Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Island of Misfit Cutting Boards

Old wooden cutting boards are the Rodney Dangerfields of the thrift store. They get no respect. 


They're generally sitting on the back of a bottom shelf somewhere with a pile of mismatched Corelle and frayed wicker plate holders on top of them. And if you go to the trouble of digging one out, it's probably priced at a quarter or 50 cents.


Most shoppers don't even bother to look at them. Because who wants a nasty old dried out, scarred up wooden cutting board?


Um. I do.


Personally, I think old cutting boards are beautiful, even if they are gouged up from years of use. In fact, especially if they are gouged up from years of use. The way I see it, scratches and scars add character.




I never set out to collect cutting boards. But I kept seeing them on the bottom shelves, under the stacks of Corelle. And something about the simple beauty of their clean lines and rounded edges spoke to me. So I bought one, and then another, and pretty soon I decided that whenever I found a sad case for a dollar or less, I'd give it a home. So that's what I do now.


I always wash my "new" cutting boards in hot, soapy water (with a little bit of bleach added) to clean and sanitize them. Then I rub them down with mineral oil.


Usually the mineral oil -- which is non-toxic/food-safe (and dirt cheap) -- soaks into the old, dried-out wood immediately.


Most of my cutting boards are a simple, no-nonsense style with a handle at the top. But a few have fancy inlaid wood designs. Probably somebody's high school shop class project, cast off to the thrift store when Mom decided she didn't want it any more.


And I have a couple of small pieces that are technically trivets, not cutting boards.


Just look at the intricate designs. 


I think they're absolutely gorgeous. 


The bulk of my rescued cutting boards resides on top of my refrigerator ...


... inside an old wire basket...

wood cutting boards

 ... which is another thing I didn't set out to collect but seem to have acquired quite a few of over the years.