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Sins in the Kitchen

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After the holiday season I often reevaluate how worthwile it is to have family over by the damage done to knives, cookware, and other food curiosities imported into my home. Of course, it is great to have family, but let's face it: there are also drawbacks.

Non-stick pans, knives, and wine glasses suffer the most in my house, but it got me thinking about other 'sins of the kitchen' that I have seen in the past.

So here are my kitchen pet peaves.

(1) Putting tomatoes in the fridge.
(2) Defrosting meat on the counter.
(3) Using knives on the granite counter top.
(4) Leaving me extra cans of cream of mushroom soup. Thanks.
(5) Treating stemware as if it is tuperware.
(6) Putting wood products and expensive knives in dishwasher.
(7) Using metal utensils on non-stick pans.

My family usually say I am being too anal about my kitchen. Is this true? I think I am being reasonable.


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  1. (3) Using knives on the granite counter top
    This should be considered a crime with a sentence in a correctional facility.

    If they think that just because they don't have to pay for your things, then they should be able to ruin them with no consequences, then I'd suggest no longer having holiday gatherings at your house. You might want to CLEARLY go over your ground rules with everyone first, but, at some point, you have to take a stand for yourself, and not let ppl walk over you even if they are family.

    11 Replies
    1. re: gordeaux

      I couldn't agree more with the knives. I just got a really nice custom Japanese knife for Christmas (really expensive and nice gift) and I came home from a week away and the tip was bent on it -- ever so slightly but still bent. I even hid it before leaving town but it got taken out to 'show off' I think. After that who knows what happend to it. My family are getting better about using cutting boards, but some new in-laws don't bother to ask where the boards are located.

      1. re: smkit

        I thought only my helpful houseguests would jam the tips of my knives into bone!

      2. re: gordeaux

        How about glass cutting boards? I think the mere existence of glass cutting boards is a sin.

        1. re: Indirect Heat

          What would you do with glass cutting boards if someone gave you a pair? The sound of cutting on them squicks me out.

          1. re: Dax

            Use it to serve cheese, fruit, and crackers.

            1. re: Dax

              I used the one my mother gave me as a trivet.

              1. re: Dax

                I once chopped a pie's worth of rhubarb using my brother's dull-ass knife on his glass cutting board. Ugh.

                1. re: Dax

                  Here's the best use for them. If you've got laminate countertops, use the big glass cutting board under your crockpot. I'm a kitchen designer, and I can't count the number of countertops I've replaced because people's crockpots seared, charred, melted or actually started the tops on fire! The glass cutting boards with the little feet on them make a little air cushion underneath.

                  1. re: jmcarthur8

                    My crockpot lives on a marble slab.

                  2. re: Dax

                    I used them as trivets under my toaster. Just be sure they are tempered glass.

                  3. re: Indirect Heat

                    I have one, but it's more decorative than anything; we bought it at an art gallery because the art on it is the same as the print hanging over the fireplace, and we wanted to see how many people noticed. We keep it next to the sink and coffee pot, using it only to cut lemons for tea. I wouldn't think of using a glass cutting board otherwise.

                2. (8) Putting a hot non-stick pan into water without letting it cool down first. Some years ago I was able to save an expensive Le Creuset non-stick from this fate only by making a screaming dash across the kitchen at the last moment. Some people are just clueless!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: BobB

                    I am clueless. What happens when you put a hot nonstick pan into water?

                    1. re: Petrichor

                      The non-stick coating may be destroyed as the water temperature (even hot sink water is a LOT cooler than a hot pan) causes it to contract more rapidly than the underlying metal. When the pan heats or cools gradually this is not an issue, but the near-instantaneous cooling caused by water can be fatal. Even if it doesn't destroy the coating immediately its bond to the metal will be weakened, shortening the pan's lifespan.

                      1. re: BobB

                        I confess I didn't know LeCreuset made nonstick. Isn't nonstick poisonous? Unless you just mean the porcelain.

                        1. re: lagatta

                          No, these were genuine Le Creuset nonstick with a teflonish coating. Like most such nonstick (all, in fact, except my miraculous Dansk Master Series) they lost their coating after a while and I eventually tossed them.

                          They may not be made anymore - I inherited those from someone who passed away back in 1990 and I have no idea how old they were then - the friend who died had not been much of a cook and may have bought them many years earlier.

                  2. 9) Leaving expensive knives or chopping boards in the sink/submerged.

