Over ten years ago, I had finished a big house remodel that included a new and improved kitchen. After the construction was over and it was time to break in the new counter tops, I went shopping for some new accoutrements to go along with my new cooking space. Before making my way to the mall I prioritized my list of what I needed and what I wanted. At the top of that list was a new cutting board; arguably the biggest necessity in every kitchen.
I enjoy cooking and have had many different styles of cutting boards through the years. This new kitchen was designed to minimize counter top clutter, meaning I needed to store my cutting boards. This storage issue led me to look for an alternative form of cutting board technology. In my ventures to find such new technology, I stumbled across a package of “flexible cutting mats” in Crate & Barrel.
These mats are large rectangles of durable plastic that are light and flexible. Being light means they are easily stored and take up little space, but don’t let that fool you. These mats are sound despite their demeanor. Dishwasher proof and easily rinsed, these mats have an impressive life span. But even if you do manage to destroy one, they easy to replace with their inexpensive price tag. Overall, the best feature of these mats is that they are flexible. When you are done chopping, just pick up the sides, walk it over to the pan and easily angle the food into the pan without dropping a thing. It is so much easier than my years of moving onions from a regular cutting board to the stove by the side of my knife.
These cutting boards have so much utility for such a low price. I go through three a year, sometimes more. The first time I bought them, they were on sale for about $5.00. Now they can be purchased in a pack of three for $13. I buy them for all wedding showers, house-warming gifts, and as a “just because” present if a friend had commented on mine. This year, I bought them for Christmas baskets.
The one thing you might not like about them is that you can cut through them with ease with the right knife and pressure. They have also made some changes to the design this year, including a hole in the corner so you could potentially hang the mats to dry. While I still like them, I wish they had thoroughly thought about the changes before they made them. Note to Crate & Barrel design team: call me first.