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For you home cooks: kitchen tasks you love and hate

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
The Pros had a thread like this going. I read it and thought we should have a similar thread for us home cooks. We don't have to worry about getting "slammed" with a huge dinner rush, but we have other 'issues'.

I'll go first:

I HATE making chicken soup with a whole chicken. It's a MESS to clean up and to strain the broth unless you have lots of big pots and strainers. (Yes, I love the finished product, but some of that is a pain.) I've done this since I was about 10 years old, but I still dislike

I LOVE to chop, chop, chop. It's kind of a Zen experience. I have decent knives and cutting boards so that makes it easier. I also have a nice selection of bench scrapers to make it easy to put the chopped food in the bowl or soup pot. :D
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post #2 of 42
Thanks for starting this thread, I'll throw in my two cents.

I also love to chop chop as I also have some very nice knives and cutting boards. I like making stock and don't mind the cean up, heck I even like washing the pans after. As you said it's kinda a zen experience when either chopping or washing for me.

The only thing I can think of right off is when the wife or kids toss my good knives or cast iron stuff into the sink, or worse :eek: the dishwasher.
post #3 of 42
Great thread!!

I hate peeling pearl onions or shallots when the skin is being stuborn.

I love making bread.

I love it when I am preparing a grand meal and it's getting close and I'm firing on all cylinders. The rush is terrific.

I hate it when I am in that mode and my wife complains that I am dripping water on the floor!!!!!

Jock
post #4 of 42
Am I allowed?
I hate cleaning the garbage disposal. Does that count? I also dislike the sounds of my family cooking something in the kitchen. Means a lot of clean up for me.
I love to challenge myself to make dinner in 25 minutes and have all the pots cleaned and just the dishes to be done after.
pan

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
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Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
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post #5 of 42
What a can of worms! :p

I hate making salad (maybe because I spent too long on garde manger?). Fortunately, my husband likes to make it almost as much as he LOVES to eat it. So we're covered almost every night (not tonight, which is why I'm here taking a break from washing and tearing lettuce leaves :o ).

And I hate emptying the dishwasher. But I do it; otherwise, 1) we couldn't use it again, and 2) all my tools and stuff would end up in strange places and I'd never find them when I need them.

I LOVE straining stock, over and over again until it's just as clear as it can be. Besides, I have lots of big restaurant linen napkins and flannel cones (Spanish coffee makers) to line the metal sieve, so I just empty the garbage into the can and throw the strainer into the wash. :D
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #6 of 42
Thread Starter 
Suzanne, I always try to get my husband to empty our dishwasher too. I don't understand why, but I hate that job too.
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post #7 of 42
Peeling Shallots has to be right up there!:mad:
Love chopping,slicing,dicing.
One of the best things for me is the smell of a long slow braise as it slowly permeates the house on a cold winter afternoon,especially if it's a leg of Lamb with Rosemary and Garlic!I do mine for 6 hours on the lowest possible heat.No need for fiddly carving,just caress the meat off the bone!:smiles:
post #8 of 42
likes:
  • mixing dough and batter (and all the tasting of raw cake batter at every stage along the way!) - have been doing it since i was little, mudpies in the back yard, i love the mixing and slopping around (well, no tasting there)
  • with Jock, i love the rush before the big special meal (I do a christmas party with a full buffet meal for some fifty people every year) and all the flour all over me and everything, pieces of chopped vegetables flying, piles of stuff cooling, pots simmering, oven blazing - i enter a world on another level, like people who meditate or something - it's a way to come into myself, and surprisingly calming
  • making bread, watching it grow, smelling it, baking it and eating it
  • tasting as i go
  • chopping, up to a point (the point where i get a blister from the top of the knife blade rubbing against the hand - usually only in the big christmas rush)
  • eating, ah, the final product, and at every stage along the way
hates:
  • putting things away (any dispersive task, don;t mind washing dishes, or putting in dishwasher, because they are all going from many places into one place, but i hate putting away - where i have to put each thing in a different place)
  • cleaning up the huge mess i make (not bad though, if there is no rush- i can get into washing dishes even)
  • even worse, cleaning up as i go along - i never do, figure i might as well do it all at once, at the end, than ruin my cooking fun and i'm just going to keep messing up
  • any job that requires you to just stand there and watch or stir - jobs that require no skill, but just mindless hanging around or tedious repetitive acts (hand rolling gnocchi, stirring risotto, stirring polenta (which is not necessary, by the way). I think they invented these to keep women stuck for hours in the kitchen, just in case they got any ideas!
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #9 of 42
The only thing I can think of that I truly hate is cleaning my knives when somebody else in the house has used them. No one is ever supposed to use my knives. And why are they not supposed to use my knives? Because they do not clean them :mad:
Preparing a fine meal with quality ingredients is the most practical way we show our love. How we plate shows the depth of our caring.
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Preparing a fine meal with quality ingredients is the most practical way we show our love. How we plate shows the depth of our caring.
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post #10 of 42
I like the prep work. Love when I have the mice en place. Then its the green light and I'm on my way.