                    I agree with all of these things, although I'd worry less about the tomatoes - it's just the aromatics that suffer I believe. Your family are wrong, and you are right. If they do 3, 6,7,8 or 9, I say key their car. That'll teach them.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Soop

                      My wife loves but bury my sharp knives under the dishes in the sink. Nice little surprise when I dig in to do them.

                      1. re: chileheadmike

                        Whenever we get a new addition to the kitchen, I gently remind my darling several times what needs to happen; she's quite good with the knives, but I found her whisking something in a non-stick pan (metal whisk) and I was like EEEEEEE!!

                        I'll probably have nightmares about what happens when I'm not even there. She also managed to scratch the TV in our room by knocking a mirror into it :( And left bits of broken mirror for my feets.

                        1. re: chileheadmike

                          Yep. I forgot about the buried knife trick in my list. My favorite is when the 10+ inch bread knife gets buried in soapy water. The damage done to my hands with that hidden object is amazing. Another lesser danger are my microplane zesters. They also are keen on marinating my wood handle cheese knives in dish water too. Soggy little knives they become.

                          1. re: smkit

                            I recall reading a trick out here once for dealing with such surprises. Before plunging into the unknown depths of a sinkful of soapy water, partially submerge a glass bowl in it first. Let's you see what's down there!

                              1. re: BobB

                                I was just going to mention this. I read about this trick in Cooks Illustrated.

                          2. re: Soop

                            "9) Leaving expensive knives or chopping boards in the sink/submerged"

                            I assume this is about ruining them. Is it wrong to leave a plastic chopping board submerged, or just wooden ones ? And what damage does soaking knives in soapy water do ?

                            1. re: dump123456789

                              I think it was more about knives in water period. If you can't see it, who knows where it is...and the damage that a nice knife can do to a hand...ouch!

                              But, it is never good to leave anything submerged for long periods of time. Many expensive knives are made from natural materials and are handmade. Even though they were sealed during the formation process, they are still liable to soak up moisture, damaging the material permanently. Wood cutting boards should not be left to soak or even submerged because if any water gets into the board (even though it is sealed) it can cause the board to crack as it dries. I don't see anything wrong with leaving a plastic board submerged, but I have found (from personal experience) that they get a strange texture after a few soakings. It is almost like they are peeling. The same thing happens with the dishwasher though, so I would guess it is the heat.

                          3. OK, don't get the problem with the meat...unless you mean NOT on a plate? Ick. My sad story (I've mentioned it elsewhere on CH) was allowing my insistent father and brother-in-law to wash the china after dinner one Christmas Eve. I was busy hostessing out in the living room...

                            Next time we went to use the Wedgwood, we discovered the death toll: two dinner plates, one salad plate, one saucer, the bottom to the gravy set, and two rimmed soups. SCREAM! All cracked. All very, very expensive to replace.

                            Friends don't let friends wash their dishes drunk. My bad.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: Beckyleach

                              Defrosting meat at room temperature invites the growth of bacteria. Best to do it in the fridge or cold water changed every so often.

                              1. re: Beckyleach

                                I defrost meat in the kitchen sink. My mother and grandmother did and I don't recall ever having our family down with food poisoning.

                                1. re: lynnlato

                                  We've always defrosted wrapped meat on the counter or in the kitchen sink allowing it to sit for a few hours. I know this is totally against health standards, but in the 49 years I have been alive, not one person in my family, or anyone I have served food to, has gotten sick because of it.

                                  1. re: ttoommyy

                                    We have done it too. However, there was an early incident that made us stop.

                                    My wife's grandfather chucked the family machine tool business because he always wanted to own a cattle farm. He provided us amply in the early years of our marriage with freebie cuts from his "beeves". His cube steaks were meltingly tender. My wife, a nurse, worked every other weekend, and on Saturdays I'd make a big lunchtime meal for her before she left for the hospital at 2 p.m.

                                    One Friday night, I set out the cube steaks to thaw as usual. When we got up in the morning, Casey, our first of many cats, was sitting halfway up the stairs to the second floor, having opened the cube steaks in the middle of the night and dragggggged one halfway up the stairs, where she was feasting mightily.

                                    We changed defrosting methods pronto. But Casey loved us more than ever.

                                  2. re: lynnlato

                                    "I've driven my whole life without a seatbelt, and never died in a car accident".

                                    Still, not the best idea in the world...

