Old wooden cutting boards are the Rodney Dangerfields of the thrift store. They get no respect.
They’re generally sitting on the back of a bottom shelf somewhere with a pile of mismatched Corelle and frayed wicker plate holders on top of them. And if you go to the trouble of digging one out, it’s probably priced at a quarter or 50 cents.
Most shoppers don’t even bother to look at them. Because who wants a nasty old dried out, scarred up wooden cutting board?
Um. I do.
Personally, I think old cutting boards are beautiful, even if they are gouged up from years of use. In fact, especially if they are gouged up from years of use. The way I see it, scratches and scars add character.
I never set out to collect cutting boards. But I kept seeing them on the bottom shelves, under the stacks of Corelle. And something about the simple beauty of their clean lines and rounded edges spoke to me. So I bought one, and then another, and pretty soon I decided that whenever I found a sad case for a dollar or less, I’d give it a home. So that’s what I do now.
I always wash my “new” cutting boards in hot, soapy water (with a little bit of bleach added) to clean and sanitize them. Then I rub them down with mineral oil.
Usually the mineral oil — which is non-toxic/food-safe (and dirt cheap) — soaks into the old, dried-out wood immediately.
Most of my cutting boards are a simple, no-nonsense style with a handle at the top. But a few have fancy inlaid wood designs. Probably somebody’s high school shop class project, cast off to the thrift store when Mom decided she didn’t want it any more.
And I have a couple of small pieces that are technically trivets, not cutting boards.
Just look at the intricate designs.
I think they’re absolutely gorgeous.
The bulk of my rescued cutting boards resides on top of my refrigerator …
… inside an old wire basket…
… which is another thing I didn’t set out to collect but seem to have acquired quite a few of over the years.