Cooking a dinner for eight people in thirty minutes *and* doing dishes along the way? Yeah, right. Pulling off a meal in that amount of time sounds quasi-ludicrous enough by itself.
If you think about it, it really doesn’t take that long to wash one or two plates or a pan. It can often seem like there just isn’t enough time, there’s too much left to do, and it’s just plain fun to throw used plates, spoons, spatulas and pans into the sink left and right like a high-powered Top Chef contestant, but doing dishes as you go along is an incredibly useful habit to get into.
Start slow by doing a few big ticket items like pots of batter-coated bowls and start reaping the benefits of a more clean and space-filled kitchen during your dinners, and I promise that habit will rub off on you. Don’t believe me? Check out some of the benefits:
Keeps You Knives Sharp
It only recently dawned on me when I went to cut a tomato (a great indicator for the sharpness of your knives, by the way), that my knives are chronically loosing their edge, at a faster rate than I would suspect. The culprit is not washing them right away and letting food sit on them. Now, I am not even talking about letting them sit for a week or something (that is gross), but even just using them early on in my meal preparation and not washing them until much later that night or the next morning. If you have good, dependable knives, and I hope you do, you want to take care of them.
Less Mental Stress of Mess
When I come back into the kitchen to grab dessert or the main course and the kitchen is a mess, it distracts me. For one thing, it makes me a bit mentally anxious to see such a mess, but it also detracts from what needs to be done for the meal at hand. Dishes and lopped off tops of onions and zucchini and counter tops with spills make it more difficult to see what is left to be done for the party, as opposed to the clean-up.
More Counter Space for Cooking
For me, this is almost the number one reason. Somehow, no matter how much counter space I have, I end up needing to use my window sill, chairs, empty cabinets and other random surfaces as storage or work surfaces. Now you may be saying, “well, can’t I just put the dirty dishes in the sink and worry about them later?” but I promise you will run out of space there as well.
More Sink Space for Washing
As a huge water drinker, there is something so frustrating about having a sink that is too full of dishes to be able to get my Brita under the tap. Though that might not be an issue for everyone, the more dishes there are in the sink, the harder and more time-consuming it is to get the dishes done, as you try to wiggle out some space in which to rinse dishes. I like to at least start dinner with the sink as empty as possible, because I know it will start filling up once dinner dishes come in.
It’s Just Easier
The main reason I like to do dishes right away is simply because food particles come off easier when they haven’t had time to dry. This may seem like an incredibly commonsense, but I can’t tell you how much time it actually saves me. Apart from how nice it feels to see your kitchen go back to it’s natural, clean, organized state before heading out to enjoy your party and your guests, you can feel better about the post-dinner wrap-up.
Stay tuned for my super-fast and space-efficient plan for doing post-dinner dishes!