My favorite kitchen task, however, is the eating after the meal is done. :D

I also like preparing a bunch of appetizers for a big party.

I hate cleaning up after a big meal when not everything fits in the dishwasher. Then you have to wait to finish the clean up. I lose my motivation for round two.

Kevin

Muskies anyone?
post #11 of 42
Reaching consensus on what we should eat.

Tony

Edited to add one that I love. I love cooking at home when it raining or otherwise miserable out, usually soups.
post #12 of 42
Mezzaluna, I too hate the chicken soup routine until I came across the greatest invention (why I didn't think of it first is beyond me)...a stock sock!! I just debone the chicken, put all the bones in the sock and make my stock (of course, with the vegetables, chicken, etc). Then there's no reason to find a bone later one. I think it really is faster because you don't have to strain as much.

Dishwasher.......I hate unloading but living alone, I get lazy sometimes and really hate unloading the darn thing and (omg, I can't believe I'm telling this...) I sometimes use what I need right out of the dishwasher, lol. Come on....we've all done this, lol.

Garbage Disposal... I solved that problem, I broke mine and never got it fixed, lol.
post #13 of 42
I love chopping! When I was working full time and my SO stayed home with the youngest, I wanted to cook dinner because the chopping was my stress reliever from work to home. lol

I also love baking bread......kneading is another great stress reliever!

Another love is inventing new recipes. My family tells people that coming home to dinner is an adventure.......you never know what kind of combinations you might get!

I hate peeling potatoes. It makes my hands itch something awful! Washing dishes is another hate!
post #14 of 42
Thread Starter 
Nofifi, is that something you can buy or make from cheesecloth, etc.? I'm intrigued.

Nentony said, Me, too. DH never knows what he wants to eat so I have to decide what to eat as well as all the prep and cleanup. :rolleyes: He asked me to make a list of menus and asked me to just run down the list. Sure.... :lol:
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post #15 of 42
Oh, please. If I ask Paul what he wants to eat, he will invariably say "Lamb" or "Duck." Now, I love those, too, and very often have one or the other or both in the freezer, but come on! :o Not every night!! And anyway, I'm the one who has to buy it and prep it and cook it and plate it and then wait for him to get to the table. :mad: So I just decide what I want to eat, and make that. :D

But you know, sometimes I just get so tired of thinking about it every day. :(
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #16 of 42
I'm right with you on this.

Jock
post #17 of 42
I hate that too.

I try to get my husband to tell me what he wants to eat at the beginning of the week so I can plan my shopping and menus. He always says that he likes everything. But when he eats what I make he always says - "This is good." (In a this is just okay kind of voice.) "Next time you should... ."

It makes me want to scream.

What I love oddly enough is cleaning my big stainless steel saute pan. No matter what I put it through, how much gunk has been crusted onto it and how irreppably damaged it looks after I'm done cooking, it just takes a few minutes to make it shine like I just pulled it out of the box.

