I know all too well the excitement to jump into the kitchen and get cooking. The oven gets preheated, ingredients are pulled out, things are happening. Then for the rest of cook time, it's a game of catch up. Gotta back track to find the right pan, triple check the recipe for the details, dice and chop in a hurry before things start burning, stop to pour a glass of wine and turn on music on because it's getting stressful.. you know the drill.
Do yourself a huge favor and optimize yourself for graceful cooking. In particular order, your optimization SOP:
- Before you get into that kitchen, go pee / wash your hands.
- Turn music on, perhaps something like "Jazz Vibes" or "Chill Tracks" on Spotify.
- Pour yourself and S.O. a glass of wine, mix up a cocktail, whatever your preferred juice is.
- Read through the recipe at least once. Pull out all the equipment & ingredients you will need. Check for any surprise tasks that you don't want to delay you (eg, preheating the oven, bringing ingredients to room temp).
- Fill your sink with hot, soapy water. While you're cooking, toss the dishes you don't need anymore into the bath for soaking. This will make clean up less of a chore.
- Have a hand towel and paper towels at the ready. Put an apron on, if that's the kind of person you want to be.
- And for the most important, own your mise en place. Chop, dice, season all of your ingredients, etc before you start cooking. This way, when you get to cooking, you will feel like you're the star on the greatest cooking show on earth. Little bowls of this and that, ready for you.