I love to cook. But hate the clean up afterwards… Sound familiar? I know I’m not alone in this.
In the frenzy of preparation, it isn’t uncommon to find that I’ve used nearly every dish and utensil in the kitchen. By the time the dust settles, and I’m weary from all the chopping, peeling, sauteing and stirring, the sight of piles of dirty dishes all over the counter can really take some of the satisfaction from my culinary efforts… It’s enough to make me seriously consider Chinese take-out and frozen pizza as viable menu options.
Using one simple trick, however, can help make clean up easier and speedier than ever. I like to refer to it as “the dishes that clean themselves”.
Whenever I am about to begin a whirlwind round of cooking, I fill the sink with hot soapy water. That’s it!
As I measure and mix, pour and puree with wild abandon, I drop the dishes immediately into the water–sometimes with a little rinse beforehand if they’re especially messy. When I’m finished, if I’ve been putting away my ingredients as I go, the counter tops are free of clutter and wipe down quickly.
And all those dishes? They are ready and waiting. Remaining bits of food matter slip off with a swish of a sponge and without requiring the muscles of a lumberjack. Super fast and extremely easy.
It’s a little “smoke and mirrors” to be honest. I still have to do the work but changing how I do it does seem to make a difference. And while a sink full of hot soapy water may seem a poor substitute for maid service, it definitely fits the budget.
What kitchen clean up strategies work for you?