Kitchen Tricks and Techniques- No Recipe

Any of us who read this section are already Serious about our food and cooking. (Darn few get here by accident.) Recipes and methods aside, I'd like to ask about the time and labor saving ideas that you use in YOUR kitchen. On occasion, Kenji's Food Lab posts include some Seriously Great ideas to improve efficiency (plastic squeeze bottles come to mind), but we don't see a lot of that around here. Those of us at home have a wealth of great ideas, but most seem to remain deep secrets. **Let's talk about them and share them!** As a Happy Holiday gift, I'll share one from my kitchen that helps to contain mess and make cleanup a lot easier: With the usual cutting, chopping, peeling, - and meat preparation, the stuff tends to spread and make a mess. I don't have a disposal, so I can't just peel and discard into the sink. I use a half-sheet bun pan, filled with a (NSF) plastic cutting board a bit smaller than the metal pan. The board and/or pan can be rinsed when necessary or even changed if necessary, yet the odd detritus is mostly contained. For a veg-veg change, a rinse is enough. If a bit cleaner is necessary, say meat of poultry, the old set goes into the dishwasher and I start afresh. It avoids or contains most of the counter top slop and clean up is much easier. I often use the same method for resting and carving meat, especially when I want to quickly repurpose the roasting pan. Busy cutting boards always slop a bit. Containing them -and the slop - within a bun pan of appropriate size will make your clean up a lot easier. A modest holiday gift to all. Now it is your turn: How to YOU make things faster or easier in YOUR kitchen? How do you limit the mess in the first place? What works for you? What did not work? Happy Holidays to all.


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