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Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Favorite Gifts This Year

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas weekend. The work and activity wiped me out for a couple of days afterward, but I'm recovering my energy now. 

My favorite gifts

I have to preface this with a comment that I typically request very practical gifts, especially gifts that make my life easier.

First on my list: an oversized cutting board

This is a 12 by 18-inch white plastic cutting board, 1/2-inch thick. It's a commercial cutting board. My family members bought it from a restaurant supply store. Restaurant supply stores typically carry good-quality, durable, basic kitchen tools at better than department store prices (for similar quality). 

This was an item that I was very specific about. I took measurements of my available countertop work surface, the interior height of my dishwasher, and my storage area for keeping cutting boards. I wanted as large of a board as possible, which would fit within those limitations. The standard sized cutting boards often leave me with a big mess of veggie bits that have migrated off the edges of the cutting board and sometimes onto the floor. I like a large working surface so all the pieces remain on the board until needed. 

To give you an idea on size, the above is a photo of my bread board (which is standard home cutting board size) placed on top of my new white cutting board. I have 2 other plastic cutting boards, one is quite small and used for small chopping jobs, the other is about the size of my wood bread board. I will continue using the other boards along with the new one. I usually choose the cutting board according to the size of mess I anticipate making.

Are your cutting boards large enough for your cooking style? I think some of us are just not so tidy when cooking and need larger surface areas for the different steps. (That's my way of saying that I'm a messy cook.)

Come back tomorrow, and I'll tell you about a couple of other favorite (and practical) gifts from this year.

BTW, my daughters loved the snowman-mittens gift. I love quick crafts that result in cute gifts!


  1. We give gifts that are mostly practical and no one would ask for but are fun anyway. This year we gave all the kids sweater pill shavers. I've seen some of my kids wearing something that had pills on them so that was a practical gift. Second we gave all the kids mini waffle makers Aldi had in their specials aisle. I thought they were cute so I gave my kids those and that was a very popular gift! We gave them bags of good ground coffee, some chocolate, a Dutch perpetual calendar which is used every year adding events to finally build a history of births, deaths, anniversaries, etc. We played the cup game where I stuffed money, chapstick and numbered cards underneath each upside down cup. The numbers were for gifts that were too large to fit under the cup. My dad and MIL came for the day and played with us. Gifts ranged from money, chapstick, jars of cookie mix, boxes of macaroni and cheese, one size fits all socks, candles, stuffing mix, gift cards and a few more things I don't remember. We had about 40 overturned cups and everyone (even the 91 YO parents) enjoyed the game very much. Everyone got something. It was a nice stress free day and we had a simple ham dinner with a hashbrown casserole and Christmas Cauliflower. We had decorate-your-own Christmas cookies and lemon meringue pie for dessert.

    1. Wow, Alice! It sounds like you had a wonderful day. I love the gifts you chose, too. I'd be happy with any of them. I love that you were able to include the grandparents in the cup game. I'm sure your day was a hit with all the generations.

  2. Sounds like a fun game! Cat


  3. Sorry, my above comment was meant as a reply to Alice. When I tried to sign in to google, something blipped and I guess I ended up in a different spot.

    Anyhow, your oversize cutting board is a GREAT idea! I, too, often "overflow" my regular size one (which looks to be a similar material as what you just got). We do have a couple of those thin plasticky sheet type that you can lay down, but I don't like them nearly so much plus I feel like they get cleaner when run through the dishwasher. I'm sure you will get lots of use out of that!


    1. Hi Cat,
      I used the oversize cutting board this afternoon for taking apart and slicing/dicing the ham. It was great to have room for everything on one surface. Anything that fell off the board was due to my own clumsiness.
      I haven't tried the thinner cutting sheets. The one real positive I see with those is you can transfer chopped foods to a pot and fold up the sides of the mat to create a pouring edge.
      I hope you and your family had a lovely Christmas. Are you feeling up to speed following your surgery? Or are you still recuperating?

  4. We have various sizes of cutting boards. Some are very large for cutting up big pieces of meat (pig roasts, etc.) and some are small with some in-between. A few years ago, we got a couple of medium size plastic ones that we needed that would go in the dishwasher. Well, we never dreamed that they would warp in the dishwasher, but they did. You were smart to get a better quality one. The warped ones are still usable, but annoying sometimes because they are not flat.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      We have a smaller plastic cutting board that we bought to take on a trip (wouldn't take up much space, but I could still use as a surface to make sandwiches and burritos and cut up apples). Anyway, this was a cheap and thin one and it, too, warped in the dishwasher. It's still usable, but like yours, won't lie completely flat.
      It's nice, isn't it, to have a large enough cutting board to do those big jobs, like cutting up large pieces of meat. I used mine to take apart the ham today. There was enough room on the board for the ham and to hold the chopped and sliced meat piles. Very nice to have an oversize cutting board, as you've already discovered.

  5. I made your Snowman-Mittens gift idea...! I had several coworkers who gifted me and others on our team with various holiday goodies/treats over the weeks. In return, I was able to put several wee mittened snowmen together for them. And with little cost or effort -- yet so cute...! They really did make the perfect sweet/simple coworker gifts, so thanks so much for sharing....

    1. I'm so glad to hear this. And I'm glad the snowman-mitten gifts were just the right simple, coworker gift.
      I hope the rest of your holiday was wonderful.


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