I was fooled by the whole "non-stick is better" BS my whole life. It turns out that stainless is 1000x easier and quicker to clean than any of that other stuff. If I did half the stuff I've done to my old nonstick skillet, I would have to soak it, and then gently try to wear the mess off. With the stainless I can just grab a green scrubby sponge and be done with it in two minutes. A little Barkeeper's Friend powder at the end and it looks perfect.

:D

Nancy
Loving my gluten-free life.
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Loving my gluten-free life.
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post #18 of 42
Pan- How DO you do that?? when I end up late from work, plus the hour to cook... makes dinner a little late some nights :(

My dislike- clean up after a big/elaborate meal- I can really trash a kitchen...LOL :eek:
Like- Trying a new recipe and having it turn out great!!
Bon Vive' !
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Bon Vive' !
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post #19 of 42
Indian- OMG your lamb sounds sooo good right now! Tell you what- I'll peel all the shallots you want.... you fix the leg of lamb! LOL I can grab a fork and get on a plane and be there in ...what 12-13 hours???
Bon Vive' !
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Bon Vive' !
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post #20 of 42
After reading everyone else's posts, I guess I should be ashamed to confess this, but I HATE chopping/slicing/dicing/mincing things. :blush:

I LOVE making up new recipes or spending hours fussing over an elaborate dessert to wow guests. Making tropical cocktails with a blender also has its merits. :beer:
post #21 of 42
Mezz, I was just surfing one day and came upon it, probably just type in Stock Sock and you'll find it, I got mine a few years ago. I'll try to find the site but I just got off work and am comatose at this point, lol. I'll send it in the next day or so for you if you don't find it.

I finally got rid of the husband who always complained about dinner, although I was always told, I'll eat anything and then when I cooked, he wished I would have made something else. I now have 2 male dogs, (Diaper Dog) and a German Shepard who LOVE my cooking and never complain, lol. I just wish they could empty my dishwasher (although, my husband never knew how to either, lol).
post #22 of 42
Ok, decided I really don't need that extra 15 minutes of sleep tonight, lol, looked it up...kitchenkapers.com

Set of 3 Soup Socks RW 825
Manufacturer #: RW 825
Price: $3.99
Usually ships in 3-5 business days.
Item #: 20456



Regency Soup Socks are ideal for making clear, flavorful broth. Add your favorite meat, vegetables, herbs and spices to the mesh bag and add it to your pot. When your stock is finished cooking, remove the sock and you are left with your clear broth.

Includes 3 fine mesh bags.

NOTE; I just throw mine in the dishwasher in the closed section (for baby bottle nipples or small things) and re-use them over and over. They work for me.
post #23 of 42
Right! It's going in the oven now.The clock is ticking!:D
post #24 of 42
Thread Starter 
Nofifi, thanks for the soup sock information! They're worth a try.

I thought of the cloth bags Alton Brown uses to hold stuffing- he can pull it all out and not leave any in the bird, which can give it a chance to spoil.
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post #25 of 42
I hate chopping onions. I've made many at-home cooking videos, and every time I chop an onion- I burst into tears- literally. It's hysterical. But I can't even see where I'm going. I can't wait to get me some of them onion goggles- those look pretty sweet.

One thing I really do like is making pizza. Tossing the pizza up in the air and then being creative with the toppings is just a blast. And almost everyone likes pizza.

I also hate putting soup in the microwave, which is kind of a no brainer.

Kneading bread is also really relaxing. It feels like a pillow- although I've tried putting my head on it and it just became a sticky mess. xD. I really like pan-frying bacon as well. Just because of the smell. I know vegetarians who get tempted by the smell of bacon.
Meet Austin- destroyer of all picky eaters. He's watching you...
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Meet Austin- destroyer of all picky eaters. He's watching you...
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post #26 of 42
Ok find me a flight!!! LOL ****...I gotta work!! One day....... I may show up on your doorstep, with a fork in hand (ok I'll bring my chef's knife too)
Bon Vive' !
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Bon Vive' !
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post #27 of 42
like..
making unusual salads and dressings.

experimenting with breads.

working out low fat low carb low sugar recipes and them actually tasting good!

Cooking and baking the "big" meal for family/friends get-togethers then watching them all be so satisfied..

