Kitchen Notes #2: The Process

Kitchen Notes is a series featuring random observations, haphazard thoughts, and half-baked ideas that most often bubble up when food is involved. If you’re interested in submitting your own set of notes, drop a line and get in touch!

Don’t Mess with “The Process”

Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I’m kind of a control freak. I’m great at setting up a process and once I have it down, I don’t like to mess with it. I especially don’t like other people messing with it. When it comes to prepping food, I already have a foolproof battle plan in my head. The last thing I need is for someone to come in and mess up the order with which to do things.*

A lot of this comes from watching and cooking with my mom. She was always particular about when and how to do what, so I guess it was inevitable I would inherit this trait myself. For example, ingredient prep on the cutting board follows this logic:

  • All veggies (including herbs) before meat
  • Go from mild to pungent (so things like garlic, onions, and scallions always go after regular produce, but still before meat)
  • Rinse often to avoid cross-contamination of flavors

It made sense when she explained it to me, but now that I’m older and have a good number of cooking years under my belt, I also think some of this stemmed from laziness. When I watch cooking shows or pro chefs working, it seems like they have 3-4 cutting boards going at one time. But that also means they’ll have 3-4 cutting boards to wash later. I hate washing dishes and know for a fact my mom does too, so maybe all the logic she told me about was just mere self-justification for not using multiple cutting boards when possible.

*Since moving in with my boyfriend, he has shamelessly attempted to thwart my process multiple times whenever we cook together. This has resulted in unnecessary bickering, so now I just stay out of the kitchen if I know he’s making food. Out of sight, out of mind.