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Kitchen Destruction?

When you cook do you destroy your kitchen? I'm not talking about warming something from a can. Real cooking from scratch, cooking that takes all day and has multiple steps. When I make Lasagna from scratch, I cook a sauce for 6-7 hours and make my own pasta, I use the food processor to grind the meat and mix the pasta dough (yes I clean it in between). At the end there can be a stacks of dishes, sauce splatters and flour everywhere.

Am I alone?


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  1. I'm sure you're not alone, but I clean as I go. My kitchen isn't that big, so I can't work if the counter tops and sink are full of dishes. And I don't thrive on chaos.

    1 Reply
    1. re: small h

      My kitchen is actually fairly large but I am also a "clean as you go" type of cook. I've gotten much better at that as I've gotten older - when I was younger I was more prone to leave a mess but as I've become more experienced, I'm better at pacing myself and knowing how much time to allot for tasks, including quick wipedowns of prep surfaces as I go along.

      I pride myself on being able to have guests over for a multi-course meal, knowing that the kitchen is entirely presentable as they arrive, minutes before the first course hits the table.

    2. Try baking a dozen things in a day and you'll learn the habits of cleaning as you go out of necessity.

      1. I'm another clean as I go person, I can and have cooked xmas lunch for 24 and when ready to serve there's nothing to clean except the dishes things are cooking in. Same as cooking for just me, making a cup of coffee, a cake or anything from scratch from 1 person to multiple. I have plenty of space, 2 sinks, lots of pots, pans, wooden spoons but I can't bear to cook in a war zone.

        2 Replies
        1. re: smartie

          It appears I am alone in a wilderness of compulsive cleaners.


          1. re: JuniorBalloon

            lol but I would still come for dinner !! (just don't ask me to do your dishes at the end) :)

        2. You are not quite alone. I do very well if I am making something like a soup, and I have time between various stages to do a little washing (I don't have a dishwasher). But if the recipe is more involved, and I have to move quickly, or I get a late start and don't have time to do *all* my prep and placing beforehand, and the boyfriend comes home really hungry, then it can get ugly fast.

          And then there are the nights I have a movie (or chowhound) on the laptop that I keep on the butcher's block, and a glass of wine by my hand. I don't much care which type I am then. I was in the business for a few years, and it is a luxury to be that relaxed.

          1. I'm with you. Big dinner for friends Saturday, husband did the putting away of the food and loaded what he could in the dw, I got up the next am and spent a solid hour getting the rest of it done. I try to have the dw empty when entertaining to stow things as I go but sometimes things just get away from me.

            1. For me, it depends on how complex the meal I'm preparing will be. I'm in my lazy rest-on-my-laurels years so I don't entertain on the level I did even a decade or so ago. I DO cook everything from scratch. I don't know how not to. When I have help -- and I do now, thank heaven! -- my biggest problem is keeping the used-once spoons, etc., that I plan to use a second time to stir something from being whisked away from me and stashed in the dishwasher. Leave them alone! And when I am alone in the kitchen, then I have to have a certain amount of "disarray" or I don't feel like I'm cooking. No, I'm not a slob, but I cook by taste and smell, and I don't want to have to keep getting the same spices and condiments and flavorings out again and again. I'll put them away when I'm done! And if it's messy, well.... Hey! That's the price of good food.

              My BIG hate -- and this is MY opinion on what works fro ME -- is "open plan homes." I do NOT want guests having a martini in the living room to see how many pots I have on the stove or whether or not there is an onion peel next to the cutting board that I haven't put in the trash yet. I don't want to have to turn out all of the lights if I want to keep my secret ingredient a secret! And if I double dip with a tasting spoon in a simmering sauce, that *IS* sanitary because germs are not boil proof. *MY* business....!

              And I HATE front doors that open right next to the kitchen or dining room. It's none of the UPS guy's business what I'm cooking or whether we're having wine with dinner. Dining rooms and kitchens should be sequestered.

              Thank you for this opportunity to grouch! I feel better for it. And if you guys like open floor plans and front doors that open onto the dining room, you're welcome to them, but they're not for me. '-)

              1 Reply
              1. I liked your post title. I thought it was about remodeling. :)
                That said, I am also a clean as I go kind of person. My partner is quite the opposite. All surfaces are covered with tools, nothing is composted or thrown away, and the sink is full of dishes.
                Needless to say, we can't work together in the kitchen!

                1 Reply
                1. re: achefsbest

                  I have a dirty little secret to confess. I cook and my wife cleans. This is not why I'm messy, that just happens. When I chop onions the bits have a tendency to jump around. If I'm stirring a pot it will inevitably slosh and or spatter. I simply don't notice in the heat of battle. It's not until I finish and see the trail of destruction behind me.

                  This last one was a bit out of hand and I think it's time to become a bit more attentive. But not too much. I whole heartedly agree with Caroline, if there isn't a bit of evidence it doesn't feel like I'm cooking.


                2. Yes I do. I used to be worse, but now that I have an SO who does the majority of the cleaning, I've learned to be much better at cleaning as I go. However big dinners still make my kitchen look like a war happened.

                  1. I am a clean-as-I-cook kind of gal and I love it that way. My guy, on the other hand, destroys the entire kitchen, both sinks, every dish, pot, pan, oven mitt, spoon, spatula--everything! My girlfriend and I love to talk about this because her husband is the same way as my guy and she is the same way as I am. It isn't that they don't clean up, it's just, well, geeze! what a wreck in the process!

                    As he is cooking, he runs out of space and tries to move over to the table or the granite rolling thing. NO!! not allowed, I say.

                    I think i feel claustrophobic with all that stuff piled up.