When I last moved, my family very adorably handed me a bag of accoutrements for my apartment. They were the kind of things I would never think to get: coasters, new dish towels, and—really the top of the list of things I would never buy for myself—a spoon rest. You know, a little dish to place next to your stove in which to place your mixing spoons and ladles. This spoon rest in particular was porcelain, painted with a riot of bright color and pattern. It was very pretty! And I was also pretty sure I would never, ever use it. 

However, things change. I found the spoon rest extremely useful. Making a bubbling, florescent red-orange tomato sauce on a white stovetop will do that. Before, when I was younger and dumber and making soup or pancakes or bolognese—or anything else that required a little hovering—I would just place my utensil on the edge of the pan or the edge of the sink. The pan is, as you know, a very bad idea: things drip off the spoon, and then they scorch, and then you are miserable. Or, the utensil gets too hot, and you don't think about it, so you are very quickly also miserable and nursing a burn. And the edge of the sink? Also not great. More often than not, the spoon would fall in, requiring—for me at least—rinsing it off three or four times to rid it of any lingering sink germs. 

But the solution was in that little spoon rest. Determined to not drip tomato sauce on my white stove top, and to not do anymore washing than I needed to, I pulled out the dish and placed it right by the stove. In between stirring, I could place my spoon there, no problem. It only required a quick rinse after I was done, and I escaped with a shiny stove top and no burnt fingers.