This blog contains both the everything and the nothing in my life. There are days where I’ve written about the people and moments that change me forever. And then there are days like today, where I’m going to write about …. trash.
Specifically, kitchen trash.
I was going to group this into a post about things I’ve learned during my first Utah winter, but it wasn’t fair to this culinary epiphany. It deserves a call to action all its own.
But, first, some background:
1. I’ve always had minimal counter space in my kitchens. In one apartment in particular, no counter space at all!
2. I love to clean as I go when cooking. This is usually because I don’t have a lot of room for messes.
3. When I clean as I go, I’m constantly tipping the top of the trash to discard items, which then requires me to rinse/wash my hands and get back to the cooking. I’m not a total germaphobe, but I’m also not going to touch the trash can and then keep preparing food like nothing happened. And if you do, don’t tell me.
This is where things started to get tricky. Because when the outside temperatures are in the single digits, or lower, each night. And the air inside my house is so dry. It wreaks havoc on my hands. They become desert wastelands with cracks around the nails. I even have lotion next to every sink so I can lock in whatever moisture I can get. But, basically, I needed to stop washing them so much. Can you see my dilemma now?
I don’t know why it took me so long to figure this out, but what I needed was something I have watched Rachael Ray do on her cooking shows for years. …use a trash bowl. And I had the perfect bowl — one from a hand-me-down Tupperware set my aunt gave me when I went to college. It’s the only bowl left standing from the set and I’ve been holding on for sentimental reasons. (shocker.) When I was little, she would make homemade popcorn for our movie nights and this is the bowl she’d put it in. Yes, it’s a bowl. Yes, I’m crazy. Moving on…
Now, this puppy sits on my counter for everything I make. All food trash goes in (usually with a paper towel in the bottom for easy removal) with NO trips to the actual trash can. Then, when I’m finished, I take the bowl outside to our big trash and dump it by tugging on the paper towel. And THEN I wash my hands…once, instead of 10+ times. Bonus: No smelly food trash in the house. Ever. Can you hear that chorus of angels?
This might sound stupid, but it’s changed my life. One of my favorite bloggers even wrote about the importance of a trash bowl in her Baking 101 post. You can even BUY Rachael Ray’s branded trash bowls. Say whaa? Don’t do that. Everyone has a bowl around — one they don’t use, one that perhaps holds sentimental value. Put it to good use! Save the hands! Viva la trash! Try it today.
And, yes, there is usually chopped garlic and shredded cheese on our cutting boards. Ah, the life of a vegetarian.