The Countertop Garbage Bowl

The Countertop Garbage Bowl

Most times 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.

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 trash.  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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