Thursday, March 24, 2011

Some Thoughts on Time Management

By Lauren Rauh 

Time management has always been an issue for me. Sometimes it simply results in emails being responded to a little later than I'd like, or laundry piling up. But things can really come to a head when you've got a lot of little tasks to do in a short period of time. I'm am thinking specifically of my job in the restaurant and the amount of prep required to be ready when our first customers sit down for dinner. But even if cooking isn't your job, it can feel like it when you get home from work and are faced with things to chop and pots to simmer while your tummy rumbles. If you find yourself deterred from cooking most nights of the week because of the time it requires, your woes can be alleviated with some simple time management.

I'm sure you've heard it all before: plan your meals in advance, choose one day to cook large amounts of food and eat left overs all week. Yes, yes these are true, but I'm thinking small picture here. You can save yourself a lot of time while preparing a meal by figuring out what tasks can be done simultaneously. Say for example, you are making a dish that includes, sautéed veggies, brown rice, and roasted chicken. To efficiently manage your time you would first put a pot of water on to boil and get the chicken in the oven. Then, you would start chopping your veggies while the rice simmers. By the time the veggies are sauteed, the rice will be tender and the chicken nice and juicy. Of course, I've left out details like seasoning and basting, but in the scheme of things those tasks do not take up a lot of time. Thinking about time management in the kitchen takes some common sense and practice, but it in the long run it allows you to free up time to explore more complicated recipes and try out new culinary skills rather than just stress about getting dinner on the table.
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