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Cooking Habits You Are Trying To Break...

I've a bad habit of nibbling along the way - thereby being too full to partake in the meal - making people uncomfortable with their meal...as I drink and watch them eat.

Taste with my fingers...yep have burnt them along the way so I'm busted and in pain.

I don't close the cupboard cabinets/drawers anymore..for some darn reason...eventually everything is opened...what up with that...

why can't I stop?
can you help!

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  1. I am trying hard to cook only for the FOUR people in my family and not 7,000 other people. I tend to to cook way too much food!

    3 Replies
    1. re: lilmomma

      I tend to have this problem more when I'm shopping - some things I can judge how much to get for the two of us, but with others (green beans and broccoli crowns come to mind), what looks like the right amount in the store becomes twice as much as we can actually eat when I get it home and cook it.

      1. re: BobB

        I use my fist to help me estimate. Sometimes I guess a little high or low but usually that helps, especially with the broccoli crowns.

      2. re: lilmomma

        I have a large household (me, hubby, 9yr old son, 8yr old ID twin girls, 4yr old son & 7 month non ID boy girl twins) so cooking small isnt really done in my house but on the rare occasion that its just me, hubs & babies (kids shipped out to grandparents etc) I simply cant cook for 2! Friday is family dinner night & invariably open house night & so we are usually all us lot, my mum & stepdad, a few cousins, my elder 4 children's dad, his mother, hubs mum, sometimes my dad & occasionally a few tag-alongs! Luckily this is usually when it's "Chilli Friday" & so there is always a huge pot of my famous chilli, rice, guac, salsa, tortillas, cheese & spring onions to top!

      3. I don't know if this is considered a bad habit but it is certainly an obsession. I have to empty the dishwasher (if clean), put away any dirty dishes (usually a glass and bowl from hubby from the night before) and put away the clean dishes in the dish rack all before I start cooking a meal. My hubby thinks I have OCD but there must be a good reason for this ....right? :)

        9 Replies
        1. re: juliewong

          Hey, you're ahead of the game that way. It really does sound OC, though- my husband has it and that's something he does.

          1. re: juliewong

            I do the exact same thing. Further, I have a little bit of a fit if I come home after work to cook for the family and find that able-bodied people have left clean dishes in the dishwasher and dirty dishes stacked up on the counter for me to take care of when they know I will be starting dinner the second I walk in. I want the kitchen clean when I start a meal. I think better that way...the clutter is very distracting to me.

            1. re: juliewong

              I also do this and most times I do it before leaving for work in the morning so I don't have to do it at night before cooking. I guess my OCD is worse than yours! lol

              1. re: juliewong

                That's just logical to me. If you're going to cook, you want an empty d/w to put things in as you go along. Everyone *does* clean as they go along, right?

                1. re: juliewong

                  I do the same thing, but I consider it a -good- habit, heh heh.

                  1. re: juliewong

                    Not OCD at all, just a good habit.

                    1. re: juliewong

                      I hope that's not a habit you're trying to break! It's a good habit IMO.

                      My husband has finally caught on and started making sure he's at least washed all of the previous night's dinner dishes before I get home. I don't mind putting dishes away, but I really mind doing his chore.

                      1. re: juliewong

                        I do it too. Dishwasher emptied, reloaded, etc. before I can even begin to cook. I also keep everything tidy while cooking. On the other hand DH destroys the kitchen in the event he has to make the smallest thing. Essentially my bad habit is yelling at DH for making the mess.

                        1. re: juliewong

                          I prefer to do this too, but it isn't a HAVE TO situation.

                        2. HA! I do the same ones!!! My family goes crazy because I open every drawer and cabinet in the whole kitchen.. and I never close them!!

                          13 Replies
                          1. re: hungryabbey

                            I admit to doing this as well. Why close them if you're just going to open them back up for another ingredient, pot, pan or serving dish!
                            When I lived at home my mom swore that if the insides weren't so unsightly she may as well remove all the doors since she was sick of closing them all the time. I bet my boyfriend feels the same way.

                            1. re: hungryabbey

                              I do this too & usually it's just fine until I bend over to get something & stand up & hit my head on the open door!

                              1. re: hungryabbey

                                The cure for open cabinets is clear glass cabinet windows. It's all about being able to see, for me.

                                1. re: hungryabbey

                                  I don't get this. Most of these quirks I can as least empathize with even if I don't do them myself, but why leave everything gaping open?

                                  1. re: BobB

                                    So I can see things. It's only doors, though. Never drawers.

                                    1. re: Jay F

                                      Ditto...I thing it also depends on the type of door. If is has handles or knobs I am more apt to close it.