                                    1. re: Indirect Heat

                                      There's also no real benefit to driving without a seatbeat while there is a huge benefit to defrosting meat on the counter or in the sink. It's a risk/benefit I'm willing to take. YMMV.

                                      1. re: Indirect Heat

                                        Wait a minute - I never said "I've driven my whole life without a seatbelt, and never died in a car accident"???

                                        Either way, I'm with KT. You scaredy cats can follow all the rules and defrost in the fridge, use anti-bacterial soap, and all that other nonsense - I'm not gonna and you can't make me! :-P

                                    2. re: Beckyleach

                                      That is indeed sad, and a hard lesson. But I give you much credit for at least using your Wedgwood, as opposed to leaving it in the cabinet.

                                      I have a friend who inherited from his family some very old, valuable, ceramic ware that was rarely used. His philosophy is, if it's valuable, use it! So he does, every day. It brings a touch of beauty to everyday life.

                                    3. "(4) Leaving me extra cans of cream of mushroom soup. Thanks"

                                      Donate them if you don't want them. Almost all our local libraries have donation barrels.

                                      1. I know this makes me sound ungrateful...but my sister's family insists on doing the dishes after the holidays. Which is very sweet. But they never transfer the leftovers into the tupperware I put out, and just put foil over the serving dish and shove it in the fridge. This way, the next morning I transfer everything to the tupperware and still have to wash all the serving dishes.

                                        1. My first thought: Knives in the sink! KNIIIIIVES IN THE SINK!

                                          Also: metal on my non-stick. Please, stop. I am more than willing to hand you a rubber spatula.

                                          Tomatoes in the fridge is a big one, too.
                                          Raw meat on the top shelf of the fridge. *shudders*

                                          Cutting buns, bagels, etc, with one's right hand while holding them cupped in one's left hand. I used to do this all the time. Now, three inches of scar and one failed tendon repair surgery later, I am the bread-knife-safety poster-girl. Yet I can wave my butchered hand around all I want and everyone keeps slicing things in dangerous ways...

                                          I have an aunt who's been known to return cocktail sauce to the jar after it's been out for two hours having shrimp dunked in it. I love shrimp, but you better believe I don't eat it at that house anymore.

                                          8 Replies
                                          1. re: Whats_For_Dinner

                                            What's wrong with having meat on the top shelf of the refrigerator?

                                            1. re: KTinNYC

                                              Beats me. I'd like to know the answer to that one also. Bad karna? lol

                                              1. re: KTinNYC

                                                Probably referring to the standard restaurant kitchen rule where the Health Dept says this is no-no because then the juices can drip down onto food and produce below it. But in a home fridge, it's a bit of a different story. Unless you've got 10 lbs of ground beef thawing up there.

                                                1. re: lynnlato

                                                  And even then, no problem as long as it's sitting in or on a container to catch the drips.

                                                  1. re: lynnlato

                                                    Got it. No, I usually don't have that much meat in my fridge. lol Plus, it's usually well wrapped when in there so no worries anyway. Thanks for the response.

                                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                                      I just got a new refrigerator and it had solid shelving so this is even less of an issue.

                                                      1. re: KTinNYC

                                                        Even with solid shelves dripping meat juiced can be a problem. Mystery meat in a plastic bag leaked from the wire top shelf down to the bottom solid shelf and around bottom draw. Nice surprise when I removed the draw to wash out the rotten veggie/fruit juice. The joys of a roommate lacking common sense and the ability to clean up his messes.

                                                        1. re: viperlush

                                                          My top shelf is solid. Sounds like you need one more then I do!

                                              2. When my sister house sat for us, I returned to find that our crystal wine glasses and German knives had gone through the dishwasher. She had never owned a dishwasher before so she didn’t really know what to or not put in it, and she had never owned quality cookware. So now she knows to hand wash the glasses or opt for some cheap glasses which can go in the dishwasher. I also have two sets of knives. Mine are on a magnetic strip on the wall, and there is an o’cheapo knife block in the cupboard for guests that are dishwasher friendly.

                                                It may be a little contradictive, but there is no excuse for using abrasive tools on a non-stick pan.

                                                This also reminds me when I used my Demeyere cookware for the first time. My brother-in-law scooped up some boiled potatoes with a spoon from the pot. I could hear it scraping the bottom (I had to bite my lip not to say anything) and when I was washing it up later there was one big scratch on the bottom. It made me feel a little woozy but after sticking the whisk in there a couple of times it now just looks used and loved.

