Hardware & Software: The Countertop Garbage Bowl

Hardware & Software: The Countertop Garbage Bowl

Whenever I've watched Rachel Ray on Food TV (one of her cooking shows, not the other Rachel-Ray-empire shows), she always made a big fuss about her "garbage bowl."  I hate to tell this to any Rachel Ray fans out there, but she didn't invent the practice of keeping a bowl on your kitchen counter to collect trash while you cook.  It's actually a long-time habit of professional chefs and one that home cooks are smart to mimic.

I first learned it in cooking school.  Putting a 10" stainless steel work bowl above our cutting board was part of setting up our work station. Every class started with the mise en place -- the prepping of all the ingredients -- and having a bowl to collect the garbage was part of this process. Use it until it's full, then dump the contents into the trash can, and start again.

What's the big deal, you may ask.  The trash can is a step away and why add something else to an already crowded counter?  Well, even if you have a tiny kitchen and little counter space, here's why adding a garbage bowl makes sense:


Here's the biggest reason:  you will keep the cutting board clean while staying focused on the task at hand.

Just try it once.  The next time you're doing a big meal or anything special, just dedicate a spare bowl (big enough to be useful; small enough to not be in the way) to collect the food scraps.  I am sure you'll wonder how such a small change in the process can make the cooking experience so much more effective.

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