Food preparation work zone
This is the area where all food prep takes place, and keep in mind that food prep is probably the most time-consuming step of any meal preparation. Food prep includes everything done to the food before applying heat or refrigerating it or serving it. It includes washing, peeling, chopping, slicing, stuffing, marinating, seasoning, and so on. All the tools and equipment for food prep need to be easily accessible in this zone.
It is a good idea to dedicate 1 or 2 (or even more, if space allows) cabinets to food prep. If you have a decent amount of countertop space in your kitchen, also dedicate a portion of your countertop space solely to food prep. If space in your kitchen is limited and you only have enough room to dedicate 1 cabinet to food prep, that is fine – you will just need to reduce the number of food prep supplies/tools to be compatible with your space.
The tools included in this section include: knives, scissors, graters, spoons, spatulas, cutting boards, measuring cups, measuring spoons, mixing bowls, strainers, small appliances, cookbooks and recipes. Regardless of whether you have a small studio kitchenette or a large sprawling kitchen, if you want a logically organized kitchen space, be sure to keep all food prep tools and equipment near each other in adjacent drawers or cabinets. Therefore, when you’re ready to chop vegetables in your food prep zone, you don’t have to go far to find the cutting board and knives – they’ll be within an arm’s reach in the cabinet/drawer immediately adjacent to the food prep counter area.
Keep all your cookbooks and recipe files together, but keep them apart from other books. It is best if you can find a space in your kitchen to hold your cookbooks, since that is the room in which you will use the books, but a bookcase in an adjacent room would be fine as well. If you haven’t referred to a particular cookbook in over a year or two, it is probably a good time to let it go. Don’t hold onto cookbooks that are no longer useful for you. Maybe the cookbook no longer inspires you, maybe you are no longer a fan of that cuisine, or maybe you are now on a healthful diet. Nowadays, it is so easy to find a myriad of exciting recipes online. So we need to let go of the cookbooks that are no longer serving us well.
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