The most valuable resource that we have is undoubtedly Time. Limited, not extendable, non- transferable and definitely not storable, wish there was a way we could save up the unused moments to use on days when we are hard pressed for minutes or seconds.
However tech savvy we may get, time once lost will never come back again. And so we have to look for ways of managing and making use of time in the most productive and smartest way. Life is busy these days for a majority of us, and time is of the essence. Having found a holy-grail for life hacks could be your saving grace. Here are some tips on optimising your time in the kitchen.
- To start with, sharpen those knives. It is far harder working with a blunt knife than a sharp one for quicker and more efficient results.
- Keep your kitchen organised. Utensils and all ingredients must always go back to their places so the next time you need a spatula or the oregano, you know just where to reach for it.
- “Mise en place” though may seem fussy literally, means “set in place”. Prepping your ingredients before you begin makes cooking more streamlined, and you are less likely scrambling for things.
- Learn proper techniques of cutting fruits and vegetables. It not only saves you time, but you will also be less likely to cut yourself. Tough winter squash is easier to peel by roasting it first.
- Forget chopping ginger, grate it instead. This trick also works for garlic.
- Don’t underestimate egg slicers. It multitasks and can be used to slice or dice soft fruits, vegetables and cheese.
- Give a thought to what you are making before you start to cook and then work backwards, i.e., the dish that takes longer to cook is the one that gets attention first. Few moments at the start of the exercise can save you lots of minutes later.
- Use a cooking spray to coat your knives and hands as you chop and shape foods that can get messy.
- Clean as you go and keep a trash bowl (any used mixing bowl or container will do) and a wet rag handy to clear up working space to drastically reduce your cleanup time and trips to the trash bin.
- Soak dishes in a sink full of soapy water as soon as you are done using them. This cuts your washing time in half as soaking does most of the work.
The little can add up to a lot. At ICCA that’s what we lay focus on. A chef’s time in the kitchen is also a tool that must be used well. For the clock’s always ticking and there are no shortcuts to making a great meal.