                                      SO gets mad if I don't though (and I inevitablely hurt myself).

                                  2. re: hungryabbey

                                    In the same manner that a man will usually only _once_ per lifetime haphazardly 'catch' himself in his pants zipper (the immediate lesson is punishment enough to prevent such a reoccurence), the same goes for leaving a cabinet or drawer (at genital's height) open; once you've unthinkingly walked full-bore into a solid wooden corner and taken one in the baby-maker, you'll seldom forget that lesson and never do it again. Same with a kitchen cabinet door in the cranium. I guarantee that the view from the floor, curled into the fetal position and praying for unconsciousness and sweet release, will provide an enlightened perspective on the quaint habits of absentmindedness :-)

                                    1. re: silence9

                                      Yep, getting yourself banged up will cure certain bad habits, for sure! Once you burn yourself, you surely don't keep sticking your fingers into hot food?

                                      You probably don't close drawers because you don't think about doing so. You are probably focused on the completing the larger task. I think you should practice closing the drawers and cabinet doors though. It is safer.

                                        1. re: silence9

                                          man, Silence9, you must have been booking! i've bumped my head on cabinet doors before but never to the point of knocking myself down to the floor! maybe i'm just too slow-moving in the kitchen....

                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                            It's the corner/edge (pointy and hurty) of the cabinet door, taken in the 'soft spot' of the noggin as I arose from bending down, that laid me out flat. But I'll still take that over an intimate encounter between a waist-height open drawer and my naughty bits...

                                        2. I'll put something I'm working with on my left because there is more space or it seems out of the way, but then need to reach across my body with my right hand to get it. Trying to remember to put things where I can actually reach them : )

                                          1. Not stopping to enjoy the moment.

                                            Too often I cook simply to put food on the plate, without pausing to really savor the joys of the actual cooking process.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              so true....if you have any tips on how to enjoy the moment in the cooking process - pass along or write a book...!

                                            2. Using the front burners. I had my first child last year, so he's now a toddler and into everything...and tall enough to reach the stove now. So I have to remind myself constantly to put pots and pans on the back burners and avoid the front, or turn handles if I need the front ones. Terrible habit to break because it's so much easier to see what you're doing when it's up front!!

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: jboeke

                                                I cannot even convince DH to try and put the pots on the back burners. He actually thinks that the front burners are safer!

                                                1. re: hala

                                                  they are safer. you wouldn't chop vegetables at the back of the counter, you want things you are working on close and convenient. you have better control over them, you have better sight lines, and you are less likely to be reaching over something else. With toddlers in the house, there is a secondary overriding concern, but thats a short term (relatively) situation.

                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                    We have a toddler and a five year old and DH is tall enough to see inside a pot on a back burner. The front burners would be safer if he ever remembered to turn the handles of our pots and pans in. But handles protruding from a stove are an accident waiting to happen especially in tiny condo kitchens.

                                              2. Washing the cutting board between chopping vegetables which will all wind up in the same pot anyway. I'm getting better but still have not totally broken the habit.

                                                1. Spoons! Holy cow, do I go through a lot of spoons!
                                                  Grab a spoon, taste, toss it in the sink.
                                                  Grab a spoon, baste, toss it in the sink.
                                                  Grab a spoon, stir something up, toss it in the sink.

                                                  By the time I'm done cooking, I have a sink full of spoons, and none left to actually eat the food! LOL

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: Novelli

                                                    Gosh you identified my other bad kitchen habit. I have had to wash cutlery in order to set the table for guests!

                                                    1. re: Novelli

                                                      Hahaha, I'm totally guilty for doing this too. Along with forks. Its amazing seeing my drawer filled with spoons and forks only to see it empty by the end of the second day after washing, and we're only two people!

                                                      Another bad habit I have is keeping all of the drawers and cabinets open only to have people hit their head on it like others have said earlier. And not closing the lids/caps on certain items after I use them. My roomate spilled half a bottle of Vanilla because I didnt close the cap completely one time (and it was some expensive Vanilla).

                                                      One other groggy morning a long time ago, I went to the fridge for my fix of Orange Juice. While doing my vigorous shaking I would usually do to swish around all that pulpy goodness, I instantly woke up when orange juice splattered all over my face.

                                                      Orange juice on the floor becomes extremely sticky and after that one time, Its been awhile since I've left anything open.

                                                      1. re: Novelli

                                                        Same here on the spoon issue. But I live with a household that loves to ramble in and taste what I'm cooking along the way, and to keep with my own idiosyncratic food fastidiousness (I know, I know...but to each one's own), I required them to use a different spoon and not just slurp off the stirring spoon. To save myself, I picked up a lot of extra spoons from various sources. Gawds, do we have spoons.

