Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Breadboard beauties ...

Consider this my homage to the basic wooden breadboard. It is a kitchen's most handsome and versatile workhorse.

Image via Brown Dress with White Dots.

I find beauty in its utilitarian simplicity, with seasoned wood that grows more attractive with use and age. A well-cared-for board will last for generations.

Image via Belgian Pearls.

If a board is used only for cutting bread, all that's necessary is wiping it with a clean cloth. But, if it's used when cutting produce or meats, there are three easy, but important maintenance issues to address.  

Image via Inessa Stewart Antiques.

One of the tricks to keeping a board clean and food safe is maintenance. It's important to season a wooden board to prevent staining and absorption of food odors and bacteria. Mineral oil is a good choice for seasoning the wood since it will not turn rancid as vegetable oils can. Simply wipe down the board with oil and allow it to soak in to fill the wood pores and repel food particles, liquids, and oils.


Images above via House Beautiful (left) and Mimi Williams Interiors (right).

Lots of people use bleach to clean their boards, but that can actually dry out the wood. Instead, wash the surface with a soapy rag or sponge (never immerse it in water), rinse, then, clean the cutting surface with peroxide, which is much more effectively used than chlorine bleach to sanitize wood.

Image via Our Vintage Home Love.

After sanitizing, rinse with hot water, wipe with a clean cloth, and allow it to dry in an upright position. Cutting boards should be kept dry when not in use. Re-oil as needed to maintain the wood.

Image via Inessa Stewart Antiques.

I use my boards for kitchen duty, but I also love to use them for serving and display. Culinary antiques, and in particular vintage breadboards, are a charming addition to just about any tablesetting.

Image via Compulsively Compiled.

After seeing attractive groupings of breadboards as wall displays, I may have to seek out a few more beauties to take up residence along a breakfast room wall. 

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