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Using trays to carry stuff


Fat Guy
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Third, the arthritis in my hands that exists permanently, and the tendonitis in one elbow which I hope is only temporary, prevent me from carrying anything very heavy.  Carrying a tray puts significant weight out in front of me, at an angle that isn't joint-friendly.

As a long-time tenodnitis of the elbow sufferer, I am of the opinion that trays are actually better for that condition. You can carry a tray with your hands in a supinated position, located flat under the tray. This is much better than the narrow grip one often uses when carrying plates, saucers, etc., even if your hands are in neutral position (gripping can be just as bad for the condition as lifting).

That being said, I rarely use trays. My table is only a foot or two away from my sink, anyway, and I rarely have more than one or two guests.

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I have an eat-in kitchen, and no idea what the heck I would do with a tray. Where are you taking all this food? It sounds like we are talking about fetching ingredients, etc. All of mine are in the kitchen already! I simply cannot think of a single instance in which I could use one.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Chris, I use trays occasionally. For regular family meals in the dining room, no, since the dining room and kitchen are separated only by a peninsula (a huge tray, so to speak).

1. Summer. We eat on the deck almost nightly, and since the kitchen is on the front side of the house, and the deck on the backside of the house, saves numerous trips through the living room and sun room.

2. Entertaining. I often host Xmas Eve and Easter dinners, which involves not only the dining room table, but a couple of card tables in the living room, and the teens eat at the extra table in the basement. Saves many, many trips!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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In our palatial apartment, the walk from the North wing to the South wing takes about 11 minutes. On the days when the servants are off, that means each extra round trip to the kitchen takes 22 minutes. So it's just much more efficient to use a tray, especially given that my time is worth about $3,000 an hour.

Okay, but even though I'm only walking about ten feet from my kitchen to the "dining room" (which is also the living room and my office), each 10-foot round trip is 20 feet of walking. If you do that, unnecessarily, several times per meal it adds up. For me at least, a lot of decisions in the kitchen have to do with eliminating little efficiencies of these sorts. If you're someone who doesn't care about this sort of thing, fine. But if you're someone who brings the garbage pail close to the cutting board, or uses a "garbage bowl" ala Rachael Ray, then the tray solution for reducing the number of trips you make to the table is exactly that sort of improvement in efficiency.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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If one has a trek like this

gallery_17399_60_82137.jpg

trays are an absolute necessity.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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That kitchen is bigger than my whole house, I think.

I use trays for one purpose, and that's bringing stuff outside, to barbecue. I can get all the condiments flatware, and table stuff out in one trip.

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I use trays for one purpose, and that's bringing stuff outside, to barbecue.  I can get all the condiments flatware, and table stuff out in one trip.

I do that also. However when transferring a lot of things or very heavy things to the outdoor grill area I use a utility cart that holds multiple trays. I have bad knees and sometimes have difficulty walking or one of my knees may give way unexpectedly so I have learned not to try to carry very heavy or breakable things when my gait is unsteady. I also have a small cart in my pantry to make it easier to transfer bulky or multiple items to and from the kitchen.

Sometimes I do make multiple trips with individual items, rationalizing that I need the extra exercise but usually use a tray.

They are especially handy when I get home from grocery/household shopping. I will place two or three on the counter and load items into the appropriate tray to make it easier to move these things to where they will be stored. I have one that holds only items that will be transferred to the bathrooms.

Another for staples that will go into the pantry and one for fridge/freezer items. It's the only way I can keep organized.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Well, I'm totally stupid. But then you knew that. My problem with trays is that in order to keep items from sliding all over the place and potentially slamming into the rim of the tray--thus spilling stuff everywhere--I have to walk very, very slowly. It ends up being more time-efficient (as well as more spill-proof) for me to make multiple trips.

I guess if I learned to glide smoothly from place to place it wouldn't be a problem, but I'm too old to learn now.

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Well, I'm totally stupid. But then you knew that. My problem with trays is that in order to keep items from sliding all over the place and potentially slamming into the rim of the tray--thus spilling stuff everywhere--I have to walk very, very slowly. It ends up being more time-efficient (as well as more spill-proof) for me to make multiple trips.

I guess if I learned to glide smoothly from place to place it wouldn't be a problem, but I'm too old to learn now.

A piece of the cheap waffled shelf-liner cut to the size of your tray would solve the slipping problem. :smile:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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I agree. I buy that shelf liner in a large roll at Costco and use it in many places to keep things in place.

I have several trays like this one Or perhaps this, less expensive one.

In fact, I bought a nested set at Tuesday Morning for less than the cost of this single one - they can often be found at Pier One or Cost Plus too and for less than this one.

Because they are deep, taller things do not tip out as easily.

I have some wooden ones with slightly flared sides, traditional tea or "breakfast" trays, that are very old but still in good condition and have found some of these at thrift stores, yard sales.

Find a tray that works for your purposes.

There are so many different styles and materials that surely there is something that can make tasks a little easier or more efficient.

Just at Target are these many styles.

On page 2 is a Banana leaf divided tray that should work beautifully for taller items.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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