The Mat That Saved my Back (and my Preserves)JulieVR
I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I cook for a living – I write about it, and talk about it on TV and radio. And so I’m always testing recipes and styling photo shoots, and of course because I love cooking I love putting up preserves in the fall – jam, chutney, pickles and the like. At 6 ft tall, standing at the counter on hardwood floors for hours can do a number on my back.
And so I decided to do what restaurant chefs and baristas do to save their backs – I picked up an anti-fatigue mat from Home Depot to set down in my high-traffic area, that spot of the counter beside the stove where I wind up doing most of my work.
There are far more types of mats available in the US – all sturdy and washable, all designed with the goal of protecting your knees and back from long periods of standing on a hard floor. The mat I chose has interlocking sides, so that you could conceivably cover a side or corner of your kitchen with a springy rubber surface, and it’s easy to lift up when you want to mop. I just pick mine up and keep it in a roll in the basement when I’m not cooking for long stretches.
But for now, because it’s fall, I’ll be making Crabapple-Cranberry Slow Cooker Chutney, cranberry-pear-ginger preserves, green tomato chutney, ginger pickled carrots, apricot jam and pickled everything.
What are you doing with your fall harvest?