If you do a fair amount of entertaining or if you have a large family, then you may already be familiar with the beauty and practicality of a large wooden salad bowl. Even in my small urban apartment, I find it useful to have a decent sized wooden salad bowl on hand for reasons beyond mere leafy greens.
The handsome bowl pictured above is over 14" in diameter, perfect for a nice large salad. But of course wooden bowls can hold other things like popcorn, apples or other fruit, pasta, or even a handful of yet to be paid bills. Over time they age and develop a lovely patina, a lot like a good cast iron skillet. While this bowl is handmade by an artist and appropriately priced, you can also find large wooden salad bowls at thrift stores and garage sales for just a few dollars. They usually just need a light sanding and a treatment of sorts. This recipe from Stephanie at 3191 Miles Apart for wood oil has worked well for me.
It's true that wooden bowls need a little more attention than your basic metal bowl. They shouldn't be be tossed into the microwave or dishwasher, for example, but they do clean up easily with warm soapy water and a quick rinse (but don't leave them soaking in water!) On occasion, they'll need a little oil rub to protect their finish. With this kind of basic care, they'll last for generations and become a family heirloom.
• Large Madrone Salad Bowl from tatebowls, $135.00 via Etsy.