                                                        When it's just me, however, I've been trying to train myself to have a tasting spoon handy into which I tip a taste off the stirring spoon.

                                                      2. Putting bacon in everything. It just tastes so good!

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. I'm trying hard to remember to grab towels or oven mitts before taking things out of the oven and not just relying on my oft-burned finger nerves to be numb at this point. I'd also like to stop drinking the wine left over in the bottle after I've cooked with it, but I'm guessing that's going to be hard to break.

                                                          1. Being more patient. I really want to make slow cooked dishes like roasts and such but when I get to cooking, I always end up choosing dishes that can be made in <20 min.

                                                            1. I don't coordinate well--there's always one dish that I underestimate the preparation or cooking time and everything else is ready and has to wait on this. Oh--and leaving the drawers and cabinets open. You'd think I'd whacked my head and hips enough to know not to do that anymore.

                                                              1. I'm trying to break myself of the habit of cooking bare-foot. I've got big sharp knives and clumsy hands, and I know that one day my toes will be victims of my cack-handedness.

                                                                1. I am trying to convince myself that I don't need a "back-up" jar or can of just about any "pantry ingredient" you can imagine.

                                                                  I hate to think I'd run out of something so as soon as I had a home w enough space for storage, I built a "back-up pantry" You name it, mayo, hot sauce, mustards of all origins and textures, Asian sauces, vinegars. . . I have it in spades. Nothing worse than finding something expired.

                                                                  I'm trying to ease myself into "cooking without a net"!! Just yesterday when I opened a new jar of Hoisin sauce I made progress. Instead of writing it down on my shopping list so I'd have that "extra jar" waiting in the wings, I wrote a note on the label of the jar before I put it in the fridge saying "add to list when 1/2 full" . . .. baby steps....!!

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                    yes, there are things you do want to have a back up of, but not everything - but this is coming from someone who is apparently genetically incapable of buying just ONE of any foodstuff when shopping. does that count as a cooking habit?

                                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                      yes, I think it does..anything in the kitchen - bought for the kitchen - or food prepared is a cooking habit..
                                                                      Some habits people have that drive me nuts -
                                                                      a) leave 1/16th of an inch in the milk/orange juice carton in the fridge leading you to believe that you actually still had some.
                                                                      b) spend more time trying to stuff/pack the garbage down rather than just taking it out and replacing the bag.
                                                                      c) rinse the dishes to the point of actually washing them - using paper towel instead of a plate - because you don't want to empty the dishwasher.
                                                                      d) have the pets leftover food left in the kitchen , smelling up the place - especially in summer... bleah!!
                                                                      e) not clean up after yourself..sticky counters.. .crumbs etc..-.food left out - empty cans - its your HOME man...live decent..nothing to do with money, its your attitude about yourself...

                                                                  2. A habit I'm trying to break my husband of is his use of copious amounts of paper towels any time something needs to be hand-dried - and going straight for my clean white dishtowels to wipe up spills!

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: aching

                                                                      Oh, this would bother me so much.

                                                                      1. re: soytoy

                                                                        Been there, experienced that. Nothing more irritating than someone who can't tell the difference between dish cloth & dish towel.

                                                                      2. re: aching

                                                                        I have a basket of assorted old ratty towels for the janitorial-type spill-cleaning (floor ick, etc.) and woe to anyone who grabs one of my side towels for such a purpose! I, too, am trying to rein in the paper towel usage that we used to be so good about, but which has recently gotten out of control again. I think I have to move that basket of kitchen rags into closer view and pitch a minor fit again, as the number of side towels destroyed by various cleaning projects is getting a little irritating. Try taking paper towels off your shopping list, too - I did that for awhile, and the household did flock to the rag basket. I might have to resort to that once more!

                                                                      3. I always keep soapy dish water in the sink when I cook and I am constantly throwing my utensils in the water before I'm finished using them.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: elmc1949

                                                                          I've lived with two different men who did most of the clean-up while I trashed the kitchen. I finally learned to hide the utensil on the far side of where they were so that they wouldn't start cleaning them before I was done.

                                                                        2. I also used to nibble along the way.. especiallly baked goods. Now I work in a bakery, so I see baked-goods all the time, and it disgusts me.

                                                                          Maybe you'll get sick of them, sick of nibbling and not partaking with others.

                                                                          1. Ditto... Sometimes I actually prefer the raw cake and cookie dough to the cooked version... I just can't help dipping my finger in and tasting as I go! And caseygirl, I feel your burnt finer pain, literally - did it tonight in fact!!