Planning a work session makes the work go easier. A few ideas on the efficient use of time and organization of supplies will serve you well whether cooking, doing crafts or other projects.
The first thing would be to clear the workspace to keep the project orderly. It saves many headaches and missteps.
An important step after selecting a recipe is to read through it. Are there any instructions that you don’t understand? For instance, does it tell you to separate the eggs? Or to fold ingredients? If you don’t know the terms, it is important to look them up before beginning the process, as they are important to the success of the recipe. If you have ever started putting ingredients together then realize you don’t have everything you need leads us to the next suggestion.
Gather all ingredients for the recipe on the counter before assembling any of them. If you are missing something you will have options; borrow from the neighbors, delay the recipe until you can purchase the missing item or research if there is a substitution possibility.
The latter would be if the recipe calls for buttermilk and you haven’t any. Fresh milk with a bit of lemon or lime juice will turn the milk into a good substitute for baking a cake. It would not be as successful for salad dressing. A little internet research will make it easy to understand.
Envision this. You have all of the ingredients listed out on the counter. After you use each one, return the container to the cupboard or refrigerator. This serves two purposes. First, it helps to keep the work space as clear as possible. Secondly, it helps you keep track of what you have used so you don’t leave anything out or double up on an ingredient. Think how a double dose of salt would ruin a good batch of cookies. This organizational method is especially useful if you get interrupted for any reason. It has saved my hide more than once.
My library contains several cookbooks from which I have selected a few recipes as favorite dishes. After I use a cookbook recipe once I see how I would rewrite it to make it efficient and clear. It’s all about simplifying, saving steps and improving the instructions, at least for my use.
I’ve been entering my most used recipes into the computer as a shortcut cookbook. We all have our favorite dishes, yet in cookbooks they are often written in a confusing way. Old recipes tell you to put the flour and other dry ingredients into a bowl, then set it aside. I rewrite the recipe with the ingredients in the order of their use, putting the dry ingredients directly into the mixing bowl, last. It saves a bowl and it works better with my cluttered mind.
These suggestions work whether you create your own recipes or follow a cookbook to the letter. Practice produces efficiency, as well as good food. ❖
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