Baking and decorating cakes..

Dislike..
cleaning up my mess, I use soooo many pots, bowls, and untensils its rediculous!

I too hate emptying the dishwasher and putting away.. I tend to put that chore off the most..

I go along with the straining of stocks also.

You know, I wonder if poultry stuffing bags would work the same as Nofifi's stock socks?!
post #28 of 42
I agree with Tony and everyone else who has quoted this. We go round and round and then I go to the market and draw a complete blank. :(

We don't have a dishwasher (:eek:) so I hate doing dishes. I especially hate washing glasses (they tend to slip out of my hands) and scrubbing out big soup or stew pots.

I love prep: the measuring, weighing, chopping, etc. And I love making anything that takes a lot of time on or in the stove so I can do other things while basking in the great smells coming from the kitchen--almost like someone is cooking for me :D
Emily

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Emily

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post #29 of 42
Hmmm.. What I hate?? Will have to think about that for a while...

Since I'm not the "daily cook" in this house, and my contributions are sporadic, or for special occasions, I'd rather concentrate on the things I love.

Like making something really simple (like a quesadilla that is light and flaky, and absolutely melts in your mouth) that the kids would cross two states for (and my wife begrudgingly admits is delicious).

Or grilling some protien that is cooked and seasoned to perfection (multitude of tastes in this house, so it's a challenge to get all the servings juuuussst right).

Helping make a large holiday meal. I may only be relegated to sauteing onions, or preparing vegetables, or mashing potatoes, or whatever, but if it helps the Boss, then it's all worthwhile.

Working in harmony with the Boss in the kitchen. We've developed a "rhythm", where we can alomst sense what the other person is going to do, or where they're going to move next. So much better than the hateful glares that would be given when collisions resulted in ruined dishes...

Cleaning up. Yeah, I know that sounds stoopid, but if I didn't prepare the meal itself (or any portion thereof), I see it as my responsibility to square things away afterwards, if only to show my gratitude for having my meal prepared and served.

Especially cleaning up during and after a large holiday meal, because:
a) I didn't usually have to do much of the shopping
b) there's so many things going on in the prep and cooking with two of us doing it, that if the cutting boards, mixing and measuring cups & bowls, knives, etc. weren't cleaned and ready for the next wave of prep then things wouldn't flow so well.
c) the Boss deserves some time to spend with the family and guests without worrying about how the dishes are going to get cleaned, leftovers taken care of, and "care packages" being made up. She works so hard to make it happen, that the least I can do is pick up the slack. And I enjoy doing just that...

Cooking for guests (not family) and having them go "Ummmmm", as they enjoy the meal. That makes it for me...

I'm sure that there is more, but

Hate? Finally thought of a couple.

Cleaning the grill... It turns into a full day's job, just because I like my cooking area spotless...

Cooking something for the first time, and not having it turn out "right". It may be edible (if even "just"...), but if it doesn't please the guests (much less me), I feel like such a failure. And I absotively HATE that feeling.

But I'm getting better at making things correctly... :o
I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
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I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
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post #30 of 42
For me, picking and chopping parsley or cilantro are my least favorite tasks. My wife thinks absolutely no stems should be included - even though I point out to her how the tv chefs include them all the time. I don't like parsley or cilantro chopped very fine, but I will invariably gather the mound and make one more pass over it - ****! too fine again! lol

My favorite task - by far - is making a pan sauce. Watching the fond turn a liquid into a thing of delight is always a wonder. I also enjoy deciding whhat I will add atthe last mionute tomake the sauce glaze a trifle different. Maybe a glug of pomegranate molasses for a slight sweet and pucker zing is perect for quaiil, or a spoon or two of pepper jelly and chopped mint for lamb, or a glug of claret for a roast or a steak. You get the idea. Sooo very, very, many possibilities. Then there's mustards, and wines, and herbs and tomato somethings, and tamarind and citruses - juices and peels, and dairy. iwill stop now. lol
Don't mess with dragons. You will be crispy and taste good with catsup.
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Don't mess with dragons. You will be crispy and taste good with catsup.
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