When do you clean up your cooking debris?

When do you clean up your cooking debris?

  • After the food is done and I've eaten some of it

    Votes: 8 57.1%
  • After the food is done, but before I've eaten some of it

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I clean up while I'm preparing the food

    Votes: 9 64.3%
  • The next day

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Clean up? That's a job for the cleaning staff

    Votes: 1 7.1%

  • Total voters
    14
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I recall one of my early cooking adventures when I made cookies. I was so concerned with getting things right that I made quite a mess. When the cookies were done, I tried one, and was happy that it didn't taste terrible. I enjoyed my victory, but my heart sank at the mess I had created. There was flour all over the place: on the counter, on the floor, on the stove, on me. And, all the tools I had used - the mixer, the bowl, the spoons - were covered with dough. This really took some of the fun out of the cooking experience for me.

Over time, I've gotten in the habit of cleaning up as I go. As soon as I'm done with an ingredient, it gets put back. And, with some exceptions, I also wipe down the counter and soak the bowls as soon as I'm done with that part of the operation. That way, when I'm done cooking, I can relax and enjoy it.

I recall an episode of the TV show Emily in Paris where a French chef prepared a meal for Emily at his apartment. He left all the dirty pans and other cooking tools out after the meal was prepared, but he stopped her when she started cleaning it up. He said something like, "In France, we like to let things settle after making the meal." I'm not sure if this is true, but I can see that as another way to do things: rather than the knowledge of your impending cleanup taking away from your enjoyment, you focus instead on enjoying the food first, and clean up later.

I've made this multiple choice, since I know people sometimes vary their routine. But, please just pick the ones you do the most often. Also, I seem to recall a discussion similar to this, but I can't find it, so apologies if this is a repeat.
 

TastyReuben

Nosh 'n' Splosh
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My normal routine is to clean up afterwards. While cooking, cooking is where my focus is, and if I turn around and start washing things, other things are going to burn.

Once everything is cooked, then the priority is eating. I'm someone who, if a dish is meant to be served hot, I want it HOT!!! Screaming hot, scorching hot, melting-my-spoon hot! Dishing up a bowl of chicken soup, then letting it sit while I clean some dishes? :headshake:

That said, if I'm making something that's going in a slow oven, and there's going to be three or four hours between the cooking (that the oven is doing for me) and the eating, I'll go ahead and do that.

Typical around here, we eat between 5:30PM-6:30PM, and I'll start cleaning the kitchen during the ad breaks for the national news (starts at 6:30PM) - I can usually be done by 7PM or 7:15PM at the latest.
 

mjd

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I have the help of a caregiver M-F. I don't cook or bake alone (passed out a couple times doing that and don't want to risk my neighbor's lives that way) so she is here to help me clean up afterward. Sometimes I will use a small appliance (with automatic shut-off) when she's not here and I usually wash things right away but it's never too much.

Here's a funny about making cookies one day with my kids.

I'm generally even-tempered and I don't yell. So, whenever my kids did something ridiculous, I would ask them "Now that you've done that, do you think that was the best decision?" ;-)

One day, we were making some cookies in a metal mixing bowl. My hands were slippery from handling the butter and I dropped the bowl while trying to move it. In unison, my kids asked "Mom, now that you've done that, do you think that was a good decision?" LOL
 

mjd

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P.S. I know a guy that has a wash basin under his sink. He puts all his dirty dishes in it and doesn't wash them until it's full. That would gross me out. I would worry about creepy crawlies being attracted to that.
 
Last edited:

TastyReuben

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I'm somewhat obsessive about dirty dishes - I want them washed or in the dishwasher pretty quickly after eating. If not, I can almost feel the dried food hardening...the ants slowly marching to my kitchen to feast, like a Jedi feels The Force.

MrsT is not troubled by that at all. I go to bed before she does, and I'll leave a spotless kitchen behind at 10PM, and go to make a cup of tea at 6AM and find bread crumbs and butter smears about, or a bowl with sticky ice cream residue in it, spoon stuck to it like cement. 😠
 

flyinglentris

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Although I usually clean up after cooking and consuming, there are times that I will clean up to a degree, in the process, particularly when I need to re-use something in the process and it shouldn't be tainted with the previous use, for example, the blender.

I need to be more attentive to using a bowl of water for rinsing in some processes, like making sticky dough, such that I need to rinse off utensils and my hands.
 

mjd

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I'm somewhat obsessive about dirty dishes - I want them washed or in the dishwasher pretty quickly after eating. If not, I can almost feel the dried food hardening...the ants slowly marching to my kitchen to feast, like a Jedi feels The Force.

MrsT is not troubled by that at all. I go to bed before she does, and I'll leave a spotless kitchen behind at 10PM, and go to make a cup of tea at 6AM and find bread crumbs and butter smears about, or a bowl with sticky ice cream residue in it, spoon stuck to it like cement. 😠
Opposites attract. I'm the "neat freak" and my ex is not. My father (Army veteran) and ex-FIL (Air Force veteran) are neat freaks, but, my mother and ex-MIL are not. I didn't serve but our father did the "dump everything" method of obtaining obedience. Sadly, both my kids got their dad's slob-DNA. Weird, because he is a veteran (Navy).
 
Joined
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Although I usually clean up after cooking and consuming, there are times that I will clean up to a degree, in the process, particularly when I need to re-use something in the process and it shouldn't be tainted with the previous use, for example, the blender.

I need to be more attentive to using a bowl of water for rinsing in some processes, like making sticky dough, such that I need to rinse off utensils and my hands.
When I made the baklava recipe I just posted, it took me a few times rolling the filo dough before I realized that my fingers were getting sticky and potentially messing up the rollup. These are things I don't always figure out before-hand; my goal is to figure it out before I'm almost done.
 

rascal

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Unwritten rule here, I cook and walk away, wife cleans up, she thinks she gets off light. Small price to pay I guess?
But too be fair I do help occasionally and a dishwasher helps. Sunday family tea everyone cleans up after me. Xmas day (huge here) once I serve up, I'm done, everyone helps out then.

Russ
 

vernplum

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I clean up before, during and after.

If the kitchen was a mess before I start, then I'll load the dishwasher (or stare at my wife till she does it :) ) and wife surfaces, then start prepping. As I cook, if there are times when I have to wait, then I will load dirty items into the dishwasher and tidy/wipe the area a bit. If there isn't time, stuff just goes into the sink until the meal is over.
 
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