Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Tuesday Kitchen Tips Talk

Cooking can be a lot of fun, depending on the day. I mean after cooking three meals a day for an eternity through much of 2020 I think most of us went off of cooking, but in general and global pandemic keeping us in our homes aside, I do enjoy it. If I have a few hours of afternoon stretched before me, fun. Therapeutic, even. If I am hungry and know I need to make something to not eat junk, not fun. If you enjoy or at the least don't mind cooking but find that your efforts to make a healthy dinner tend to end in a messy kitchen and a giant pile of dishes to be washed, it probably makes the activity more of a burden and less of a joy. Here are some things I do to alleviate the mess on the front and back ends and during and to add a little pizzazz. 

Clean as you Go
As a rule, straight out, clean as you go. Nothing will be more important than that if you truly want to stop making a disastrous mess in the kitchen. Chop all that needs chopping, clean up. Use pan, clean or at least set to soak. Etc. 

Use Tongs
Spatulas are the right tool for anything that you need to flip, like eggs or pancakes. For everything else, tongs are the best option. Tongs are nimble and easier to use than other kitchen tools, and you’re far less likely to drop things. If you have non-stick pans, choose tongs with nylon tips, and choose long ones, so you can keep your hands out of the way. It took me a long time to come around to tongs and I'm sad about that. 

Store Everything In Containers
No matter how good your intentions are, it can be easy to end up with a fridge and freezer full of wilting herbs and mysterious leftovers wrapped in foil. Keep things tidy, fresh, and organized in  containers instead. Container storage keeps just about anything fresh for much longer, including fresh herbs, cut-up produce, or leftovers like this super easy monkey bread (who remembers making this in junior high Home Ec class with Ms. Paxton?). It’s also much greener to use containers instead of single-use foil or plastic wrap. I use mostly Pyrex glass or ceramic to store. 

Don’t Bother With A Garlic Press or other Gadgets that Add Work & Mess
Peeling and pressing garlic takes ages and is a waste of time. To use a clove of garlic with minimal fuss, put it on a cutting board and use the flat side of a large knife to smash it flat. The skin will come off easily, and you mince the garlic very quickly. I detest gadgets that add work and mess. Now pineapple corers? I use that a lot and find it makes life easier and equally or less messy as without.

Use Separate Cutting Boards
You need more than one cutting board in your kitchen. If you’re following recipes, you’re going to use your cutting board to prepare garlic and onions. A separate board that you keep aside for other things like fruit, cheese, and meats is a good idea if you don’t want these ingredients to soak up the flavors of the onions and garlic you were chopping. Gross gross gross. 

Grow or Buy Fresh Green Herbs When Possible
Apart from perhaps dried oregano, almost all green herbs are much better bought fresh instead of dried. Fresh herbs are cheap, and easily available to those of us who do not live in food deserts. Herbs are also the easiest thing to grow even if you don't have a penchant for vegetable gardening (me). Parsley, basil, cilantro, thyme, tarragon, and chives are especially good when you buy them fresh. Dried herbs are perfectly good and usable but make sure you don't let them languish in the cabinet for years. The flavor leaves. 

Avoid Overcooking
Vegetables that have been overcooked go mushy and taste of nothing. Overcooked meat can be tough, and grains go soggy. Overcooked food is rarely enjoyable. Learn to take your food off the heat just before it’s done and allow it to finish cooking with its own internal temperature. You can always cook something a little more, but you can’t cook something less. Super important life lesson.

What do you have to add?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tell me what you think, leave a comment! I'll reply to you via email if you have an email associated with yourself, otherwise, check back here for my reply. Your data will not be used to spam you or sold for others to contact you.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogging tips
Pin It button on image hover