That secret project that Ingrid was working on was indeed a birthday present for me. It was a kitchen tray.

During summer we like to eat outside on the deck, which means we’re often carrying things back and forth between the deck and the kitchen. The trays we have for this job are the usual slippery plastic things. Definitely better than nothing, but not ideal.

This new one is a dream to use. It’s solid and robust, with square feet and tough rope handles and an edge all around. The surface is just rough enough so the plates don’t slide around, and the edge adds extra security. The handles are thick and stiff enough that I can really load the tray full with heavy bowls of food and stacks of plates, and still have full control when carrying it all. I like the feel of it so much that I use it even when I only have a few things to carry, just because I can. It’s perfect.