Ripples’ New Locally Crafted Cutting Board

The Fayetteville Farmers Market offers unique wooden cutting boards.

Bamboo tea strainer next to chai tea mix and great northern white beans.

To get the gluten completely gone from our kitchen, we had to address common sources of cross-contamination, such as the pasta strainer and cutting board.  We gave  our old (still rather new) cutting boards to friends, and at Saturday’s market I bought a new one for $40.  Purchasing a cutting board like this not only keeps my gut healthier by eliminating any potential gluten, it also takes us one step closer to the off-grid homestead by supporting a local family, and envisioning the type of kitchen we want to build (natural materials). I also bought a bamboo tea strainer a little while back from Ozark Natural Foods, and am really happy that I don’t need to worry about rust which ruined my last tea strainer (admittedly due to not cleaning it properly). Here’s a picture of the bamboo strainer, fun to use and easy to dry!

The Pennington Family makes very fine boards, boxes, stools & utensils and sells their wares at the local farmer’s market.  Our new board is much larger and more useful than the old, bread-slice-shaped one.  It’s made of various kinds of wood: walnut, sassafras, sycamore, red elm & catalpa. It has a wooden handle, too, which is nicer than having to lean the board against something (prevents mold) and convenient when you don’t own a car and will be carrying this heavy board for 5 miles like I did Saturday.  If you don’t own a  wooden cutting board but have always wanted one, you can order a board from the Penningtons at (479)631-7427 or by emailing rpennington1955@cox.net

If you DO own a cutting board made of wood, here are some great reminders from the Pennington’s brochure on the maintenance of these beautiful, functional works of art:

Cutting Board Care

Our cutting board, made of walnut, sassafras, sycamore, red elm, and catalpa woods.

“Proper surface treatment is important to guard against germs on both new and older boards.  The wood surface needs an oil that can be repeatedly applied to fill the wood pores and repel food particles.  We suggest olive oil, but you can use Beeswax or Coconut Oil.  Before applying oil, warm it slightly. Apply with a soft cloth in the direction of the grain, allowing the oil to soak in between each of the four or five coats required. After each treatment, wait about four to six hours to wipe off the oil that did not soak into the wood.  Keep your cutting board oiled even if you don’t use it on a regular basis.  DO NOT LET YOUR BOARD DRY OUT!”

“Do not put your cutting board in the dish washer or microwave.  Never submerge it in water, as wood is porous and will soak up water causing the board to crack when it dries.  Instead, scrub with hot water and soap, rinse and dry thoroughly.  Alternatively, wipe with full-strength white vinegar, a good disinfectant. Keep a spray bottle of undiluted vinegar handy for easy cleaning and sanitizing.”

“To eliminate garlic, onion, fish and other smells from your cutting board, rub with coarse salt of baking soda.  Let stand a few minutes, wipe off, then rinse with water.  You may need to re-season after rinsing your cutting board.  You can also rub a wedge of lemon on the wood to help keep it free of bacteria and other germs.”

“Cracking and splitting usually occurs when:

  • wood has been soaked in water
  • when the board is subjected to intense changes of temperature or humidity
  • when it dries out from not being oiled regularly

Thanks to the Pennington family for creating this cutting board care brochure, and crafting beautiful boards for the market!

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