Monday, 13 December
The Gripper

Standard disclaimer: I am neither shill, nor "bzzagent" nor anything else associated with the marketing industry.

I used to poo-poo anything but a wood cutting board. Plastic was ugly, and the only problem it solved was contamination--not much of an issue when you don't cook meat at home.

Lately, my old cutting board had gone to the land of bad smells (okay, maybe contamination is a problem), and needed replacing. First, I tried one of those fancy laminate boards. It was heavy, I bought one too big for our dishwasher, and it was LOUD. BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! every time I chopped something.

Next, standard wood. It was kinda heavy, and I had to put no-skid mats beneath it, but it was quiet and normal and safe.

Then I saw one of these on the shelf near the salad spinners. It claimed to need no wet dishtowels or clever mats to keep it from skidding. Also: not ugly. I'm a sucker for bright colors. Finally, it was a lot less expensive than its wood counterparts. So I tried a small orange one.

Suddenly, I felt very wasteful for going through all those nice wood boards. Which I gave to someone else. The Gripper, as this bright plastic wonder is called, really works. It's light, attractive, affordable, dishwasher safe, and doesn't slip. I have two now, and feel like I've finally found the perfect cutting board.

Monday, 06 December
Kitchen Sink Bread Again

This time, I have pictures:

Of course, the recipe was a little different this time--that's the idea! For The Stuff, I used two apples, a cup of dried cranberries, and a couple grated carrots. I also added some applesauce to the wet.

Spousal Unit had a great idea he passed along from his mom: wrap slices of the bread and freeze individually, that way you can toss a couple in your lunchbag and they're ready when you are. It's much handier than freezing the loaves.

Saturday, 04 December
The Sad Decline of La Terrazza

Okay, it wasn't the best, but they were handy, and I used to like them, but after a more recent lunch and dinner there, I've realized that La Terrazza is no longer the yummy corner it once was.

The first clue left me, frankly, aghast. Our server came over to our table, introduced herself, and wrote her name in crayon on the paper table covering. She even wrote it upside-down so we could read it. Did I land at Chuck-E-Cheese's? Was this not a winelist and a nice cloth napkin I saw on the table?

She continued hover and laugh at inappropriate moments (for those who are wondering: no, I don't blame her, and we tipped well as usual) as she brought me a strip-steak two temperatures overdone (I didn't bother sending it back, as the whole meal was looking doomed), and Bill a pasta primavera that gives new meaning to the word "uninspired". My reaction after the meal: "I can get cardboard at home." It really was that bland, from bread to sauce. They used to have great sauces, fresh veggies, and good care taken in the kitchen. All that is gone, and so am I.