I’m beginning to think this is a pipe dream.
Even something as basic as sauteeing 1/2 an onion gets involved:
- Storage it came from +1 locale
- Cutting board +1 thing to wash
- Knife + 1 thing to wash
- Storage for remaining onion +1 locale
- Pan +1 to wash
- Cooking tool +1 to wash
- Butter storage +1 locale
- Butter knife +1 to wash
- Stove to cook it on +1 locale
Potentially there 4 areas (onion storage, unused onion storage, butter storage, stove) which could need to be cleaned, 2 food remainders to deal with (the other 1/2 the onion and the rest of the butter which also might need additional packaging), and 5 items to clean (cutting board, knife, pan, cooking tool, butter knife).
From a TWO INGREDIENT cooking task, there’s potentially 11 items or locations to deal with! No wonder the kitchen is always trashed after cooking a meal!!!
My only “hope” is that if I do my 5:1 item swap, this would involve cleaning or putting away 20 items.
Honestly? I wouldn’t have expected this kind of ratio, that it takes about 5 areas or cooking tools to deal with a single ingredient.
I’m sure this doesn’t hold true through a complex recipe, (You would use the same knife to chop things, for example.)
I tried to do a count like this for the simple recipe I made for dinner last night, 8 ingredients. It kept getting longer, more complicated and then I’d see something I’d missed, and it got longer and more complex. After 3 drafts, I decided to do the simplest recipe I could think of. This one.
There are variables:
- Was the tool already in use and re-used without washing? Certainly this could be true for the stove, cutting board, & knife, if not the bread board, butter dish and butter knife.
- Is the potential cleaning something done as a part of the kitchen’s clean up, rather than because of this recipe? Possibly so for the onion’s original storage locale or the storage for the 1/2 an onion, although maybe not for the storage it is put into?
I am working on a way to chart this stuff so it’s easier. In the meantime, I have relaxed. I am overwhelmed for a good reason, this is confusing as all get out and much more complicated than I ever would have figured!