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Updated: 2019-09-09 23:06

Ellen Silverman

My friend Holton Rower made me a cutting board from a hard wood log called Arbutus that he found on his land in the Pacific NorthWest.? He had the board cut by a friend who has a saw mill, then carved “;Golly’;s Food”; into it with a chisel, Golly being my nickname.? Holton’;s cutting board defies the usual modern thinking about cutting boards that is fearful of any cracks on the theory that they can harbor germs. Holton’;s has a knot and a couple of natural cracks in it which is part of it’;s beauty; I know this board is from a tree and enjoy that knowledge when I cook, an inspiring piece of REAL in a city kitchen.

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Having read the arguments for and against wood and plastic cutting boardsbaby pillow, ?I use wood boards because I like the way they feel and enjoy that intangible connection to trees and nature. (And wood cutting boards seem to beat plastic for their natural anti-bacterial properties.) I use Holton’;s board mostly for cutting vegetables and bread;?there’;s enough expanse of clear cutting space ?that I don’;t worry about the knots and cracks.?I reserve other boards for meat or fish.

The fact is, just about any smooth slab of hard wood –; cherry, maple, walnut for example –; makes a fine cutting board, an idea that has lots of potential in an under-equipped kitchen or if you favor a specific shape or look in a board, or you come across a cache of interesting wood.? It got me thinking and I started poking around Woodfinder, a wood search site, ?to see what kinds of wood I might find if I wanted to make a cutting board. One thing led to another and I came across an Ebay store called Cook’;s Wood that holds auctions of exotic woods in small lots. I started to imagine what I could do with a 34-x-13-3-inch piece of English Walnut.

I could take it to a lumber yard and have it cut it any shape (there’;s all sorts of possibilities) I want though it’;s so beautiful, I’;d probably leave it whole. I imagine the board might need a little sanding and then a good oiling with boiled linseed oil to bring up it’;s luster.


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