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Are you a bowl prepper or board prepper?


Shalmanese
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I really like the sticky note thing, if working with an unfamiliar recipe that would be real handy.

I have gone from a large kitchen to what is basically a hallway with appliances. My old kitchen had a 5'x3' farmhouse cutting board table (in storage waiting for our new house) Now I have cutting boards I put over the sink, that fit over 1/2 the stove and 2 small ones I use all the time that are only 12"x10.

I do really, really miss my prep table!

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Bowls. Always. Even for the simplest recipe I've made a thousand times before. And DH has been trained to do exactly the same. (DH! :wub: )

I like the time that a proper mise gives me to consider exactly what I'm going to include or exclude, review the order of adding ingredients in my mind, consider which steps I might combine or alter, and generally get myself mentally into the meal.

Then it's a relaxed pleasure to focus on the cooking, without any distractions for last-minute measuring or chopping.

It may take a little longer, but I find the food comes out better, and I enjoy myself much more.

Besides, there's the glass of wine you drink while you prep, and the one you drink while you cook...

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Bowls.  Always.  Even for the simplest recipe I've made a thousand times before.  And DH has been trained to do exactly the same.  (DH!   :wub: )

I like the time that a proper mise gives me to consider exactly what I'm going to include or exclude, review the order of adding ingredients in my mind, consider which steps I might combine or alter, and generally get myself mentally into the meal.

Then it's a relaxed pleasure to focus on the cooking, without any distractions for last-minute measuring or chopping.

It may take a little longer, but I find the food comes out better, and I enjoy myself much more.

Besides, there's the glass of wine you drink while you prep, and the one you drink while you cook...

I did enjoy reading your reply. :wub: It is how I like to feel about the cooking that I do, especially when Ed and I make Chinese food together.

Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Bowls.  Always.  Even for the simplest recipe I've made a thousand times before.  And DH has been trained to do exactly the same.  (DH!   :wub: )

I like the time that a proper mise gives me to consider exactly what I'm going to include or exclude, review the order of adding ingredients in my mind, consider which steps I might combine or alter, and generally get myself mentally into the meal.

Then it's a relaxed pleasure to focus on the cooking, without any distractions for last-minute measuring or chopping.

It may take a little longer, but I find the food comes out better, and I enjoy myself much more.

Besides, there's the glass of wine you drink while you prep, and the one you drink while you cook...

I did enjoy reading your reply. :wub: It is how I like to feel about the cooking that I do, especially when Ed and I make Chinese food together.

So did I. Sometimes there's an ingredient too bulky for a bowl, then this one will be the last one on the board, see http://sousvide.wikia.com/wiki/File:Gr%C3%...se_en_place.jpg.

BTW, after the glass of wine you drink while prepping and the one you drink while cooking, there are the ones you drink while enjoying your meal!

Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

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Bowls.  Always.  Even for the simplest recipe I've made a thousand times before.  And DH has been trained to do exactly the same.  (DH!   :wub: )

I like the time that a proper mise gives me to consider exactly what I'm going to include or exclude, review the order of adding ingredients in my mind, consider which steps I might combine or alter, and generally get myself mentally into the meal.

Then it's a relaxed pleasure to focus on the cooking, without any distractions for last-minute measuring or chopping.

It may take a little longer, but I find the food comes out better, and I enjoy myself much more.

Besides, there's the glass of wine you drink while you prep, and the one you drink while you cook...

I did enjoy reading your reply. :wub: It is how I like to feel about the cooking that I do, especially when Ed and I make Chinese food together.

So did I. Sometimes there's an ingredient too bulky for a bowl, then this one will be the last one on the board, see http://sousvide.wikia.com/wiki/File:Gr%C3%...se_en_place.jpg.

BTW, after the glass of wine you drink while prepping and the one you drink while cooking, there are the ones you drink while enjoying your meal!

Thanks, Darienne!

PedroG -- You're right. Usually meat is the last thing I prep, to avoid cross-contamination, and it will often just stay on the board.

And you're absolutely right about the wine we enjoy with the meal!

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I do both. If it is something I am just throwing together, and doesn't require a lot of time-sensitive attention, like Chinese or Thai, than I just leave things on the board. But for anything using a recipe, or if I need to move fast I'll break out the bowls. For things like Indian recipes which have lots and lots of ingrdiaents, usually spices, I'll combine the ones that get added to the recipe at the same time to cut down on the number of bowls, then I line then all up in the order that they get added and I'm ready to work.

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I often cut on a board and transfer to a bowl. My prep area is on our island and the stove is a few feet across the kitchen. I often just cut from the board and transfer to the stove via a hand or board scraper but a bowl is used when there is sufficient amounts that would make that difficult.

When making some Asian dishes where time is critical I will prep and have every thing ready in individual bowls. I'm not good with mise en place in every day meal prep. I know mise en place is the right thing to do but while my onions are sweating I'll dice my peppers or other ingredients and toss as I go.

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Today I had a prep-as-you-go mishap with a dish I've cooked a zillion times. I was making fried rice and went for the frozen peas -- and couldn't find them. The delay due to the search through the freezer for the frozen peas screwed everything up.

While I freely admit to being a frequent practitioner of prep-as-you-go cooking, it's just not as reliable as doing proper mise-en-place.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm trying to learn to do as much prep on the board as I can, but am far more comfortable tossing stuff in bowls ordered by time of use. Using lots of bowls seems the same as making more dishes to wash. Watching Tyler Florence and Anne Burrell prep on TV; they make more efficient use of the board than I and more efficient prep overall, and I'd like to learn to be more efficient. It appears to be about organization and knowing the flow of what one will need when.

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I board prep most of the time and use bowls if I need to. But...

I use five identical boards. If I run out of space on a board I'll just pull out another one. I also never have to wash a board while I'm cooking; I just toss them all in the dishwasher at the end.

I have big steel mixing bowls but for smaller uses I just use Chinese porcelain rice bowls, which are about the same size as the small steel prep bowls I see most people use. They're more versatile because you can serve food and prep in a rice bowl but you can only prep in a prep bowl.

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I'm also a big fan of rice bowls, though in my case I have several cheap-Chinese-restaurant-style melamine bowls with Chinese patterns on the outside. I bought them ages ago and they've had uncanny longevity. I use them for prep, for rice and for lots of other things. I don't even want to know how much melamine I've eaten over the years as a result of my use and abuse of these bowls. I also have a lot of other prep bowls. It's kind of absurd how many I have.

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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I am mostly a bowl prepper. I don't always make good use of "slack time" in cooking as I could, so I'm not a very good "prep as you go cook". If you were to watch me cook, you would see me spending a lot of time standing around doing nothing, waiting to reach for that next bowl from my mise en place.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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