                                                Ok I know this is over the line. But I hate hate hate when people put the teaspoons away in the draw the wrong way. Handles up one end only!

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: snax

                                                  I was lucky enough to have my Sister and her family visit me this past Thanksgiving.

                                                  She was just Dx with MS a few weeks ago.She is gonna be okay but...

                                                  I am glad that when she was here I didn't care about my good china,or where things belonged.I knew I would figure out where everything was when they left.

                                                  Being together and sharing a meal is more precious than a place setting.I know most of you know it.Just giving you a reminder..


                                                  1. re: Robinez

                                                    I don't mean to be combatitive, but how is "she gonna be okay"? MS is an extremely serious, lifelong, and often degenerative condition. To say that she is going to be okay is to ignore the seriousness of MS and is entirely insensitive to the challenges that she is going to face throughout her life.

                                                    (I only say this because I have Crohn's Disease, and when people make claims about my Crohn's like this, it makes me furious as, like I said, it ignores the seriousness of my disease, what I have to deal with, and what I will have to deal with down the road.)

                                                    Otherwise, I agree with the sentiment of your post: even having the privilege to spend time with our loved ones is worth a lot of minor inconvenience, and when that privilege is threatened, it really puts things like the orientation of spoons in a drawer and the intactness of dinnerware into perspective.

                                                    1. re: vorpal

                                                      Whoa,hold on there..I am not ignoring the seriousness of her disease.It scares me to death.She is my only sister and it breaks my heart that she has to deal with this.If there were any way possible I would trade places with her in a heartbeat.

                                                      That said,the reason that I said she will be ok is because SHE told me that she was going to be ok.I surely wasn't going to respond by telling her that she wasn't.I will respect her desicion on how to handle it and I will also respect her opinion that she will be ok.I will continue to say that she will be ok as long as that is what SHE wants.

                                                      I am sorry about your health issues but,please remember that some folks may deal with their's differently than you do.

                                                      Take Care,Robin

                                                      1. re: vorpal

                                                        Robin made a heartwarming post about spending time with loved ones. Expanding on the struggle of her family member and calling her insensitive was indeed combative* and entirely inappropriate. It was probably not necessary for her - or polite for you - to draw any detail of her sister's condition in a topic dedicated to kitchen pet peeves.

                                                  2. How about filling a cast iron pot or pan with hot soapy water and leaving it in the sink?

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Sharuf

                                                      I do that - especially if something is burned on. Mine is enameled though, so it may not count...

                                                      1. re: Soop

                                                        Big difference - enameled doesn't rust, at least not as long as the enamel is intact.

                                                      2. re: Sharuf

                                                        Yes, that is the one I was going to add. Also, I left my house while a friend washed the dishes, and I came home to find my wooden salad bowl filled with soapy water. And cracked. Whaaa?

                                                      3. This is going to come across as totally ungrateful, I get that, but...

                                                        Relatives, after doing the dishes, putting kitchen items away where they think would be best as opposed to where I actually put them.

                                                        We've had a lot of guests lately, so I've spent the last three weeks searching for serving plates, serving utensils, can openers, microplane, etc.

                                                        I used to have a neat garlic roller (a soft plastic tube that you put a clove of garlic in, rolled under your palm, and the skin would pop off perfectly)... nowhere to be found.

                                                        Cripes. Just ask if you're not sure where it goes. Or, at the very least, if nothing else in the spot you put it looks like what you are putting away, then maybe it doesn't go there.

                                                        19 Replies
                                                        1. re: mcap

                                                          If you rub the garlic clove between your hands it does the same as a roller.

                                                          1. re: just_M

                                                            Yah, but then your hands smell like garlic -- which I think is why people buy that plastic thing.

                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                              True, but at least the well meaning can't toss your hands away! Also, odd as it may sound I put lemon juice in my bottle of hand soap at the sink, gets rid of stench and greasiness much better.

                                                            2. re: just_M

                                                              Also, if you pinch the garlic hard, it will loosen all but the thinnest paper on a clove. Or if smash it with the flat of a knife. I use several methods now, but when I chop the ends, Ileave the knife down and peel the clove away from the skin trapped by the knife.

                                                              1. re: Soop

                                                                The knife method is easier if slightly/fully smashed cloves are okay, and thankfully they almost always are.

