By Lauren Scott, Arizona Farm Bureau Intern
I have this problem in my kitchen, where when I am trying to cook, so is everyone else in my family, ALL AT ONCE. We can go days and days without meeting in the kitchen, and then one day, everyone wants to cook or bake. My dad will be trying to sauté something while my sister tries to use the microwave right above him; then my mom will need the sink to wash vegetables while I am trying to use the leftover counter space next to her to bake cookies. We all end up shoving each other until slowly, each person finishes what they’re doing and leaves. Ending up in the kitchen with multiple people, whether its family, friends, or even roommates, can be a huge hassle. It can be even more of a hassle when the kitchen is tiny. So if you have a tiny kitchen, or don’t want to end up (inconveniently) in the kitchen when 15 other people are in there, here are some tips for you!
- Set a schedule: If you know everyone is going to be cooking at some time during the day or week, plan it out. Monday Bob can cook, Tuesday you can cook, Wednesday Jessica can cook, and so forth. If everyone needs the kitchen on the same day, set times. Mom uses is at 3, you use it at 4:30, and dad uses it at 6.
- Limit your cooking: I know there are some of us out there, myself included, who can’t stop cooking and baking. It’s our therapy. But to compromise, we might have to cut down on the days per week that we use the kitchen. Instead of every night, maybe switch to Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
- Clean up when you are done: If you don’t clean up after yourself right away, you either won’t do it at all and make everyone angry, or you will come back later and other people will be in the kitchen. Make it easier on everyone and pick up after yourself and put all your utensils away.
- Cook ONLY what you bought: This is just courteous. Don’t cook food that you did not buy or that is not yours to use. If you use only what is yours, then you will be prepared and know what you are going to be cooking. This is especially important for those with roommates. NEVER, I mean NEVER use your roommate’s food without their permission. This will end up causing fights and arguments and create overall tension in the house or apartment that could easily have been prevented.
- Know what you are going to cook/bake: When you plan out what you are going to cook or bake, there is no extra time involved. You cook, you clean, you are done. You don’t stand around looking through cookbooks or looking on the internet to find recipes. You only have certain ingredients that are yours or that you have purchased, so find a recipe beforehand with those ingredients and make that.
In the end, just communicating with the people you share the kitchen with will get you far. Be nice to them and respect their space and the times they need to cook at. You’re going to have to work around schedules, and it can be hard, but my house has managed to do it! And remember, if you need any tasty recipes to try out when it’s your turn to use the kitchen, head over to fillyourplate.org!