Saturday 9 February 2013

Mise en place - more

Since the body is not up to riding this morning, there is only one solution - bake a chocolate cake!

I'm not going to provide the recipe. Instead, I'm going to write about prep.

Junior keeps talking about moving out of home at the end of the year. Before he goes, I'm trying to show him a few things so that his new flatmates won't boot him out after two months. One of those is keeping the kitchen in a usable state.

See, he has this habit of getting hungry around midnight, and his favourite stomach filling night time snack is mee-goreng with bacon and fried egg on top. Whatever. For all I know, that could be a culinary masterpiece that's about to sweep the planet.

I can deal with his weird selection of food. What I can't deal with is walking into the kitchen at 0600hrs to find grease encrusted frying pans and plates and pots filling the sink. It drives me nuts, because I discovered long ago that cooking a meal is so much easier if you've cleaned up the kitchen before you start. I can't get over how many people try and cook something without first clearing away any mess in the sink and on the bench tops. Failing to do so is just a recipe for frustration, chaos and disaster. He still hasn't worked out the connection between him making a mess at midnight and me kicking him out of bed 6 hours later to clean it up. He thinks it's very unfair.

So before I do anything these days, I do a quick clean up first.

- empty the worm bin into the worm farm. No point in trying to stuff more food scraps into an already full worm bin. Start with an empty bin, not a full one.
- empty the kitchen bin into the big outside bin. Nothing worse than trying to cram a few empty foam meat trays into an overflowing kitchen bin - and then watching the compacted rubbish slowly expand and the meat trays popping out to land on the floor. Start with an empty rubbish bin
- wash, dry and put away anything left around the kitchen. When I finish prep, I don't want to be looking at a stack of dirty dishes and wondering where I'm going to put my dirty prep stuff. Start with clean bench tops and an empty sink

The cake is now in the oven. As soon as it went in, I cleaned everything up. So now the next person to go into the kitchen will be able to make a meal using a clean slate.

He's a teenager, so of course it will take him 20 years to learn these things for himself.

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