Once November 1st rolls around, our minds turn to thoughts of roast turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce.  We are all consumed with our tasks for this one day of feasting.  I have found a few ideas for adding to your kitchen equipment to help ease your holiday chores.

There is a new system of cutting boards called the GERM-KILLING ULTRA VIOLET CUTTING BOARD SYSTEM (www.sharperimage.com).  When you are in the midst of your holiday cooking you don’t want to contaminate the food by cutting raw vegetables on a board that has been previously used for cutting raw meat or poultry.  With this new Pureliving Purifying Cutting Board System, a natural UV-C light is used to sterilize each board after washing.  It is super-organized and even looks like a neat bunch of file folders with tabs. After each use, you put the clear cutting board back in its slot, turn on the button, and the light makes the board germ free.

RÖSLE COLOR-CODED MATS (www.rosleusa.com) are a less expensive way to keep your kitchen sanitized.  These anti-bacterial cutting mats come in three sizes and the big ones are especially helpful when cutting lots of veggies for the holidays.  The mats are often paired with cutting boards which are available at the website, but if you have a wooden counter, you only need the colored mats.  The colors are designed to prevent cross-contamination of foods.  I have tried many different kids of mats which do not hold up with a lot of chopping.  These mats are sturdier, and most importantly, are kinder to your knives as well.

PROGRESSIVE INTERNATIONAL FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CHOPPER (www.amazon.com) is a great help at Thanksgiving time.  The reason I like this unit better than most choppers, is that it comes apart and can be placed in a dishwasher.  Many of the other models don’t allow for good cleaning and the garlic and onion smells often stay in the unit and in your cabinets!  The chopper allows you to slice an onion in half and then with one press of your hand, the onion is chopped and falls into the container.  The container features printed measurements for up to 3 cups which is very handy.  I found it useful for mushrooms, zucchini, potatoes, beets, and strawberries.  I also like the fact that I can dice, slice and chop without messing up my counter.

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