                                                                1. re: just_M

                                                                  I use the knife method for smashing when I want to chop garlic; I used the plastic thing for getting the skin off to use a whole, unsmashed clove (for stews or other dishes where I wanted the garlic to essentially roast)

                                                                  Alas, now I use the palm of my hand. I don't mind the smell of garlic (I am Italian), but some of those suckers have sharp/hard ends and really hurt when rolled!

                                                            3. re: mcap

                                                              "Relatives, after doing the dishes, putting kitchen items away where they think would be best as opposed to where I actually put them."

                                                              How about a husband who does that ? I can't get him to follow the principle that items should be put back with other items of the same type.

                                                              1. re: dump123456789

                                                                <How about a husband who does that ? I can't get him to follow the principle that items should be put back with other items of the same type.>

                                                                After a few years of this nonsense, I asked my spousal equivalent to just leave everything on the counter, and I'll put it away. My name is small h, and I am a kitchen control freak.

                                                                1. re: small h

                                                                  So, you end up doing all the work? Who's in control here? Sounds like a clever (if perhaps lazy) husband to me! ;-)

                                                                  Ina related vein: we have a great cleaning service, a crew of people run by a woman named Sheila. They are good, reliable, and thorough, but have one fault - almost anything that's left out on a surface (kitchen counter, coffee table, whatever) WILL get put away somewhere, often in quite surprising places. It's become a cliche in the house, whenever we can't find something, "It's been Sheila'd!" It always turns up, eventually.

                                                                  1. re: BobB

                                                                    I appreciate your concern. But I don't do all the work. For instance, I never have to mop, which is excellent because I hate mopping. On the other hand, I DO like keeping the cabinets (and the refrigerator, and the silverware drawer) organized.

                                                                    I had a Sheila once myself, except her name was Olga.

                                                                  2. re: small h

                                                                    We have a system. I hate things put away in the wrong places. We normally run the dishwasher at night and spouse puts away clean dishes in the morning while the coffee is making. If he doesn't know where something goes, he sits it on the mix centre counter. Either DD or I put it away. If I remember to tell him where said items go, he's pretty good about remembering. But by the time he gets home in the evening, I often don't think about what got left out in the morning. It works for us.

                                                                  3. re: dump123456789

                                                                    My husband and I have been married for almost 32 years. We have lived in this particular house for 28 of those years. He still has no freaking idea - or at least he pretends to have no freaking idea - where half my kitchen stuff goes after washing. He will pile up all sorts of things on the tile counter, in great sloppy pools of water, because he doesn't know where to put them. From time to time I have a total freakout about it, but then I settle down and figure - hey, 32 years? This is something now worth splitting up over.

                                                                    1. re: Nyleve

                                                                      I couldn't agree more with you Nyleve. We've been together for 15 years and in the same condo for the same amount of time. I have to admit though, when my partner doesn't know where something goes in the kitchen I really can't fault him: I keep such a tight rein on things in there that it's pretty much my own fault!

                                                                      1. re: Nyleve

                                                                        I think you meant to say *not* worth splitting up over! At least I hope so.

                                                                        It was my house before my GF moved in, so I kind of have it set up how I like. Do you not find that if you go around someone elses house, you automatically know where stuff will be? If I see a small cupboard by the kettle, that's usually where the cups will be. The cutlery will be kept in that drawer, etc etc.

                                                                        1. re: Soop

                                                                          My kitchen setup would probably bedevil you. When the kids were little I moved all the plates and glasses to the lower cabinets so they could put things away, and it just stuck.

                                                                          1. re: Soop

                                                                            Hashahaha!!!! Yes I meant NOT worth splitting up over. Freudian slip? Who knows?

                                                                            Tried to edit but I guess it's too late.

                                                                          2. re: Nyleve

                                                                            I would file for divorce ....(just joking).

                                                                            I've been married just about as long, and every once in a while, I make a big deal about something, but it needs to be something worth making a big deal about. I consider that communication. If I didn't say something, I would stew over it. But it is rare at this stage. Even still, DH barely knows where the flatware drawer is, so he leaves everything out too. Possibly for days, if I am away on business. It's not a tragedy. My thought is that he can process small concepts, such as where a particular item goes, not the key to the whole kitchen.

                                                                        2. re: mcap

                                                                          I completely agree about not putting things away in the right place. This often happens in my kitchen, and I still don't understand why they just don't ask or leave the items on the counter. Sure, the time is usually negligible to find the items once misplaced, but every now and then an item will disappear for a long time or go away forever.

