By Chrissy MacDonald
A well-planned kitchen can save hours of extra work. Although each kitchen is unique, they all have four main work stations: the sink, the work area, oven and stove, and tableware set-up.
Look at your kitchen logically. Just because you know where everything is doesn’t mean it’s as efficient as it could be. When you prepare dinner, are all the necessary tools and ingredients near where they will be used? Walking back and forth wastes time.
Store coffee, tea and sugar in a cupboard near the kettle. The vegetable scrubbing brush and strainer should be near the sink to quickly prepare vegetables.
Keep cookware near the stove. Having pots and pans hanging from the ceiling is only good if you can reach the ones you often use. Near the stove you should also find wooden spoons, tongs, a spatula and its own salt and pepper shakers.
Make sure the area where you prepare food is well lighted. Keep mixing bowls, knives and cutting boards within reach. Have one cutting board for meat and another for vegetables to avoid cross contamination.
To store tableware use a metal mesh tray rather than a solid plastic one. Lay it on a large cloth napkin inside a drawer. This way, crumbs that happen to fall through are caught by the napkin which you can wash once in a while.
Put everyday dishes and glasses near the dishwasher or sink.
Storage in the kitchen should be organized based on use. Put the things you use most often in the front of the cupboards and off-season equipment like canning supplies and serving trays on the back of shelves or in another part of the house.
To be super-efficient in the kitchen, fill the sink with hot, soapy water and clean as you go when preparing meals and baking. You’ll end up with less mess at the end.
A kitchen that is well planned will make cooking and baking more enjoyable and save hours of precious time.