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cooking chore you like the least

  • t

I recently posled about getting an electric knife to slice homemade bread. I just find it tiresome and my slicing erratic when I do it manually. Bottom line i just don't like doing it. I also use a lot of garlic and now find buying pre-peeled garlic makes my cooking experience my enjoyable.
i know everybody here enjoys cooking. My question is what DON'T you like about it.
(and cleaning up afterwards doesn't count)

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  1. Cool moniker '-D. Nothing iike classic Bowie --

    I hate, hate, HATE deveining shrimp. The little guts floating around in the sink are simply disgusting. But still better than eating them.

    Trying not to look back in anger...

    5 Replies
    1. re: linguafood

      Yes, anything Bowie is good. Ever since my teenage wildlife, he's never let me down whenever I've been feeling low. Anyhow, enough with that.

      I detest peeling potatoes, apples, hard squash and the like. A good, sharp Oxo peeler makes it a lot easier, but it still stinks.

      I also hate separating eggs, because I always break yolks.

      Does cleaning up count? Any of that, especially the little plastic parts of the food processor and blender. Even though they're supposedly dishwasher safe, I don't subject them to that.

      1. re: dmd_kc

        I detest peeling potatoes, apples, hard squash and the like.

        I agree. So much so, that I don't think I've peeled a potato in 25 years. I just scrub em and cut em up. Red skinned potatoes are a good all around variety and I use them for everything but baking.

        The same goes for carrots, cucumbers, etc. Hard squash I cook in the skin and scoop it out. Most of the vitamins in these veg are right below the skin, so peeling removes some of the benefits of eating them.

        1. re: dmd_kc

          Making salad.. I hate it. My mother thought since it was easy, that's what I should do when I cooked for them as a child. NO! I love a good cooking challenge and slicing greens doesn't challenge me at all. I like making dressing just not the salad part.

          1. re: YAYME

            My mother did the same to me. It is amazing that I like cooking as much as I do. Make salads? I'll pass on that, let someone who likes that sort of thing do it. My mother ruined it for me.

        2. re: linguafood

          Definitely agree with lingua on this...deveining shrimp is a task I despise...the darn veins stick to everything too and reminds me of, well, I needn't go on. Chopping cilantro is becoming a PITA also...don't mind chopping parsley but chopping cilantro is harder...it's wetter.

        3. cutting and handling raw chicken. yuck.
          chopping onions. a real labor of love.
          peeling garlic paper skin off the smashed clove.

          these are the first ones that occur to me.

          21 Replies
          1. re: alkapal

            I'll second all three of those--especially with tears streaming down my cheeks with the onions. But honestly, with maybe the exception of the raw chicken, I hate doing dishes more than anything! I want it to be like when people cook on TV--you never see any of those folks cleaning up!

            1. re: alkapal

              Alakapal, I keep a box of latex gloves in my kitchen. They're great for messing with raw chicken, or anything else you don't like handling with naked hands. If it's the tears from onions that are your problem, pick up a cheap pair of swimming goggles. Works perfectly! As for garlic, unless I have to mince it, I just toss in the whole clove, paper and all. The paper gives a little richer flavor, according to my taste buds, and when cooking is done, if I don't want the whole garlic clove and paper in the final dish, I remove them, then squeeze the softened garlic onto a piece of generously buttered bread or toast, sprinkle on a bit of sea salt. Cook's reward!

              kattyeyes, what you need to escape the drudgery of clean up is a galley slave! Highly recommended! Some husbands and boyfriends make an acceptable substitute, but others, not so much. And some teenagers work in a pinch At least until they grow up and move away from home. '-)

              1. re: Caroline1

                That throwing the garlic in with the peel idea sounds excellent. Does it get as good of a garlic-y taste as throwing in an equal amount minced? it seems like with such a concentrated amount with such a small surface area the flavor wouldn't be able to permeate the dish as well.

                1. re: Cebca

                  minced garlic is much more pungent, as the cell walls are broken down with mincing, releasing more of the volatile compounds.

                  1. re: Cebca

                    The whole unpeeled garlic clove works best in a dish that is sort of "soupy," or at least is soupy for a while. I do it with broths and stocks or things I'm brazing. I do believe it gives a deeper dimension by leaving the paper on the garlic cloves than I get with "naked" garlic. Give it a try. See what you think and let us know.

                2. re: alkapal

                  A friend taught me this trick: put an unpeeled garlic clove i a bowl, cover the top with a plate or another bowl, and shake vigorously for a few seconds. When you open it up the peel will have come off on its own.

                  1. re: Emmmily

                    But then you have extra dishes to do! JK, JK! Cool tip!

                    You just reminded me of another chore I hate: SIFTING.

                    When I make brownies, I've kept an empty Ghirardelli cocoa canister. I put the dry ingredients in the can, shake like mad, et voila. Sifting without wrist strain. Yaaay!

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      another sifting trick restaurants use: dump a bunch of flour into large bowl. take your biggest whisk and whisk the flour to aerate it & break up any lumps. you now have a bunch of sifted flour, yay.

                      1. re: soupkitten

                        Good trick! I'd walk a mile to avoid sifting.

                      2. re: kattyeyes

                        I don't mind sifting so much as I hate sifters. They're all flimsy it seems, or it's hard to find one that lasts very long. Every once in a while I buy a new one and always end up going back to using a strainer.

                        1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                          or how about the hand cramps from those sifters?

                          1. re: alkapal

                            I have my mother's probably 60-70 years old sifter with the "crank" on the side. No hand cramps.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              They just don't seem to make them like that anymore. Last time one of the squeeze-handle sifters broke, I looked for one with a crank, and all I could find was a much flimsier version of ones I'd seen before.

