper, at its core, is very similar to a silicone spatula. But all the ways that it’s different make it incredibly useful for the very specific purpose of getting as much peanut butter as possible out of the jar.
For starters, the silicone material is sturdy enough to scrape sides, but there is a slight amount of flexibility for maneuvering around edges and corners. The handle is long enough that it can actually reach the bottom of those massive Skippy jars that for some reason are only sold outside of New York City. And because the entire scraper is made of silicone — unlike those spatulas with a wooden handle — it’s easy to get all the peanut butter off once it’s on the scraper, which also doubles as a spreader.
And it was only after I found myself reaching for this scraper again and again that I realized its possibilities are infinite. I’ve used it to clean homemade whipped cream out of a bowl, gotten enough batter for an extra mini muffin, and emptied all kinds of jarred sauces, salsas, yogurt, and cream cheese. If it’s a food that doesn’t come out of its container cleanly, it’s a job for my jar scraper. Most recently, I used it to transfer pureed squash into an ice cube tray. It’s clean, it’s efficient, and best of all, leads to just a tiny bit less food waste.
The way I look at it now, I spent $9 on a very important life lesson: With the right attitude and a little bit of creativity, a single-use tool has the potential to do so much more.