Today's tiny thing that makes me feel accomplished and happy is this: Always put a wrung-out dishcloth under the cutting board.
Try this once, and you'll see what a sturdy work area you get. The cutting board won't slide around, so you can chop with confidence, even carrots and other tough roots.
This tall, lanky dude who studied biochemistry by day, worked as a chef at a nightclub on the side. He also taught me that you can cut potatoes in quarters (not just half them) if you want them to boil faster (I believe I was making French potato salad and my party had started, oh, about an hour ago). Quarter the potatoes! Why not? What was I afraid would happen?
Back to the green dishcloth in the picture above - these types of kitchen cloths might be a European thing, but a regular dish towel wrung out works well, too (just make sure to really flatten it out under the board). In real life, I always have the dishcloth lined up straight under the board--in the picture above I angled the green cloth so it would be easier for you to see what I'm talking about. Also, usually I use a much larger cutting board and so this cloth completely disappears under the board, and that is fine, that's the idea.
Thank you for stopping by Pieliekamais! (What is "pieliekamais"? "The pantry" in Latvian)