                              1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                Here ya go:


                                And I know I've seen them at Bed Bath and Beyond, also. But these seem to be a better quality--and, of course, more expensive.

                                1. re: JoanN

                                  Thanks, the stainless one might be just the thing.

                                  There's a shop that I pass occasionally between Chelsea and the Flatiron district that specializes in cake baking supplies. I have to stop in next time I'm in the neighborhood.

                                  1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                    Yes, New York Cake and Baking. They may well have sturdy crank sifters. Just know, if you've not been there before, that their service is abominable and their prices high. But for some things it can be the only game in town.

                                    New York Cake and Baking
                                    56 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

                                      1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                        Wow, maybe I should sell mine on ebay!!! Never. Even though I rarely bake, it's part of my family history.

                          2. re: kattyeyes

                            Extra dishes? Nah, at worst you get a trace of the garlic oils on the bowls, and I consider that a bonus :-) And Caroline, I bet that empty jar would work just as well - the clove just needs some hard surfaces to bounce off of.

                          3. re: Emmmily

                            I don't have a problem with peeling garlic, but if this trick works, why wouldn't it work just as well to put the garlic in a clean glass mayonnaise jar and shake it around? I'm afraid of chipping china with this method. And you could keep the jar just for garlic. No dirty dishes!

                        2. these make me laugh because I actually like peeling garlic...and the feeling of satisfaction when it all comes off in one piece

                          I dislike chopping onions and handling/cleaning whole, raw chicken.

                          1. cleaning the oven after cooking pulled pork for 15 hours.

                            20 Replies
                            1. re: jwg

                              peeling crawfish tails for jambalaya, etoufee, etc. But they are so much better than frozen.

                              1. re: jacobp

                                I have to agree with you on the peeling crawfish for dishes to be prepared later. Peeling them while I eat them I don't have a problem with, but peeling them after the fact is not fun

                                1. re: roro1831

                                  I know, right! My brother and college roommate are coming to visit me in Louisiana for the first time this weekend, so we're having a crawfish boil. Then they want me to make them crawfish and sausage jambalaya the next night. They are going to be put to work peeling a lot of crawfish.

                              2. re: jwg

                                So your suppose to CLEAN ovens?...........

                                1. re: jwg

                                  Tell me why an oven needs cleaning. Short of picking the burnt stuff off the bottom (after dousing it with baking soda after my annual Burning of the Pies ceremony), I never, ever, clean my gas oven, and it maintains temperature perfectly. You're already baking away any possible bacteria/germs/bugs. What's the point?

                                  1. re: Marsha

                                    i haven't cleaned my electric oven with its self-cleaning feature -- but once.

                                    1. re: Marsha

                                      Mine gets cleaned because if it doesn't, it starts to smoke up a lot.

                                        1. re: jmckee

                                          Exactly - I didn't connect the dots properly!

                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                            I connect those dots with an appalling regularity. We must have the most sensitive smoke detectors in the history of the device. It doesn't take much to set them off. All of them.

                                      1. re: Marsha

                                        The difference in color and texture from spots in a dirty oven reflect and bounce the heat differently. It can make for unequal temperatures within a oven. The same is true of pans - dirty spots on the bottom causes unequal heating.

                                        1. re: alwayscooking

                                          My oven is like a well cared for cast iron frying pan. Never wash it out with soap. It now has a fine coating of now re-burnt carbonized chicken grease splatter that is even and mature, with no hot or cold spots.

                                          [insert sideways smiling moron icon here to indicate making a joke]

                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                            Sam, I think this is how ovens were intended to be treated - respectfully, and without undue fuss. I find the smoke (after a spillover) goes away eventually.

                                            Do they every scrub the pizza ovens in the best pizza places?

                                            1. re: Marsha

                                              "Do they every scrub the pizza ovens in the best pizza places?"

                                              A typical gas pizza oven has a cordierite base and operates at roughly 600 degrees. That's as hot as many ovens are going to get during a self cleaning cycle. Most pizza places do polish the exteriors of the ovens regularly.

                                              1. re: Fritter

                                                Most residential self cleaning ovens reach a temperature of 900F during the cleaning cycle while most commercial pizza ovens operate in the 750F to 800F range. But you've got the right idea. '-)

                                            2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                              But they didn't eat the frickin' strawberries!!! :-))

                                              1. re: jfood

                                                jfood, you just made me snort wine up my nose!

                                                1. re: pikawicca


                                                  jfood & pika, you two are invited to my place for roast chicken and fruit salad.

                                            3. re: alwayscooking

                                              i don't consider it "dirty" -- it's just not spic and span "slick" uniformly on the floor of the oven. there is one spot that is really resisting me and my stainless steel scrubbie. i also wipe out the oven floor every now and then, and i clean up spillovers and the like, but guard against them in the first place. i just don't want to use the self-cleaning super high-heat feature. it makes me uncomfortable.

                                        2. Cleaning the Thanksgiving turkey before cooking. It is so unwieldy and all the disgusting turkey water seems to splash everywhere. I am always reminded of the Everybody Loves Raymond episode where Deb takes the turkey and throws it into the oven sans roasting pan. That will be me one of these days.

                                          1. Washing certain vegetables - lettuce, spinach, bean sprouts, leeks... what a PIA. Always seems to take forever... I wash lettuce leaf by leaf until that slippery feeling goes away. It takes a long time. Spinach is sometimes full of dirt so takes multiple washings. Bean sprouts - the little wilted bean skins - ugh!

                                            12 Replies
                                            1. re: soniabegonia

                                              Put the greens in a mesh lingerie bag and run through the rinse cycle in your washing machine (set on cold)

                                                1. re: soniabegonia

                                                  I'm also curious to know if Candy is serious.

