About a year ago I bought a butcher’s apron to wear when cooking. I love it because it makes me look like I know what I’m doing and it also keeps my clothes clean. I also like to tuck in a towel in it so that I can keep my hands clean and dry.
Something I find essential when messing around in the kitchen is a “work plate” which is something I learned from my mum. This is simply a plate I use to rest my spoons, knives, measuring cups or whatever else I’m using, as well as food scraps. It saves me getting a new spoon every time I want to stir something and it keeps the counters clean.
That’s another thing: I can’t have messy, dirty countertops; I’m definitely a clean-as-you-go cook. I will most likely clean spills off the counter/table/floor even if I’m in the middle of cooking with more spills very possibly to follow. If I get a spare minute or two in the process of making a meal, I wash up everything I used so that I won’t have a huge pile to do afterwards. I’m really not a clean freak, I swear.
When it comes to what I actually cook, if I’m only making a meal for myself, I’m probably improvising. I may look at recipes for inspiration and a general idea but a lot of the time I go by instinct and don’t really bother following the steps and measurements precisely (in cooking, not baking). Which is why I think I’ve become quite good at whipping up decent meals with whatever I find in the fridge and cupboards and using up leftover ingredients when I’m working from home. However, when it’s not just for me, the pressure of making something nice for other people means I am more likely to follow a recipe.
One thing I’d like to do more often is to step out of my comfort zone and use new ingredients and try new things. I have my favourites that I like to make and eat often, and weekday dinners are not really a great time for experimenting, but I’d like to add some more variety to what I cook.
I am wondering, what is your cooking style? Are you a messy cook or do you clean as you go? Do you mostly follow recipes or improvise? And how often do you try out new things in the kitchen?