                                                                          Another thing I have yet to understand is when it happens the other way around. If they don't know where something is, they will just use the best thing they can find instead of asking.

                                                                          Here are a few common ones:
                                                                          * Letter openers = butter knives
                                                                          * Spider skimmer = strainer (seriously? Just look at the size of those holes.)
                                                                          * Nice dinnerware = temporary dog bowl

                                                                          And lastly two other things that confuse me are when I find people using my child's dinnerware and silverware instead of real dishes. They even have used sippy cup bottoms as glasses instead of going for the real thing.

                                                                          And please don't yell at me for this one, but it bothers me when the kitchen counter top becomes the space for everyone's purse and mobile phone charger. Yes, it is handy and there are lots of outlets, but....

                                                                          1. re: smkit

                                                                            Wow, nobody here ever uses the kitchen counter for purses, cell phone charging etc. That would not make me happy. The only things that get brought in and set down on the kitchen counters are groceries.

                                                                        3. Rats, I thought this was going to be a thread about doing *things* on the countertop.... ;)

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: visciole

                                                                            Nah, we do those on the kitchen floor. But in that case, the 5-second-rule doesn't apply ;)

                                                                          2. In my opinion you are not being anal. I too dislike my wood handled knives and other wood kitchen equipment being sent through the dishwasher. In fact, it makes me quite irate.

                                                                            1. My husband keeps relocating items in our kitchen and then forgetting months later that he did so. The last time this happened he barked at me and I barked back that he was the one who moved the measuring cups to the drawer months ago so that's where I had been putting them. Haven't heard a word about it since.

                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                              1. re: KristieB

                                                                                remembering the scene in "dirty dancing" where swayze's character draws boundaries saying "this is my dance space..." same with the kitchen, it is "my dance space." i don't move anything around in his shop.

                                                                                also married for 32 years. if a point needs to be made, nagging is no way to go. i just put the item under the covers on his side of the bed.

                                                                                1. re: appycamper

                                                                                  Ouch! I hope he doesn't misplace any sharp knives. ;-)

                                                                                  1. re: BobB

                                                                                    laughing here! no he knows where they go. it's odd bits like funnels, teapots and absinthe spoons.

                                                                                  2. re: appycamper

                                                                                    Genius. Why didn't I think of that?

                                                                                    1. re: appycamper

                                                                                      you guys are nasty!!! i'm a husband of 33 years. we are currently in our 6th home and have undergone one huge kitchen remodel. probably won't move again, but probably will undergo another remodel - though not as big. i also cook quite a bit, but... i go along with whatever storage decisions my wife makes. on occasion i may offer a suggestion, but she has the final say. i am one of those who will leave things on the counter if i don't know where they go. (i wish our cleaning lady would do the same! i hate searching for my bbq utensils!) however, i think that i will start checking the bed before getting in, just in case the wife finds this thread.

                                                                                      1. re: justanotherpenguin

                                                                                        we laugh in my house about my logic of what goes in the shallow drawer under the stove. My answer: "Violent things". Pointy, sharp, crushing, smashing. Skewers, garlic and lemon press, potato masher. Corkscrew, poultry shears. On thinking about it, I think the mortar and pestle needs to move there now :)

                                                                                        1. re: DGresh

                                                                                          Interesting. My under-stove drawer is strictly for pot lids - maybe because that's what my mother used hers for. Who knew storage habits were hereditary? Or is that a nature vs. nurture question? ;-)

                                                                                          1. re: DGresh

                                                                                            My silverware drawer is divided into 5 sections across from left to right and one single horizontal section across the front (closest to the front panel). One time my son was standing there, mystified, wondering why I had chosen that particular order of cutlery: (from left) teaspoons, dinner forks, knives, soup spoons, dessert forks. Across the front are chopsticks and odd spready things. I explained that the cutlery was arranged in order of how often the items were used - with the teaspoons most frequently to the dessert forks least often. (The chopstick section is a red herring.) He had no idea. And, to be honest, I had never actually thought about it either - it was one of those things I did instinctively. Weird.

                                                                                          2. re: justanotherpenguin

                                                                                            yep, unrepentantly nasty (but i don't nag so i get mega points). i didn't think of it earlier but we also leave goodies on the pillow. who knows why? chocolates, pretties and trinkets land there. gosh, we'll be completely eccentric in another 20 years...