                                                  1. re: rebs

                                                    very serious, especially when i have a lot of greens to clean.

                                                2. re: Candy

                                                  I grew up watching my mom wash messes of collards and turnips in the washing machine. It seemed completely normal to me until I saw my husband looking into the washer in horror the first time he discovered my little shortcut. It can seem a bit weird, but using the rinse cycle works quite well...gets every bit of sand out of the leaves.

                                                  1. re: snix

                                                    i can see that working for a big bunch of tough collards! i have some t-shirts that are more delicate. lol!

                                                    1. re: snix

                                                      I can see how it would be effective in getting the dirt out, but I would be concerned about any detergent or fabric softener residue in the machine getting on to the food.

                                                      1. re: rebs

                                                        Hey - it just adds the 'clean' to the 'healthy' living '-D

                                                        1. re: rebs

                                                          I don't use fabric softener in my washing machine. I have a front loading machine and a filterthrough which the "grey" water exits. It is very unususal to see any detergent suds in that tank. It is 99% of the time very clean rinse water. That is ice because we live with extremely hard water and that does tend to retain a lot of detergent in the clothing.

                                                          Think of it this way. Most people use a dishwasher that takes detergents and rinse aids and are not afraid to eat food that has been in contact with the items washed in the dishwasher. Running greens through a rinse and spin cycle is not much different.

                                                          1. re: Candy

                                                            Except the dishwasher gets very hot sterilizing the dishes and anything in it. Plus, I don't wash undergarments, bath towels or sheets in my dishwasher. Sorry, but yuck!

                                                    2. re: soniabegonia

                                                      You totally need a salad spinner in your life / home. I love the big (I eat a lot of salad) OXO one with the press-down mechanism. It's great just used as a collander, too.

                                                      1. re: soniabegonia

                                                        Get a great big bowl, fill it with water, put your lettuce in head down, dunk in several times as the bowl over runs with cold water, shut it off, and walk away
                                                        Come back. Open the head, look at all the sand in the bottom of the bowl. Open it up, then run water again over the head. Emptey the water and let it sit, upside down for 20 mins. Then come back.
                                                        Get out ye ol salad spinner, and head down spin the dickens out of it.
                                                        Place in a glass bowl head up, cover with a couple of white paper towels, and plastic wrap. Chill
                                                        Best ever crispy crunchy clean lettuce.

                                                      2. Washing and drying salad greens. But grit in my salad is not something I can condone.

                                                        1. Definitely handling raw chicken and ground meats. Ugh, I can't seem to get over it. I keep large boxes of latex gloves in the house and wear them when I'm feeling especially weak in this area. Sometimes it doesn't bother me, most of the time it does. makes me shudder.

                                                          15 Replies
                                                          1. re: fern

                                                            Raw chicken I definitely agree with, but I love the feeling of squeezing the raw ground meat through my fingers when I'm mixing seasoning into burgers. Like playing in the mud as a kid. Gotta do a thorough hand washing afterwards, though.

                                                            1. re: fern

                                                              I wear surgical gloves too!!! I thought I was the only one!

                                                              1. re: fern

                                                                Yech, I hate dealing with a whole chicken. Cleaning it then holding it underneath the wings makes it look so "alive," just without a head!! Freaks the bejeebus out of me.

                                                                1. re: pinkprimp

                                                                  and that's what makes it important to cut up a whole chicken (beside the savings)

                                                                  1. re: alwayscooking

                                                                    But..but..I like roasting it whole so I can rip it apart at the table with my hands (only when I am eating dinner alone). ;-))

                                                                  2. re: pinkprimp

                                                                    I can get em with heads and feet. Want me to mail one?

                                                                    1. re: pinkprimp

                                                                      but...you can make the chicken "dance". ;-).

                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                        haha, that's what I do. I remember watching Martin Yan loosening up the chicken, saying "the chicken's very nervous, you have to relaaaaax the chicken before you cutitup! It really works! Loosens up the joints so it's easier to separate the muscles.

                                                                        1. re: soniabegonia

                                                                          And he was the guy that inspired me to learn how to cut up a whole chicken in 30 seconds.

                                                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                            It's a lot of fun to take a chicken foot and pull the tendons manually to make the claw clench and relax. Very educational! I think it also makes them more tender once they're cooked if you do this ten or twelve times per foot. It's also more fun when you have someone to help you. Especially if you're doing a huge pot of chicken feet.

                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                              We always did that with the adidas - BBQ chicken feet in the Philippines.

                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                I think it would be fun to do while consuming adult beverages --- as I sit here consuming a monster one (the beverage not a chicken foot) after moving and cleaning for the last few days!

                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                  !!!!! I am off to the market to buy a chicken to try this!!!

                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                    Speaking of educational - I definitely remember doing that in 7th grade bio class to learn about anatomy.

                                                                        2. Deveining shrimp, yes - if hubby's home, he does it. Cutting hard to cut things like butternut squash. Crying because of the 10 onions I put in the food processor for my onion soup. Beating anything with an electric mixer - major clean up - frying anything - same thing/plus the smell. So far, baking has been a PITA and a miserable failure for me, but I'm working on it, don't think I'll ever love it. Don't hate it, but dislike side work, it's boring (refilling salt and pepper and sugar, different oils in cruets by the stove, etc.).

                                                                          1. Washing all the white dust of the rice is really annoying. It takes multiple rinses and feels like such a waste of time.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                              Do you wash regular long-grain rice? I never do...basmati I think is the only one I wash...just asking!

                                                                              1. re: Val

                                                                                Was just thinking about this very topic last night. Cleaning mushrooms and removing the skin from roasted peppers drives me bananas.

