Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Wood You Rather

If you don’t want to fork over the money for a good wood cutting board, or you like other surfaces instead of wood, there are many choices available.

The main second choice would be plastic.

There are both advantages and disadvantages of these boards.

Advantages include…

  • affordable
  • are priced economically
  • available in many sizes
  • can be washed in the dishwasher, which is more likely to kill all of the bacteria
  • easier to maneuver
  • lighter
  • non-porous material that can’t absorb liquids
  • offer a non-porous surface so juices are unable to penetrate the surface. Furthermore,
  • practical to use
  • relatively easy on knife edges
  • require no additional maintenance
  • safe for knives

Disadvantages include…

  • don’t last as long
  • have no self-healing or bacteria-fighting properties
  • knife-scarred plastic surfaces are impossible to clean and disinfect manually
  • pores in the wood allow for the bacteria to penetrate where they become trapped, suffocate and die
  • surface gets rougher and rougher and becomes extremely difficult to clean, even in the dishwasher

Ultimately, the choice between these two surfaces is your own…but there are a few things to remember when choosing a new plastic cutting boards, such as…

  • Always use a separate plastic cutting boards for fish because the smell can sometimes seep into wood fibers and leave a lasting smell on your wood cutting board.
  • Avoid slick or smooth plastic, as this can cause knives to slip.
  • Choose polyethylene or polypropylene. These are kindest to your knives.
  • Make sure you buy a board that can fit it in your dishwasher.

Cleaning…Sanitize your board every so often, even if you do run it through the dishwasher, using a solution of 5% white vinegar with 4 parts water.

Other Surfaces—Besides these two materials, cutting boards can also be made from other things—such as bamboo, marble, granite, ceramic and glass.

Be careful when choosing one of these, because they can quickly dull your knives.

Bamboo

Bamboo boards have many advantages. One of these is the fact that bamboo boards are one of the best choices for cutting fruits and vegetables. Other advantages include…

  • lasting a long time
  • being “knife-friendly”
  • being made from a sustainable, environmentally friendly, highly renewable resource….
  • weighing less than wood boards
  • not having to be oiled as often as wood boarda

Glass

Glass cutting boards may be cute to decorate with in your kitchen, but as far as actually using glass cutting boards as you cook, don’t even bother. They’re terrible.

Why are they so “terrible?”

Becsuse they can dull the brand new knives that we are fixing to buy as the final tool to saute with in as little as ten strokes. 

Other Materials—such as marble, granite, ceramic, and composite

The same holds true to any other material out there that cutting boards may be made from-such as marble, granite, ceramic, and composite—can do similar damage to your knives, and should be avoided.

The Bottom Line…So just stick to wood and plastic boards….such as the boards that we will be highlighting in the next article…

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Feathering the Nest

Towels

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Now that you’ve finished your shower, the first thing you will probably grab for will be a towel…

But don’t just settle for any old towel.

 

 

Instead take the t;ime to find the best towels, or the best towels for you personally…and be willing, if able, to actually spent money on towels instead of grabbing the cheapest ones that you can find.

 

Towel shopping should not simply be a matter of how good the towel may feel on the display shelf or how much it might cost.

In fact there are several factors to take into consideration when shopping for high-quality towels—absorbency, durability, softness, cost, size, and launderability…(not sure if that’s a real word or not).

 

 

 

Absorbency…Towels made of .100% cotton, especially Egyptian or Pima cotton, are typically the most absorbent. Such towels, those made with Pima or Egyptian cotton, are usually the softest also.

 

 

 

 

Structure…(Loops and Twists)…Every towel has loops. These loops help the towel feel soft and absorb water. You should not be able to see the base of the towel beneath these loops.

The “twists” of the towel refers to how much the loop’s yarn is twisted. Towels with either a low or zero twist are more absorbent than towels with a denser twist.

 

 

Touch…Touch can be deceiving. Don’t rely on how soft the towel feels at first glance, or in this case, first touch. Most manufacturers add a softened “finish” so that the towels feel nice and velvety in the store. But that finish washes off after the first few runs through the laundry…leaving you with a much rougher towel than you had thought you had bought.

 

 

 

 

Weight…/Thicker, heavier towels are most likely to be absorbent than thinner, lighter towels., and truly high-quality towels will feel heavier than they look.

Towel weight is measured in grams per square meter (GSM). Generally, the higher the weight, the denser the towel and the more absorbent and plush it will be. 300-400 GSM is considered lightweight, 400-600 GSM is medium weight, and 600-900 GSM is the heaviest.  Thicker towels with high GSM, or grams per square meter, feel more luxurious.

 1.  1888 Mills Made Here Bath Towel

  • Availability…Walmart
  • Colors Available…blue, brown, cream, grey, red, and tan
  • Fabric…100% USA grown cotton with pima rich loops
  • Price…$2

2.  Abyss Super Line Bath Towel

  • Availability….Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s
  • Colors Available…30 available
  • Fabric…Egyptian cotton
  • Price…$74
  • Size…28″x54″

3. AmazonBasics Fade-Resistant 3-Piece Towel Set

  • Availability….Amazon
  • Fabric…100% cotton
  • Price…$13
  • Set includes…2 bath towels, 2 hand towels, 2 washcloths
  • Size…54″ x 30″…(26″x16″ for hand towel, 12″x12″ for washcloth)

4.  Fina Ultra Absorbent Waffle Weave Microfiber Bath Towel

  • Availability….Amazon
  • Colors Available…white, linen, sage, and coffee
  • Fabric…Microfiber
  • Price…$15
  • Size..29″x55″

5.  Pinzon Heavyweight Luxury 820-Gram Bath Towel

  • Availability….Amazon
  • Colors Available…blue, gray, sage, green, ivory, and white
  • Fabric…100% cotton
  • Price…$21
  • Size…30″x56″
  • Weight…nearly 2 pounds each

6.  Superior 900 GSM Egyptian Cotton Bath Towel Set

  • Availability….Amazon, overstock.com, Walmart
  • Colors Available…18 colors available
  • Fabric..long-staple combed cotton
  • Price…$62 for set of six (2 bath towels, 2 hand towels, 2 washcloths)
  • Sizes…30″x55″…(20″x30″ hand towel, 13″x13″ washcloth)

7.  Utopia Luxury Bath Sheet Towel

  • Availability….Amazon, Sears, and BB&B
  • Colors Available…black, white, navy, champagne, plum, gray, brown, and sage
  • Fabric…100% ring spun cotton
  • Price…$16
  • Size…35″x70″

 

 

How should I use my new towels? Drying off after your shower can be as important as the shower itself. Pat yourself dry. Rubbing your skin too vigorously with a towel can cause irritation, leave you itchy, and make dry skin get even worse. This will also leave some water on the skin, which can be sealed in with moisturizer.

 

 

How do I take care of my brand new towels?

Take time to actually read the tag on your new, luxurious towels tag before you simplty stick in your washing machine. Machine wash on the hottest temperature-setting recommended, with similar colors.

Never use bleach, dryer sheets, or liquid fabric softener on your towels. This will  eventually weaken the fibers make the towels less absorbent.