This past month we've been giving you a peek into our own kitchens, showing you the tools we love the most. We've talked about pepper mills, knives, and pots and pans. This past week, however, we've showed you something a little different — the tools that make our kitchens unique. From an old-school timer, to simple metal skewers, to a paper fan — these are the unexpected tools that show how differently we cook and use our kitchens. It's my turn now, and it was hard — I have a lot of quirky tools I love! But finally I settled on this: My Chinese chopping block. I chose this because I think it's a great example of my favorite sort of kitchen tools: Things that can go from the kitchen to the dining room. I love colorful bowls that can work for storage, mixing, and serving. I also love wood boards and blocks that can be used for chopping and mincing, but also for serving a cheese plate. I also use this block as a trivet; it's good-looking and also indestructible. When it's not in use I leave it on the sideboard with a vase of flowers on top.
Chinese chopping blocks like this one are extremely heavy. Mine has a handle for easier carrying, which is nice. I bought this at a local Chinese grocery store for under $20. You can find them at all price points at Chinese groceries, on Amazon, and in specialty kitchen shops.
One last note on this board: It's quite tall, and you can find versions that are even taller. So if you are a tall cook, this might be a good buy. You can lift up your countertop just a bit, with three inches of solid chopping block!