                                                                            2. Peeling garlic is one of those. I buy mine pre-peeled, too. :)

                                                                              19 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Morganna

                                                                                Don't know if you have tried tihs, but if you just smash the garlic with a knife, the skin usually comes right off.

                                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                  The problem with this (generally swell) method is that if you want thin slices of garlic, after the smashing with the knife -- not only does the skin come off, but you also end up with smashed garlic. If I need to slice it thinly or chop it coarsely, I tend to cut off both ends and the skin comes off well with a sharp knife. Really fresh garlic, tho, remains a pita, because the silver skin sticks to the cloves. Yah, another non-favorite chore, I suppose.

                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                    I want to be able to slice garlic uber-thin like Paulie does in "prison" in Goodfellas. I often conjure up that image when I'm slicing, but I've never mastered it. Maybe I need to use a razor as they did in the movie.


                                                                                    Has anyone ever done this? I don't think I'd have the patience to slice a whole clove like that, nevermind multiple cloves. I'll have to try it at least once.

                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                      I use a small razor sharp carbon steel knife. Thin as paper.

                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                        If you just clip the bulb end off the clove and rock the clove under your palm till you hear a crunch, the peel will come off in one piece and the clover isn't mushed so you can easily get thin slices. Can't remember who showed me this 'cause I used to be a garlic clover smusher too.

                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                          To avoid smooshing them, just don't smoosh them. Press lightly with the flat of a knife, and the peel will crack open before you smoosh the whole clove, and should come right off.

                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                            I do this too. Cut both the stem end and the tip and then roll the garlic between my hands and the skins come off without smashing the garlic. This way I can do paper thin slices or a brunoise

                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                              That's true - I don't slice it often, but do when I'm making vongole - but I don't mind peeling in that case - I just use a small paring knife.

                                                                                            2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                              I know you mean well, but I don't understand why people always have to try and fix something when it's so clear I'm perfectly happy with the solution I've come up with. Is there something inherently evil in pre-peeled garlic? It's just as garlicky as regular garlic. It saves me a step that I don't enjoy, and yes, I've mashed it with a knife, and I hate doing that just as much because then I'm still picking out sticky bits of peel, only smaller ones.

                                                                                              1. re: Morganna

                                                                                                MMRuth can speak for herself very eloquently, of course, but I find myself offering polite "did ya know" kind of information here and in real life, too--this is a great example. This may not be a tip you want to try, but for the many other viewing eyes here on CH, it's helpful information and a way to try something new. My guess is pre-peeled garlic may not stay fresh as long (I have no idea--it seems it might get stale quicker w/o its skin) and maybe it's more expensive (again, I don't use it--so I'm guessing). If so, this tip will help someone, whether they say so here or not. The only time I'm bugged by someone offering advice is when it comes in the form of "I can't believe you do THAT!" with a big ol' sanctimonoius lecture as to why THEIR product/method/viewpoint is far superior to mine. And you and I have seen it happen firsthand, so I know you know what I mean. ;)

                                                                                                Enjoy your garlic and feel free to pass on the tip. I think it's just a helpful suggestion, one poster to another.

                                                                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                  Yeah, you and MMRuth make a good point. :) Thanks for taking the time to answer me so kindly. :)

                                                                                                2. re: Morganna

                                                                                                  Hi - I tend to find these threads more informative and interesting when people chime in with ways to make certain dreaded tasks easier, which is why I added that "tip". Just mentioned b/c I had no way of knowing if you'd tried the smashing thing or not, or *why* you hated to peel garlic.

                                                                                                  Anyway, it might help someone else who hasn't tried it. You are absolutely right, of course, that you should do it the way you want to and that works for you. I don't think there is any thing evil about prepeeled garlic, but, since you ask, I find it to be a little more acrid than cloves that I use from a fresh head of garlic.

                                                                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                    i don't find that the pre-peeled has that "bite" of aromatics that i love in fresh-peeled. that is me.
                                                                                                    last turkey day, i made a friend who used the "pre-minced" version try it head-to-head (ha!) with my fresh minced. in the pre-minced, one could taste the dully vinegar, preservative flavor. he still preferred it -- but that may've just been a pride thing.

                                                                                                    i still will use garlic and ginger paste from the indian place, though, because often, you need that for a recipe -- or it calls for lots of garlic.

                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                      No pride thing, alkapal. That preminced stuff in glasses is kinda vile. Too oily, too... don't know. Just don't like the flavor -- it's no comparison to fresh minced garlic -- and I use garlic press a LOT for salad dressings or pasta sauces (at the end, to give it an extra garlic kick): I love the juice that drips into the dressing as well. Can't do that with the pre-minced oily stuff....

                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                        well, i'm saying that he was probably too proud to admit my fresh garlic was better.

                                                                                                    2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                      I was just flipping through Frank Stitt's The Southern Table, and in the back he has a section about ingredients and techniques. His rationale for not using the prepeeled garlic is that it oxidizes, which gives, in his opinion, the garlic an off taste.

                                                                                                3. re: Morganna

                                                                                                  I don’t recall now where I picked up this tip (may have been here on CH) but it was only very recently, after about 40 years of trying every method known to wo/man for peeling garlic and keeping the cloves whole instead of smashed. I cut off the root end, hold the clove with three fingers of each hand, and twist. It cracks the paper layer so that it slips right off. Works better and faster than any of the other squillion methods I’ve tried.

                                                                                                4. YK TVC15, I got that pre-peeled garlic and it made my whole fridge stink of garlic. Like everything had this garlic odor. After that batch, I went back to the more tedious way of peeling it myself. I love garlic, don't get me wrong, but good golly it tainted my food.