                                                                                      2. I must be a heretic as I regularly commit about 5 of your "sins"!

                                                                                        1. I just do not understand how people can not know that metal utensils on non stick cookware is not cool. Same goes for the wooden chopping board/good knives in the dishwasher thing. But then I am slightly control freakish about who is allowed to help me cook in my kitchen - other than my husband, who was once a chef, I just don't risk my kitchenware. I don't think you're being anal at all (although I am more relaxed about meat on the counter), rather I think you're utilising good common sense.

                                                                                          1. (1) Putting tomatoes in the fridge. -- My family doesn't do that, as they don't want their tomatoes refrigerated either.
                                                                                            (2) Defrosting meat on the counter. -- Not a problem for me. I do that a lot myself.
                                                                                            (3) Using knives on the granite counter top. -- Arrrrgh. Knives only cut on a cutting board!
                                                                                            (4) Leaving me extra cans of cream of mushroom soup. Thanks. -- No problem at all. I send it to the food bank.
                                                                                            (5) Treating stemware as if it is Tupperware. -- This one aggravates me, too. I had to have the bases of two crystal stems reground after they were damaged in the dishwasher.
                                                                                            (6) Putting wood products and expensive knives in dishwasher. -- How can people not know that putting wood in a dishwasher is a death knell? Luckily no one has ever put my knives in the dw.
                                                                                            (7) Using metal utensils on non-stick pans. -- Not an issue as I don't use non-stick pans.

                                                                                            My two pet peeves:
                                                                                            1. When people put away leftovers they choose the largest Tupperware containers they can find. Way larger than needed. This typically overfills the refrigerator and makes finding anything in there difficult. Can they really not tell that a cup of cranberry sauce doesn't need to go in a quart container? I usually repackage everything after people leave.
                                                                                            2. My kitchen here is really small and several of the older aunts want to just stand in the kitchen and talk. They could sit at the breakfast table and chat, but they want to stand in the kitchen when I am cooking. This can get to be a safety hazard when I'm trying to move hot pots and pans of food from the oven or cooktop.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: decolady

                                                                                              at the risk of being bombarded with hurled insults and perhaps small to medium size kitchen appliances... they were raised that a woman's place is in the kitchen. sitting at the breakfast table means they clearly aren't in there helping... and idle hands are the devil's workshop. gotta be in the kitchen doing something, anything.... washing the cast iron with lye, soaking the knife handles, melting the tupperware in the microwave, re-arranging your kitchen drawers, putting your spices in alpabetical order-including the salt and pepper shakers. Better yet by size (but this way you can see EVERYTHING dear).

                                                                                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                I think you're spot on... My grandmother always looked for a way to "help" in the kitchen. We usually found something she could while sitting at the table - first it was peeling hard boiled eggs or mashing the potatoes, then it was arranging cookies on the dessert platter. Even in the last few years of her life when she didn't have the strength or dexterity to physically help, she still served as a "consultant" who tasted everything and told us how much mustard to put in the potato salad :)

                                                                                            2. using the knife blade as a scraper

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: BeaN

                                                                                                I flip the knife and use the spine :)

                                                                                                  1. re: BeaN

                                                                                                    I know, it's just a practical alternative :)

                                                                                                1. re: BeaN

                                                                                                  I walked into the kitchen one morning to discover a very-well meaning relative using an expensive "we're having company over" knife as a scraper to get some burnt-on crud off the stove. It was the only time where I ever screamed out: "omg, do you know how that much that costs?!" at some one. I know that's really rude, but I was just so so outraged.

                                                                                                2. Your quote :"My family usually say I am being too anal about my kitchen. Is this true? "
                                                                                                  NOT TRUE AT ALL IN ANY RESPECT, The metal untensil in non-stick pans,and mistreating expensive knives is intolerable,to defrost meat on the counter is well lets just say if they like taking a chance on being violently ill them more power to them,and guests (family or not) should ask how you prefer to be washed etc.

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: mikaelw

                                                                                                    Hah, my guests (family or not) would get a very odd look if they asked me that ^___^

                                                                                                    1. re: Soop

                                                                                                      My thoughts exactly! An honest reply would probably have to involve nubility and loofahs!


                                                                                                  2. Count me as another one who's anal about their kitchen. My *latest* pet peeve is the roommate who continues to use my good kitchen shears to cut tape and open mail and those godforsaken plastic packages, even though I've asked him nicely not to on several occasions. We have a regular pair of scissors right in the pencil holder by the phone, just as convenient as my freaking kitchen shears, man.

