I have a confession to make. While I have had many wood cutting boards over the years, I recently realized that I my current cutting board collection was not suited to my cutting board needs. I arrived at this realization while planning and setting a new window display in the four stores. In preparation for the display, I reviewed the various artists and current selection of cutting boards we had on hand. I estimated what I thought I would need to “fill” each window. I reread the materials we had about our artists and how to care for wood. I rewrote the product knowledge materials adding new thoughts about why wood is great to use in the kitchen. I talked with Polly about the core information on care and use. We compared notes about what boards we each have at home and how we use them. Though I do have wood cutting boards (a very large carving board with a trough, an old generic one, a new and glorious walnut board that I ironically save for special occasions), I have come to realize that I am in need of some particular cutting boards for convenient every day use. Suddenly I felt inspired to shop for new wood cutting boards.
I went to the Georgetown store to identify the boards I would put in the window and how I would present them. This meant that I picked up many boards and looked at them. In doing this I started to fall in love with particular cutting boards.
The Dickinson checkerboard end grain one is made of walnut, cherry, oak and maple. It is 9 inches square and 1 inch thick and can be used on both sides. The Larchwood end grain board at 2” thick, reminds me of a butcher block. It comes in rectangle, circle, and oval shapes in varying sizes. It is a warm creamy color with honey tones in the grain figuring. Northwood makes a delightful small board with inlaid circle and arcing designs and a cutout hole for hanging. At 6.5” x 9” it is a perfect small board for quick jobs. JK Creative and Hardwood Creations make striped boards in every shape and size.
I covet Wooden Palate’s end grain, fumed oak cutting board with feet at 19”x14” x5”. It is visually spectacular and would make any serious chef lustful. I can definitely imagine planning my kitchen around this board!
I have given cutting boards for wedding gifts for 30 years. I received cutting boards as a wedding gift 30 years ago. I gave my husband a glorious walnut board for Christmas last year. I love to cut on wood cutting boards.
Within 24 hrs of sorting wood boards for the window, I identified what I need immediately and what I want in the long term. I definitely need a small every day cutting board. I slice tomatoes for breakfast every day; I make muesli with chopped fresh fruit every other day;
I chop dinner veggies for two every night. I want a board that is small enough for me to keep it on the counter in easy reach; I bought myself the Dickinson 9” square in the checkerboard pattern (and I have used it everyday since!)
My sister always has a designated board for onions and garlic to avoid any chance of garlic flavored strawberries. I want a bigger board for prepping meats and fish for dinner; big enough to cut up a chicken. And perhaps one more in between board for larger chopping endeavors such as prepping quantities of fruit or veggies for my juicer.
A small board with a gutter might be handy for juicy small jobs like tomatoes and fruit. Generally, I want cutting boards to “live” on or near the counter where I use them. I like them thick enough to stand on end without tipping over. I might consider hanging one or two on our “Julia” styled pegboard.
I have a particular appreciation for end grain boards as they “play nicely” with good knives. Grain and color will be the final defining feature for me. The board I gave to my husband was a slab of walnut with a blond streak running through it on the edges. It was cut to highlight the rings of the tree and pays tribute to natural shape of the wood; I can envision the tree as it grew.
After all of the reviewing, rewriting, and planning, I went to each store and set the window with kitchen wood. Let me know what you think next time you are in the store.