                                                                                                  I don't like handling any kind of raw meats. *shivers* I save that chore for my husband. And as much as I want to like the chopper, I don't. Its obnoxious and is a real PITA. I also struggle with the Vidalia Slice Wizard. They're always too thin or too thick. And I only use it for red potatoes which I generally pick smaller. So I get dangerously close to cutting my finger tips.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Ima Baconista

                                                                                                    We use two zip lock bags for the garlic and we have no odor problems. And sorry about the spelling errors in the original post.

                                                                                                    1. re: TVC15

                                                                                                      Thats a good idea, the ziplock bag. Thanks for that tip.

                                                                                                      And how dare you have spelling errors! :-P

                                                                                                  2. Skinning squid. But then I get to slice and bread and fry and eat them...yummmmm.

                                                                                                    1. Cleaning mushrooms. Don't know why I dislike this task so much, but rubbing each little guy with a moist towel, making sure you have removed every bit of dirt just annoys me. And, we love mushrooms, so there are always a lot of the little suckers to clean.

                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                        I used to be the same way with mushrooms, but then saw a Good Eats episode where they did an "experiment" (which was certainly staged, but based on actual trials) to see how much water mushrooms absorb. Turns out it really isn't very much. So now I dump the mushrooms in a colander and rinse them just like everything else, then gently dry them with a towel.

                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                            I find with most white button mushrooms, there's so little dirt on 'em, it cooks right off -- and I'm still very much alive ... '-)

                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                              me too. im horrible about washing veggies, especially if they're going to be cooked.

                                                                                                          2. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                            I wash my mushrooms as well. I don't soak them or anything, but a quick rinse with my fingers rubbing off the dirt, and then a quick blot dry, and they are ready to go.

                                                                                                        1. peeling pearl or cippoline onions

                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: cassoulady

                                                                                                            Yes, I was going to post this as well. I have a great recipe for a greek stifado (stew) that calls for several pounds of pearl onions. Peeling them is such a PITA that I rarely made it until I discovered that my grocery store sells frozen pearl onions. It's one time I will choose frozen over fresh every time.

                                                                                                            In a similar vein, shelling and peeling fava beans is a real chore.

                                                                                                            By the way, for all those that complained above about onions making you cry, a while ago on this board somebody posted a tip that really works -- refrigerate your onions. I've been doing this for a few years now, and I never cry anymore when chopping onions. It's awesome!

                                                                                                            1. re: cassoulady

                                                                                                              I used to hate this, and then I discovered how to do it. Cut the root end and make a cross with the tip of a knife at the same end, then blanch in boiling water for about a minute for cippoline, maybe half a minute for tiny pearl onions, rinse under cold water so they'll be easy to handle, and just pop them out of their skins. Save the skins for stock.

                                                                                                              1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                                                                                I think this came up on a similar thread a while back - but, Suzanne Goin has a recipe in which you roast the onions and then peel them. I found that to be much easier than you method, in that I think that skins slip off more easily. Good point about saving the skins.

                                                                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                  That's not a bad idea. I suppose it would depend on how I plan to use them. I would think that roasting would cook the onions through by the time the skins are ready to come off, at least with a very small onion, which might be good for some things, not so good for others. Blanching seems quicker and a little more controllable.

                                                                                                                  1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                                                                                    I think these got added to a braised short rib dish.

                                                                                                                  2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                    I've done the blanching method, and while it is certainly easier than trying to peel pearl onions raw, when you have to do a lot of them for a recipe, it's still time consuming and can be a bit frustrating. I think (as noted above), my main cooking things I don't like doing are peeling small things, like the pearl onions, or fava beans, mainly because you do these things in quantity and it takes a lot longer than you think it will when you plan your menu.

                                                                                                                    In that same vein, I also am not a fan of peeling tomatoes, or peeling roasted peppers. I've tried every trick in the book to make them as easy to peel as possible (i,e., for tomatoes -- blanching, and for peppers -- steaming in a bag after roasting), but I still find the task frustrating and time consuming. I think this is mainly because when I attempt a recipe that calls for these items, its typically for a dinner party or bigger party, and it's not just peeling 4 peppers, it's peeling 2 dozen (or 3 lbs of pearl onions, or the like of favas). Even if you find the best, easiest method to do it, it's still going to take a long time.

                                                                                                                    Anyhow, I appreciate the tips!

                                                                                                                    1. re: DanaB

                                                                                                                      That reminds me of when I was a student and occasionally worked in the kitchen where we were usually cooking for about 60 people and always had a vegetarian main dish as well as one with meat, so I asked one of my vegetarian friends about cookbooks, and we were discussing _The Vegetarian Epicure_, which I thought looked like a pretty good book with interesting ideas, but my friend said the recipes didn't scale up well. I asked what he meant by that, if he thought they just were unbalanced, or what, and he said, "well, every recipe in that book seems to involve some fiddly technique like peeling peppers, which is okay if you're just doing two, but kind of tedious when you have to do fourteen."

                                                                                                              2. I actually like chopping garlic - smashing it is so satisfying, though it does get more annoying when you get to the center of the head and all the cloves are bitsy-small . . . but I definitely agree with everyone's comments about washing vegetables, especially greens . . . I need a spinner cause mine always stay too-wet.

                                                                                                                I also hate grating, not because grating itself bugs me but because I feel like I can never get the grater actually clean afterwards . . ..

                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Cebca

                                                                                                                  Yes!! Those itty bitty cloves are totally annoying and the cheapskate in me has to use every last one.

                                                                                                                  Grating is a good one... I will do everything in my power to avoid grating - though I just got a Microplane box grater and it works great.. really fast. Just hate the knuckle cuts.

                                                                                                                  I use a toothbrush to clean my rasp grater, filters for my French presses, the blender blade, etc. Works great, esp on the blender blade which gets really gunky if you don't do a thorough cleaning regularly.

