This apartment kitchen of ours is small. Bigger than our first, for sure, but space is still limited. We have to be smart about how we cook.
So we clean as we go. I start by setting out all the ingredients needed for a recipe. Everything that needs to be chopped is chopped. Spices or anything minced are set aside in small bowls, ready to be added quickly when things are hot and cooking.
Then, things are put away as soon as possible. Done with the sugar? Back into the pantry. Don’t need any more eggs? Back in the fridge. This keeps me from forgetting an ingredient. And at the end of a meal, there’s less to clean up so it’s less of a burden.
One seemingly small but helpful change is that plastic bag you see tucked into a drawer. Danny used to pull out the garbage bin and set it up closer for easy access to toss away trimmings, garlic peels, and anything else that needed to go. There had to be a better way. And there was! Now we tuck the plastic bag into a drawer and in one quick move can toss our the cores of apples or woody stems of mushrooms. There’s no going back and forth, and it makes cooking and cleaning go much faster.
I usually bring a reusable bag to the grocery store, but sometimes I forget and end up with plastic bags. This is a good way to use them up. I hope this small tip is as helpful to some of you as it was to us.