Two gentlemen came into the gallery the other day and were having fun browsing the eclectic mix of art, furniture, and repurposed industrial ambiance. When they came across the solid maple and cherry cutting boards made by Brendan Zimmermann, reminiscing led to the great things one can do with a cutting board.
There were so many reasons to own a cutting board! It’s a writing surface when there’s no table. It can wedge a window open, block a door open, be a wheel chock for a trailer, and a carving block for woodcuts….. of course! Why didn’t I know of these years ago?
At last, but not least, they came to cutting veggies, fruits, and meats and this morphed into using it as a serving tray! Yes! That’s what I thought! But then the conversation came to how to clean wood after chopping onions, peppers, raw meat, etc. The one gentleman thought chemicals should be used to kill the bacteria and fungi; the other disagreed, because the chemicals could contaminate the food. Both were right.
Cutting boards definitely need to be sanitized. Using digestible products are safer than and as effective as harsh synthetic chemicals. You’ll want to disinfect the boards at least once a week and after each use, especially after cutting meat. It’s so easy to do and cheap, too! Simply apply a liberal coating of salt, let it set for 5 minutes, then wash it with ½ cup vinegar. (You can also use fresh squeezed lemon juice instead of vinegar.) Your cutting board will stay sweet-smelling, sanitary, and ready for your next task, no matter what it is. Wipe traditional wood boards with vegetable oil once in a while, as well.
Another way to clean, disinfect, and deodorize wood boards is to rub them with baking soda, then spray with vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, rinse with clear water. This mix is fun, because the baking soda and vinegar create a fizzy bubbly reaction.
Wood cooking utensils, cutting boards, chopping blocks, dough bowls, and mixing bowls have been around for centuries and timeless cleaning methods have proved the test of time.
So, tell me, how do you use your cutting board?