                                                                                                                  1. re: soniabegonia

                                                                                                                    How about you save the itty bitty ones for something that doesn't require peeling?

                                                                                                                  2. re: Cebca

                                                                                                                    Try a toothbrush, and if you've grated garlic, dip the soapy toothbrush in coffee grounds (used is fine).

                                                                                                                  3. add me to the hate to clean mushrooms crowd

                                                                                                                    also dislike the feel of washing off a raw bird- feels like a slippery, rubbery, dead baby especially when I'm holding it under it's 'arm pits' - eesh. but i'll do it.

                                                                                                                    LOVE BACON but really don't care for cooking it (it spits at me!)

                                                                                                                    carving any sort of beast- this could change if f I had better knives

                                                                                                                    picking meat off the carcass (almost as bad as washing the bird)

                                                                                                                    deep frying - so I leave it to the pros

                                                                                                                    emptying out the dishwasher (i HATE it- hubby will help if i ask)

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                                                                      << feels like a slippery, rubbery, dead baby especially when I'm holding it under it's 'arm pits' - eesh. but i'll do it.>>

                                                                                                                      HA HA HA HA HA! Not that you must know what a slippery, rubbery, dead baby actually feels like, but your description is hysterical.

                                                                                                                      Fresh scallops in the sink also like to spit, but at least they're not spitting hot oil! Owww!

                                                                                                                      1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                                                                        LOL thank you for describing exactly how I feel when I wash those raw birds!

                                                                                                                        1. re: pinkprimp

                                                                                                                          Same here! And I have gotten so very paranoid about cross contamination and following up the whole work space (which seems to include the wall) with a bleach solution.
                                                                                                                          We eat a lot more vegetarian that we used to.

                                                                                                                          And while we're at it, cutting up a fresh pineapple, ESPECIALLY after all that work, and being punctured, the pineapple is mediocre or not good at all.

                                                                                                                      2. Almost forgot -- cleaning sweetbreads. Trying to take off the membrane without the whole thing dissembling to a mess is amazingly tiresome. Sweetbreads will be had in restaurants from now on!

                                                                                                                        1. Cutting carrots into a fine brunoise

                                                                                                                          Cutting onions into a fine brunoise

                                                                                                                          Removing the skin from a fish fillet that hasn't been handled carefully previously (much easier to fillet from a whole fish and the skin)

                                                                                                                          Peeling potatoes that have too many concave bits / indentations

                                                                                                                          Plucking a chicken or duck.

                                                                                                                          Dealing with frozen fish that turn out to not have been scaled

                                                                                                                          Dealing with long green onions that have gotten a bit old - requiring stripping off all the bad bits and washing away the slime and drying again

                                                                                                                          Sorting through the crate of citrus after one has gone moldy and damaged an unknown number of its neighbors

                                                                                                                          Using a cleaver to cut large fish steaks and not cutting cleanly all the way through, making it necessary to aim again at the same cut with less power - and making a mess if you miss

                                                                                                                          Dealing with freshly killed large dead mammals meant to be eaten

                                                                                                                          Shelling walnuts and almonds (this from growing up)

                                                                                                                          And finally, one that comes from growing up that has to do with food but not with cooking per se: emptying the bag of peach fuzz from the defuzzer at the end of the day at the packing plant

                                                                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                            Plucking fowl is foul, but at least you know they're fresh. Wringing their necks is also a tad distressing.

                                                                                                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                              Well then, we'all jes gon' have t' have a pluckin' party.

                                                                                                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                you know i feel a little weird admitting it-- i think some folks might think i'm monstrous; but one of my favorite tasks is plucking. i especially love to pluck doves, quail, anything really small that easily fits into one hand while the other plucks. i love the feather patterns, to hold the bird breast down and get all of the long flight feathers from the wings, then to turn it and start from the breast just below the neck, the way the smaller feathers tear off like little wisps of cotton, and to be holding something that seems so light for its size.

                                                                                                                                i know it's a "least favorite" thread though, so i hate gutting fish. i also hate scrubbing the half-rancid grease out of an outdoor bbq pit, after it's finally cold 1 or 2 days later.

                                                                                                                              2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                While I cannot relate to the defuzzer task, I'm so surprised that you find all those other chores as odius. I, on the other hand, can't think of one thing I mind doing in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                Well maybe reorganizing the pantry after TDB (the dear boy) has been in there looking for something that has been right under his nose.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                  tdb actually MOVES something to look for something else? ha! if only i were so lucky!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                    Moves, relocates, rearranges, redistributes and throughly changes my carefully and unequivocally precise organization of said pantry. Harumph!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                      Yours does that,too? My dh thinks that as long as it's "put away", it doesn't matter where. This wouldn't be so bad, except he NEVER remembers where he puts what.
                                                                                                                                      But he does periodically clean the entire rangetop (which I hate doing), so a little extra searching here and there is kinda worth it.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                      My SO uses the integrated voice command system built into the kitchen
                                                                                                                                      'where's the . . .'
                                                                                                                                      although he empties the dishwasher

                                                                                                                                      1. re: alwayscooking

                                                                                                                                        alwayscooking, you have named it! i have always been at a frustrating loss to describe this phenomenon. now, i can just say: "IVC: OFF" of course, mr. alka will then say, "huh? what? what's 'ivc'? what are you going on about?!?"


                                                                                                                                    3. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                      You know, I was thinking the same thing. I can't really think of anything that I particuarly mind - cleaning doesn't count. And, yes, I hate the way the pantry seems to spin out of control. One day/week/month it's fine and then *suddenly* it's awful. I want MINIONS!!!! Or MILLIONS!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                        I'll take the minions AND the millions, thank you very much. Enough already with putting everything to right after the Alpha has been in there.....

