I have a pretty tiny apartment. It’s bright, has a lovely view and fits me just right. It may not take long to clean it – but the flip side is that it doesn’t take much to make it look like a bomb went off.

That can make getting creative in the kitchen a bit tricky. When you have very little counter space, and what little you do have is crowded with pots, pans, mixing bowls and cutting boards – it can make it feel like you are cooking in a closet.

It also doesn’t help that I’m a big fan of ‘air drying’ my dishes. AKA – I don’t really want to take the time to dry them with a tea towel. I am *just* that lazy.

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A regular person might put these away… I just leave them there until I need them again.

So combine a hatred for doing dishes with the necessity to keep some work space free and POOF! You come up with some pretty handy tips for using less equipment/dishes when you are cooking. And of course I wanted to share them with you! Lucky duck.

1. This is one I’m really bad at… READ. Read your recipe or think through your meal before you start. Think of all the steps and start looking for cross over where you can use the same pan twice, save a bowl or utensil. For example, I have amazing tomato sauce that I helped jar this fall – it is pretty liquid and needs to be reduced. Rather than reduce it in one pot and boil pasta in another – I combine the two. Pasta absorbs more tomato flavour and I’m one dish less. Score!

This also saves you from the dreaded – I’ve made this one pot/bowl dirty, but it is really too small now I need to make a bigger one dirty too. That’s just painful.

2. Clean as you go – another one I’m pretty bad at. Rinsing and cleaning your equipment rather than grabbing a different spoon or knife for every task can really help. And when your masterpiece dinner is finished, you aren’t staring down a mountain of dishes. Always a nice feeling.

3. Learn what a measurement of a teaspoon and tablespoon look like in your hand. This way you can grab the amount of spices called for without needing to break out the measuring spoons each and every time. With baking I still do, but now I generally just season everything to taste and don’t bother actually measuring for most things I cook.

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I’m always surprised by how big a tablespoon is… or by how small my hands are. One of the other.

4. Use multi-purpose bakeware. I love those casserole dishes with the lids. You can throw your dinner in the oven in them, then pop a lid on the left overs without dirtying another dish. THEN you can pop it back in the oven to heat up said left overs. It is like a 3 in 1 pot of awesomeness. Plus, there is something really great about looking at that dish and saying “I *would* clean it… but I can’t right now, it is still being used! Guess that is a job for future Jodi.”

What do you do to save yourself from too many dishes??

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