You find a recipe you want to make. The picture is tantalizing, the ingredients are already in your cupboard, and you’re going to cook it better than the chef in the picture ever could. Ah, hubris.
It’s not uncommon to find a recipe that claims to take 30-40 minutes and emerge from the kitchen, sweaty and irritable, more than hour later. You begin to wonder if the problem is the author – do they exist in a different universe where time runs differently? Or could the problem be… you?
One of the major contributors to the slowing-down process is clutter. We have all come to value our kitchen appliances; not just the cooker (although its importance is obvious) – but we love all those little gadgets we have that make cooking fun and seemingly easy. When thought about it… how many of those gadgets do you actually need? How many do you really use?
Therefore it’s necessary to wonder if you’re getting the most out of your kitchen or if perhaps a few tweaks to your behavior could improve on perfection.
Do You Really Need Those Gadgets All At Once?
[Photo courtesy of Amigos3D/pixabay.com]
It’s important to be harsh with your kitchen appliances – and no, that doesn’t mean using lifespan-reducing steel wool to clean them. What it does mean is following a simple rule of necessity. Ask yourself if you really need everything that you have in the room.
Many cooks follow a rule of “one in, one out” when it comes to their gadgets. So, if for example, a meal calls for the use of a blender, then you make space for it in the room by moving out the steamer. If you have to use a bowl mixer, then it’s bye-bye blender. They don’t have to go into deep storage – just remove them from the work surfaces into cupboards. With more available space to work in, it’s easier to see what you have done and – importantly – what you need to do.
Your Kitchen Is For Kitchen Things
[Photo courtesy of stevepb/pixabay.com]
It’s not uncommon to come home from work and, before heading to the kitchen, pick up the mail. Once in the kitchen, you put the mail down on the counter, adding to the pile your keys, bag, and your phone.
Just like that, in one mindless moment, your belongings are spreading through the room without your knowledge. If you don’t clear these items away quickly, they begin to mount up – and will get in the way when you cook.
Create a space outside the kitchen – a cubby, or a shelf – to deposit items in before entering the kitchen. If you need to use your phone for a recipe, then put it back in a pocket when done rather than abandoning it on the counter.
Use Dead Time For Clean Up
Most meals offer you a certain amount of “dead time” while food is simply cooking and there is nothing for you to do to it. Sure, stir the sauce every few minutes or turn the steaks when one side is done – but mostly, it’s hands off for a short while. Use this time to cast an eye over the counters and clear away any mess, spills, or equipment you no longer need. It might sound small and simplistic, but it genuinely is an effective way of preventing things getting on top of you and disrupting the meal!