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                        Joe! So you, me and TDB are going to have a brunoise - ing party while dressing out and butchering a 125 kg black bear and doing up some whole fresh caught salmon.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                          OK. One to do the brunoise, one to butcher. one to fish. I Love fresh caught salmon but who gets to wear the bear skin?

                                                                                                                                    4. charring, peeling and deseeding chiles! What a task!
                                                                                                                                      cleaning shrimp
                                                                                                                                      grating cheese ( a lot of cheese)
                                                                                                                                      peeling poached peaches - my hands end up burning
                                                                                                                                      I'm with the others when it comes to handling chicken. In general, it just sort of skeeves me out. Bloody chicken juice, and I am so paranoid to get everything sanitary after handling it..sane for a turkey.
                                                                                                                                      Using the food processor for certain grating prrojects like carrots. Carrots fly everywhere, and then my knuckles are always getting in the way of the blades and the sides of the processor.
                                                                                                                                      I don't mind slicing and chopping things like veggies etc. by hand, every now and again, I putt out the processor beause I think it saves time. The jury is out.
                                                                                                                                      Rolling lumpia
                                                                                                                                      Tamale rolling and tieing - that's a project and a back killer

                                                                                                                                      1. Emptying the dishwasher
                                                                                                                                        De-stemming spinach
                                                                                                                                        Dispatching live protein

                                                                                                                                        Nothing else bothers me

                                                                                                                                        1. Cleaning up after my wife, who insists she cleans as she goes but just doesn't get the concept.

                                                                                                                                          1. I absolutely hate making green salads. I know, easiest thing ever to make. I think it's because it's nothing but prep work!

                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: rebs

                                                                                                                                                Green salad? Don't you just open the bag and dump? : > )

                                                                                                                                                1. re: rebs

                                                                                                                                                  Also totally agree. If only someone else would make the salad, I'd be happy to do ALL the other courses.

                                                                                                                                                2. Cleaning bits of egg out of my cast iron pan. It's beautifully seasoned most of the time, so I just have to wipe it out, but I won't buy paper towels so I always end up putting another hand towel in the laundry. And then when the pan needs seasoning, argh, those stupid textured walls on the Lodge pans! I hate 'em!

                                                                                                                                                  1. "cooking chore you like the least?"

                                                                                                                                                    Trying to get my wife to load the dish machine the RIGHT way. You know...........
                                                                                                                                                    My way! LOL

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                                                                      >>Trying to get my wife to load the dish machine the RIGHT way. You know...........
                                                                                                                                                      My way! LOL<<

                                                                                                                                                      That is too funny! I can totally relate. I had a long standing Sunday Dinner group who came to my house every Sunday for literally years (like 5 years or so), and we would cook complex meals from scratch for between 6-14 people. Since I was always in charge of the cooking, there were a couple of people who regularly took charge of the clean-up, and despite my "showing them how" to load the dishwasher more than once, I always had to rearrange it at the end of the night. Like, ALWAYS. I figured it was not worth making a fuss over, since they never seemed to learn, and they did all the hand-washing of pots and pans just fine. But I could never understand why it was so hard to load the dishwasher correctly :-)

                                                                                                                                                    2. Cleaning a beef tenderloin -- I always find myself questioning if it's really worth saving the money to do it myself when I'm up at midnight before a big family meal struggling with the silver skin.

                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mr99203

                                                                                                                                                        I love doing that! It's so satisfying!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mr99203

                                                                                                                                                          If the beef is dry aged, then the silver skin usually pulls right off. Of course, when you're buying the cheap whole fillet, it's usually boxed beef sold in Cryovac packages. I try to buy it a few days in advance of when I'll need it and set it out on paper towels and covered with a paper towel, and change out the towels every day so that it can drain like dry aged beef. This improves the density of the meat, and it's easier to get a good char on it without overcooking it in the center. The silverskin will come off much more easily as well.

                                                                                                                                                          I find this improves many cuts of supermarket quality meat. A large roast I might age for an extra week like in this way; one or two days for a steak.

                                                                                                                                                        2. De-stemming herbs.

                                                                                                                                                          Cleaning up after frying bacon.

                                                                                                                                                          Peeling peaches or other soft fruits.

                                                                                                                                                          Peeling garlic.

                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jmckee

                                                                                                                                                            >>De-stemming herbs.<<

                                                                                                                                                            I used to get frustrated with de-stemming herbs, I think mainly because I'm a perfectionist and it annoyed me when I couldn't get all the leaves off without getting some stem in there, especially with things like the side stems on fresh oregano and rosemary. With things like cilantro and italian parsley, I used to hand pick off all of the useable leaves from the stem. With age I've mellowed a bit, and now am more willing to both allow a bit of stem to stay in the mix, and to allow the stubborn leaves to stay on the stem and LET THEM GO :-) Haven't ever noticed a difference in the final preparation, so am contented with my current method, even if it isn't perfect ;-)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jmckee

                                                                                                                                                              "peeling peaches or other soft fruits"

                                                                                                                                                              I don't mind doing this at home, but in college I worked at a Gelateria and in the summertime we would make fresh peach and mango sorbets and gelatos. Nothing sucks like trying to peel a bushel of peaches and having to wait on customers. I hated having to stop, peel off the gloves, wipe up excess juice, wash hands serve one customer, wash hands, put gloves back on, peel two peaches, remove gloves, wipe up excess juice, wash hands, serve one customer....it just seemed so unproductive!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jmckee

                                                                                                                                                                I worked at a restaurant once where I had to germ the garlic, 4 litres at a time...at least it was peeled, i guess

