The Spring holiday season is upon us; both Holi and Passover kicked off this weekend. Last week, many celebrated Norwuz. And less than a week from today, it’ll be time to hide those Easter eggs. It’s a celebratory time that feels especially weighty this year as we start to glimpse the dim light at the end of the COVID tunnel (though I hope you’re celebrating safely. We’re still not through this!) In light of these holidays, I know a ton of cooking is happening, and I’m elated about that. But it also sets my internal kitchen safety alarm a-ringin’—more cooking means more chance for kitchen accidents and as a notorious nervous nelly, I would hate to see you or any of your dear loved ones injured in pursuit of the perfect noodle kugel, sabzi polo, spiral ham, or ladoos.
So today, I’m coming atcha with something I’ve shared about in various forms over the years. I kick each cooking class I teach off with this safety tip, have shared about it on YouTube, and frequently mention it on Instagram. I’m so passionate about this particular practice that if I could shout it from a mountaintop, I would. In fact, next time I find myself on raised ground, I probably will. So for some of you, this may be a bit repetitive, but I had to share about this on the off chance you haven’t heard me mention it because I want you all cooking delicious food, safely. Or perhaps you’ve already seen/heard me discuss this but still haven’t implemented it into your own cooking routine. Why not?! Don’t you think I have your best interest at heart? Okay, that’s enough guilt tripping for today, let’s get into it:
Today’s tip: you have to start stabilizing your cutting board.
Using a cutting board that wiggles and/or wobbles even a little bit while you’re cutting on it is a leading cause of kitchen injury (according to my vague memory of the Food Safety and Sanitation lecture from my first week of culinary school—good enough for me!). Of course, investing in a board that has rubber grips is always an option, but if that’s not on the table for you…
Get ready to cook with your chef’s knife and cutting board of choice.
Create a grippy surface to go under your cutting board. Here are your options:
Paper towel— Lightly wet two or three squares then wring out most of the moisture. Fold them into a rectangle that will fit, fully concealed, under your cutting board. Toss when you’re done.
A very thin kitchen towel or rag— lightly wet, wring out, and place the towel under your cutting board. It should fit, fully concealed in a single layer under the board. Wash your towel after each use.
A piece of grippy drawer liner— cut it into a rectangle that will fit, fully concealed under your cutting board. Rinse it after each use and make sure it’s fully dry before your next use. This is my preferred method because it’s easy and reusable, ooh la la.
Check your work. Place your hand in the center of the board and lightly push down and away from your body. If it shifts, even a little, you’re still in the *~hand cutting danger zone~*. Here’s how to troubleshoot:
For the paper towel or kitchen towel method, first, try wringing out a bit more of the water. If that doesn’t work, play around with making the grippy surface thinner or thicker by folding/unfolding it.
The drawer liner will lose its grip after a few months of use, so if it’s slippery under your board, it’s probably time for a replacement.
I hope I’ve convinced you of the many* benefits of a stable cutting board. And I hope you’re enjoying this celebratory season as safely as possible, both in and out of the kitchen.
I have a few plugs before we go! First, don’t forget that today is your last day to nab my e-book In Harmony: Spring at a 10% discount! And next, a little soft launch action: Abigail of This Needs Hot Sauce and I are collaborating on a virtual cooking class! It’s scheduled for a few Sundays from now on April 18th and will be meal prep focused and vegetarian. More details to come, but I wanted to share this exciting news with you and give you an opportunity to grab your spot now if you want it! Use code “SUNDAY” for a 10% discount on the class. And if you’re a paid subscriber, I’ll share a 20% discount code with you this Friday, so stay tuned for that.
Alright, that’s it from me to day. If you have questions, have ideas for tips I should include in future editions of The Fresh Letter, or would just like to say hello, please feel free to reply to this email— I love to chat!
*The only benefit is emerging from your cooking adventures unscathed, but I’m guessing that’s enough.
With love and a tip of my chef’s hat,