I don’t watch Rachel Ray. I don’t watch television. But in noodling around the Internet, I did come across the concept of using a garbage bowl while cooking. No, it wasn’t Rachel, but a chef.
Even though when I saw the idea and lights came on, angels sang choirs of hosannas and I realized it Made My Kitchen Complete, it’s a stupidly simple concept. Have one or two large bowls on the counter beside you to throw scraps and garbage in while you’re cooking. When you’re done, dump everything from the bowl into the garbage. Clean the bowl. Simple, easy and so goofily obvious that I’m amazed that in nearly 30 years of cooking I never thought of it.
I was making spaghetti tonight and used one. Friends, this really does streamline not only cooking, but cleanup. My trash can really won’t “go” anywhere but across the kitchen, and yes, I’m a “clean as you go” cook. So, this method saves me a lot of steps, and interestingly enough, makes clutter containment while cooking much easier. Even though I’m hardly a professionally-trained chef, I do ascribe to the mise en place philosophy of cooking. I do not like a mess while I’m making a meal.
I think this would actually be a great technique to teach kids when cooking, as one of the big issues with kids in the kitchen is mess! Teach ‘em this, and at least some is contained.
So, my faithful readers, do you use a garbage bowl? Where did you hear of the concept? How much do you like it?
 I think Rachel Ray markets some, but at $15 for a damn plastic bowl, I think that’s useless. I have LOTS of large bowls, so just haul out a couple (or only one if you’re not saving anything for stock) and use them.
 The rest of my household, however, is not. Instead a CLEAN UP OR DIE sign in my household, I’ve chosen to pick my battles and let this be a Designated Control Freak issue. It makes household harmony easier to attain.