                                                                                                    1. I thought grainite counter tops are suppose to be very durable...not that I ever cut on them.

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: AngelSanctuary

                                                                                                        It's about the knives, not the granite counter.

                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                          If they're not your knives or counter, it's about courtesy and common sense.

                                                                                                      2. You are not picky at all! Those are all perfectly reasonable things. I really just don't like people in my kitchen unless they are following my instructions - follow along or sit at the counter and chat while I work otherwise you are just in the way.

                                                                                                        I really hate it when I see someone take my dish rag to wipe up a floor spill and then throw it back in the sink! Ew! shall I wash your glass now?

                                                                                                        1. Cooking barefoot. Severed big toe tendon and one surgury later , I still don't have full range of motion in that toe.

                                                                                                          1. OK. I have a new one to add to this list. My family's line is that I am in charge of food around here. That means me personally. I love to shop for food. I love to cook food. I love to enjoy food. Never in 32 years has anyone here questioned whatever tools I add to my kitchen. This morning my DH was putting up the clean dishes (a task he does sometimes to help me out) and had the nerve to come tell me that I might need to get rid of some things in the kitchen. Humph! All because my new Allclad fish skillet and turner just arrived and hadn't found a place to live. I never tell him what woodworking tools to keep or remove. While I pretended outrage, I told him I would find a place for it. And I did. But if he seriously told me to get rid of kitchen tools I think I need, we might have to have a discussion!

                                                                                                            1. i find the most annoying thing that visitors do is the thing that they do with the best of intentions and with the most selflessness: they want to wash the dishes.

                                                                                                              even though i'm touched,
                                                                                                              truly, i'd rather do it myself.
                                                                                                              1) i'm the only one who really knows what should go in the dishwasher and what should be done by hand.
                                                                                                              2) when my guests are in my house, i want to enjoy their company--i don't want to be spending my time explaining where everything is kept in my kitchen nor do i want my guests' attention being taken up by doing dishes.
                                                                                                              3) the dishes can wait--they are going nowhere. my guests will be leaving and i want to enjoy every moment with them in the most relaxed fashion.

                                                                                                              1. Defrosting meat by letting it hang around makes me think twice about eating, but not as much as half-cooked edges on lukewarm meat caused by microwave defrosters.

                                                                                                                I know this sounds too picky, but I can't handle more than one chef at a time in my kitchen. I'm stuck with two working burners on an electric range, there just isn't any heat in the tiny apartment kitchen to share. But I do take turns!

                                                                                                                1. The biggest sin I find is actually not cleaning up and leaving things as it is after cooking

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: EstherLin

                                                                                                                    Oh goodness. I had this friend for a few years. He and his wife would throw these huge mutli-dish Asian cuisine dinner parties; Asian was the one thing Bill could cook. Afterward, he and Catherine would just pile the dishes and pans and woks in the kitchen. Once I went over three days later, to return a book I'd borrowed, and the kitchen hadn't been touched.

                                                                                                                    1. re: jmckee

                                                                                                                      I know quite a few people (many of them excellent home cooks) who are guilty of this on occasion, myself included. Doesn't bother me (obviously) in the slightest.

                                                                                                                  2. If the cans of cream soup aren't open, please take them to a food bank. Someone will be very grateful for them - either because that is how they cook, or as an emergency way to make a sauce for noodles or whatever because the larder is bare. There, you can do a good deed and be pleased your non-chowish relatives or friends made it possible.

                                                                                                                    1. I'll go on record as one of the annoying people who say don't bring random food to my house. Yes I know it can to the food bank. Yes I know you meant well. I'm anal and grumpy when it comes to the kitchen. If you want to bring something, there's this wonderful thing called wine or liquor. It comes in a bottle. I can freely admit to my functional alcoholism....lol

                                                                                                                      1. "(6) Putting wood products and expensive knives in dishwasher."

                                                                                                                        Someone deserves a Punch for just doing that. Sacrilegious!

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: theperfectcookie

                                                                                                                          I gotta say -- my mother-in-law and sister-in-law put wooden spoons in the dishwasher all the time, and have been doing so for years. As much as it violates every bit of my own personal logic, I can't argue with the fact that their spoons appear to be none the worse for wear. It's been discussed on Chowhound several times, and has adherents among our fellows.