I’m happy to say I’m neither of those, although I’m sure my brothers would beg to differ on the shoe situation. But I have to honestly, sincerely confess that I’m a culinary shopaholic.
“What’s that?”, you may ask? Okay, I just made that phrase up like two minutes ago. According to trusty Wikipedia,
Culinary shopaholic – an individual who considers themselves as addicted to shopping for items used in the cooking and preparation of food.
And there my true colors show / I reveal
the real another reason for doing what I do: I get to justify my kitchen gadget and exotic ingredient purchases, as well as other impulse buys to “these are business expenses, investments, and for research purposes!”
Some other ways I rationalize being a culinary shopaholic:
1. “I’m going to learn how to plate food more artistically” – purchasing the Alinea cookbook even though I don’t dabble in molecular gastronomy, own a sous vide machine, or own the fancy plateware and plating accessories used in the restaurant.
2. “I’m going to use this in class!” – hence my industrial-caliber ice cream maker. And hey, I AM holding an ice cream class two Saturdays from now (real reason: if I want ice cream, I want ice cream now – not after having to freeze the bowl of a regular ice cream maker overnight. Also, I had delusions of homemade vegan ice cream grandeur).
3. “I want to make corn tamales using authentic Latin ingredients.” – trudging off to Jackson Heights / Queens to explore Mexican bodegas and lugging home to the Philippines 5 kilos of masa harina and 5 different types of dried peppers.
4. “No one is going to take me seriously if I don’t have this.” – why I got a Breville juicer. Another reason: my mom’s old rinky dink juicer looked like a toy and sounded like a generator when in operation.
5. “I want to make pina coladas and margaritas while camping in Anawangin Cove or teach a green smoothie workshop in an area without electricity” – future purchase of a hand crank blender. Yes, I realize the absurdity of this statement.
I am a culinary shopaholic and I am not ashamed! Aaaand this is the reason why I’m a cheapskate in other shopping endeavors.
My shopaholic purchase last week ended my search for the perfect wooden chopping board that [a] doesn’t cost a fortune, [b] looks sexy, [c] can withstand the force of hacking open coconuts, and [d] is multifunctional. I kind of went overboard though, and bought four (a fifth, a smaller one, came free).
If you’re like me and are tired of crappy cheap-o plastic chopping boards that warp and are too ugly for public display, do yourself a favor and go to your neighborhood wet market. Buy yourself a sampaloc chopping board – better yet, buy two (one for garlic / onions, one for other less-pungent vegetables and fruit) or three (if you live in an omnivore household, another one for cooked meat). I bought four 14″ chopping boards at P400 a pop and was able to wheedle my way into getting an 11″ board (P250 palengke retail) as a freebie.
These boards are ridiculously thick and weigh heavier than a fat baby. I LOVE THEM!
Okay, truth: I was hunting for these because I threw a DIY pizza birthday party last Saturday and needed a sexy pizza serving platter. And yes, they did the trick.
I foresee these bad boys to be great serving dishes for:
- Rustic bread with a side of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar (or a variety of spreads)
- Gorgeous fresh fruit – our local, tropical fruit are particularly colorful and sexy-looking, I have to say
- Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and pies – buy these from a shop, plop them on these boards and make ‘em look homemade. Your guests will never know.
- Pot of tea and teacups
- Pile of hearty sandwiches
- … or even as a hot pad for steaming hot dishes.
To care for your board, keep it propped up on its side so it stays dry. If you live in an omnivore household I wouldn’t recommend a wooden board for raw meat and seafood; go for plastic so you can avoid cross-contamination and can sanitize it with a bleach solution (you do use separate boards for raw meat and veggies, right?). I understand the butchers in wet markets use sampaloc boards for their meat, buuuuut… better safe than sorry
I got inspired to buy these boards from watching Buddy, my buko juice guy, hack open coconuts on his trusty wooden chopping board.
Homemade pizza + sampaloc chopping board = match made in heaven.