Oven Squirrel

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This cute kitchen helper prevents burns and makes a great gift

If you can spare an hour and some half-inch scrap, you can craft this handy oven rack pusher/puller. It’s comfortable to hold, keeps your hands safe from burns, and hooks firmly around an oven’s wire racks to push and pull your baked treats into easy reach.

To use this fun kitchen utensil, hook the back of the squirrel’s neck around the front wire of a grate (inset, opposite page) to pull it out. You can also flip the 

critter upside down to grasp the grate from above. Use the area under the chin to push the grate back in place. 

The squirrel’s narrow width allows over/under hooking of the wire when the racks are placed close together. The bushy tail is big enough for a firm grip, while the thin profile leaves it lightweight. And at about 11" long, your hands stay well away from the heat. 

Feel free to modify this minute mammal however you like. Drill stopped holes for peepers or perhaps epoxy beads in place. Or maybe cut a kerf for a cute smile. In our house, we stash one in a drawer near the main oven and another beside the toaster oven, where it’s particularly useful. But you can drill a hanging hole through the tail or epoxy magnets in its back and stick it to the fridge or your range hood for quick access. Just about any wood species will work (see below). And you can make it into almost any shape, keeping in mind the same principles and hand ergonomics. Most importantly, have fun.

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