Top Tips To Keep Your Kitchen Clean While Baking
No-one could accuse me of being a cleaning angel. I’m more likely to emerge from the kitchen in a cloud of plain flour and with chocolate sauce smeared over my face (nothing to do with licking the bowl, of course), than I am with a perfectly spotless apron and smelling lemon fresh from scrubbing the worktops. Normally, after I’ve finished baking, it looks like someone has thrown a hand grenade into the kitchen, but I am trying to mend my ways. Here are some great hacks that I’ve picked up -just between us baking sinners.
I can’t recommend this enough. The garbage bowl is a godsend. Everyone has a mammoth-sized mixing bowl in their cupboards – keep this on the side for rubbish or organic materials ready for the compost. This avoids the dreaded pyramid piles of potato skins and pepper seeds dotted around the work surfaces.
Measure Over The Sink
Invariably, with the time pressures of baking, you are going to spill all sorts of substances over your counters, whether that’s sticky honey or renegade sugar. Think of your sink as a great buffer against collateral damage. Whatever is spilled can be easily rinsed away. Appliance House has made a great guide on how to take care of your sink - whatever the type - so you can take care of your sink, once your baked goods are in the oven.
Take Your Time
Set aside time to cook, turn on the radio, pour a generous glass of wine and relax. When you’re rushing, you’re more likely to make messy mistakes, but if you take your time, you can organise your cooking space more efficiently and effectively. Cooking can be a surprisingly therapeutic experience when you slow down the pace and let yourself enjoy it. Check out this great article by the BBC, describing how baking can be beneficial to mental health and relaxation.
Clean Your Work Surfaces First
You only need to worry about the mess you create, if you whip around and make sure your kitchen is clean before you start. It’ll also give you an incentive to be as tidy as possible. Besides, who likes to cook in a kitchen with last night’s curry encrusted on the work surfaces? Yuck.
Pick Up Quickly
Miscellaneous objects end up on the floor, rather than neatly chopped up on the side (I’m thinking of pistachio nuts whizzing across the room). It’s tempting to ignore these bits of detritus, but they can really litter the floor (besides, you might step in them). Get in the habit of stopping what you’re doing to pick up bits of food and put them in the bin.
Clean As You Go
Once your baked goods are in the oven, use this time to clean up your mess. It’s easy to stay anchored to the kitchen when you need to keep checking on your cookies, so put on your favourite tunes and pull on those marigolds.
Flexible Cutting Mat
Trying to slide a massive-wooden-cutting-board’s worth of vegetables into a pan is no easy task. Half of it always seems to fall down the side of the oven, no matter how hard you try. If you use a flexible cutting mat (like these handy ones from Lakeland), you can use this as a funnel to seamlessly slide your vegetables into the pot!
Do you have a secret recipe for keeping your kitchen clean? Send us your cleaning hacks to @ChocMission