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the necessity of cooking

I love to cook, but most of the time it’s done purely out of necessity.  I make dinner for my husband and me every night almost every night.  We eat out only about once a week.  I rarely truly enjoy my cooking time because my body says, “I”m tired.  Let’s get this over with.”  When I feel like cooking for fun, I don’t have time.  So when the two line up, I try to take advantage of it.  I was in a major cooking mood last night.  I felt like a gourmet chef as I made spaghetti with garlic and olive oil according to Chef John’s recipe.  I even had my laptop set up in the kitchen so I could watch his video as I cooked!

Last night, as I was playing chef, I noticed there are three things that I do, almost without fail, every time I cook.

1. dish water

I always fill the sink with dish water.  I do this because I hate having to clean up a big mess afterward so I wash as I go.  When I finish using a dish or utensil, I drop it in the water.  While I’m waiting for the ground beef to brown (or some other pause in the activity) I wash things.  Also it’s convenient for a quick wash if I’ve used a knife for meat and then I need it for vegetables.

2. garbage can

I always move the garbage can next to my workspace and open the lid.  This allows me to simply turn and drop things in.  I do this for two reasons.  First, I have limited counter top space.  The last thing I need is piles of vegetable tops and meat packages crowding my work area.  Second, I hate cleaning up a big mess afterward.  (Do you see the trend here?)  It’s so much easier to put it straight in the trash.

3. kitchen towel

I always drape a dish towel over my shoulder.  This made my husband laugh when he noticed it.  I’m not sure why.  I use it to wipe my hands or wipe up messes as I cook.  I could probably accomplish the same thing with an apron, but for some reason I’ve never liked wearing an apron.

My laptop is quickly becoming quite popular in the kitchen too, which I used to think of as odd.  I often use it for online recipes or for just listening to music or a program while I cook.  But these three are my necessities.

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