                                                                                                                                                                1. Cleaning bread dough out of the food processor. Yes I've tried putting dish soap and water in it but it is still a pain in the butt to get the thing really clean. Same thing with dough on stainless steel bowls (Elizabeth David said to wash up as soon as the dough was out of the bowl, but fresh or dried on, still a pain).
                                                                                                                                                                  Also grating hard cheese - even with a Microplane. Am also not crazy about the texture of cheese grated even with the coarser grade of Microplane - too feathery. Great for citrus zest, not so hot for cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                    For the bread dough in the food processor and in steel bowls, personally, I'm a fan of soaking in hot water for a while before washing. If you try to clean it right away, or if you let them sit around out of water, it's a total pain, but if you fill the bowl of the food processor, etc. with water and let it sit for a hour or so, it cleans up quite easily.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. No problem with shrimp, garlic or onion peeling, but I hate handling beef liver. Its just so....internal, somehow...

                                                                                                                                                                    My husband loves grilled liver and onions, but it is where I draw the line...I have cleaned rabbits, hacked up a moose carcass, prepared seal flipper pie, plucked chickens and prepared tripe, but liver gives me the willies!

                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. I guess I am kind of "Zen" when it comes to kitchen chores. If I am in the mood to cook, I don't mind anything and it relaxes me. The whole process is gratifying. On the other hand, if I am not in the mood, doing any of it makes me cranky. Fortunately for me, the times I want to cook are frequent enough these days that there are tons of leftovers for the other times. (And Top Ramen/packaged udon/much-reviled-on-Chow substance to cover the gaps.)
                                                                                                                                                                      That said, I am terrified of deep frying the "old-fashioned" way, in a regular old pot on the stove. I don't have an electric deep-fryer. So no fried food.
                                                                                                                                                                      I also hate the way my stand mixer seems to collect dust no matter how often I use it.
                                                                                                                                                                      And lately, having no transportation in a car-heavy city, I am kind of bitter about the walk to the grocery store. Three miles round trip to a real grocery store, limited by having the hour+ and how much I can carry at any given time. Save-a-Lot is less than a mile, but have you ever tried to do a regular shopping trip there? I did have a car when I moved to this house, so I had no idea I should live across the street from the Sweetbay. Le sigh.

                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: evewitch

                                                                                                                                                                        re: the dust on the stand mixer. dh's grandma made some hand-sewn "appliance cozies" for her mixer and a few other smallwares that sit out on her counter. they match and are very cute. i don't know if that sounds way too fussy/martha stewart to you, but maybe you or a friend who likes to sew could make some, or just keep a big old fashioned cotton kitchen towel draped over your mixer when you're not using it. i don't sew at all but the idea of a cool sashiko stitched mixer cozy appeals to me for some reason. sorry to hear about the transport issue, can you get a bike?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the tip. Come to think of it, my mom has those too. Although I am more likely to try the towel. Or maybe I could just store the bowl upside-down instead of hooked in (the rest of it would still be dusty, though).
                                                                                                                                                                          A bike would be awesome.. Less expensive than fixing my car, cut my walking time in half. I have to wait 2-3 weeks before I have extra money, but then...

                                                                                                                                                                      2. i tried the "twisty garlic" technique (cut root end, then twist in opposite directions), and it works pretty darn well! thanks, y'all.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Cleaning shrimp. Ugh.

                                                                                                                                                                          Salad prep. So much work for so little result. It's still just salad. (But I can't abide "pre-washed" salad greens, so I must.)

                                                                                                                                                                          1. I don't love cleaning shrimp since it's somewhat tedious, but for all of you who hate, hate, hate it, have you tried a gadget such as this one?


                                                                                                                                                                            This isn't exactly the model I've had for years and years (and have brought as a gift to myself to any friends' homes at which I'm likely to be cooking shrimp), but it's close. It doesn't do away with the problem of the veins still being a mess to deal with, but it does make the chore go far more quickly and easily than any other method I've tried.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. picking crabmeat -- which i'm about to do!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Cleaning dishes/pots/sinks
                                                                                                                                                                                Trying to find the stupid dishes that gets misplaced
                                                                                                                                                                                Trying to dry said dishes just to find the drying racked being filled to the brim =.=

                                                                                                                                                                                They should just invent a dimension where you can store all your crap and take them out when needed, like Doraemon!

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: AngelSanctuary

                                                                                                                                                                                  angelsanctuary, please let me know when you locate the portal to said dimension. i could *really, really* use it!

                                                                                                                                                                                2. no matter how sharp the knive, I HATE cutting carrots. In fact I don't really like eating carrots...

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. This was hard because there is very little jfood does not enjoy in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                    But peeling the chestnuts for the Tureky dressing is very tedious
                                                                                                                                                                                    Likewise it was jfood thankless job growing up to dry the dishes, so he hates drying dishes. He willwash them totally, but drying, not so much.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. i just discovered that i really hate having to stir tahini to combine the paste and oil. Any homogenized tahini out there?

                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                                                        That's funny. The other day latest my ex-wife asked me for tahini. Major workout stirring it back up.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                          You stir tahini for an ex-wife? Might accommodating of you, Sam.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                            I still love every one of my ex-wives. Uhh ... except one of em.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                                                          I find that storing it upside-down in the fridge reduces the separation problem quite a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                            Really? I'll have to tell my girlfriend- she just bought some. It was funny- I had a missed call on my phone so I call her back and she's screaming into the phone at me "I'm in the store and I'm looking for T-A-H-I-N-I. What IS that? I KNOW you'll know."
                                                                                                                                                                                            I did. She later complained she got hand cramps from stirring it. I'll pass along the tip- I just told her I'd take the rest of the can off her hands to help out... (wink wink)