It’s February. Every
onething needs special attention. It’s the time of year for slathering yourself in good smelling things and hoping for the best. Turns out the same goes for cutting boards. And spoons.
Enter board butter. Also known as spoon butter. Also known as the answer to your wooden utensil and cutting board woes.
Here’s the thing about being a little bit particular about the things you buy: sometimes it’s just easier not to buy anything. This is usually a good thing. It keeps me from making all kinds of potentially regretful purchases. But sometimes it means I put off more practical purchases, too. I knew I was supposed to be treating my wooden cutting board (and spatula and bowl, etc., etc.). I knew I didn’t want to use mineral oil—a petroleum product, I generally try to avoid—but I wasn’t sure what to use in its place. For some reason, doing the modicum of research required to figure out that I had the perfect non-toxic, food-grade alternative to mineral oil right in my own kitchen cabinet stopped me from doing anything at all. While I procrastinated, my wooden boards got dried out and sad looking.
But sometimes procrastinating has its rewards. During a particularly seredipitous moment on instagram the other day, Abby showed her own recent concoction for getting her boards in shipshape and Camille chimed in, and suddenly I had a little plan worked out. So I gathered all of my wooden things and got them ready for a little wintry special attention. I decided on a wood treatment using coconut oil and beeswax. Coconut oil because it returns moisture to the wood but won’t go rapidly rancid like other fruit oils might. (Other good alternatives include walnut oil and jojoba oil.) Beeswax for sealing in the moisture.
Like everything else I do, I eyeballed a rough ratio. I mixed one part beeswax with three parts coconut oil. I put both ingredients into a mason jar set inside an old enamel pan filled with an inch or two of water. As the water simmered on the stove, the coconut oil and beeswax melted together. Once all melty, I poured the wood butter into little glass jars that I had saved, and let it cool. Side note: If you’re hoping this little project will have the added effect of turning your home into a richly scented haven, you are in luck.
A hearty smear or four is all I needed to return a bit of luster to my board. My butter was the consistency of thick frosting and I used my own two hands and an old rag to help slather it onto my cutting board (and every other wooden thing I could get my hands on). Bonus: my dry hands got some much needed attention, too! I gave everything a good rub down with the butter and let all of my utensils and board sit out on an old dish towel for the night before giving them another quick buff in the morning.
1 part beeswax
3 parts coconut oil
Melt together beeswax and coconut oil. If you hope to mix a large batch, you’ll want to break the wax into small pieces. If you have one, a small dedicated cheese grater could make lighter work of this step. Otherwise, use a knife and brute force.
Once melted, allow the butter to cool (it will change from bright yellow to a paler shade as it cools.)
Apply the cooled butter to your wooden boards, spoons, baby toys and teethers, countertops, etc. Allow the butter to sit overnight and buff in the morning.
PS. If have an old jar with label residue that you need some help removing, some coconut oil mixed with a little baking soda does the trick. (Goo gone, be gone….)
More coconut oil magic, HERE.