It’s the day before Thanksgiving and my kitchen looks like a war zone. Grocery bags line the countertops and floor, spice jars are everywhere, and dishes have already filled the sink. I have much to prepare and I want to do everything efficiently, but it’s hard for me to be a neat and organized cook.
I want to be just like the chefs on television. You know the ones who cook fabulous meals all while keeping the kitchen neat and tidy? My husband is quick to remind me that each of those chefs has a staff working behind the scenes to premeasure ingredients and keep things looking great. I fully recognize this, but still I want to be that neat cook.
Recently, I took my kitchen concerns to a forum I frequent. The ladies there gave me some great tips for keeping the kitchen in order while cooking. Perhaps these tips already obvious to you. Perhaps these tips are just common sense. For me, these tips were a much needed reminder about how to cook the right way.
- Start with a clean kitchen. Make a fresh pan of dishwater and an empty the dishwasher. Place larger dishes in the dishwasher as you go along and wash smaller dishes and utensils by hand.
- Maximize your time. Make sure you have all the ingredients you need before you begin to cook. Running around searching for ingredients wastes valuable time and frustrates the cook.
- Put things away as you go. As you finish up with spices put them away. This will keep the countertops clean and ensure you have plenty of workspace.
- Keep the trash can and recycling bin close by. Toss out the garbage and recyclables regularly as you cook to keep countertops free of clutter.
- Measure meticulously. Measure dry ingredients out ahead of time and reuse measuring spoons when possible.
- Measure dry ingredients over a towel on the countertop or table. When it’s time to clean up, simply roll up the towel.
- Wipe down countertops and tables regularly. To prevent having to clean up a big mess, spray and clean off the countertops and tables as you go along.
Now that I’ve reviewed these tips, I’m shutting down the computer. I’m off to prepare my string beans, candied sweet potatoes, apple pie, corn casserole, chocolate cake, and brownie trifle. It’s going to be a long day but I’m determined to keep my kitchen neat as I work. Tomorrow all of my efforts will pay off when I see how much friends and family are enjoying what I’ve prepared! I’m hoping your day will be a productive one as well! Get busy…right now!
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© 2013, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.