Rachael Ray didn't invent it, but she did give a memorable name and widespread popularity to one of the kitchen tools I can't cook without: the garbage bowl. Let's take a moment to appreciate this humble workhorse of the kitchen.
Garbage bowls do not have to be special bowls sold under the Rachael Ray brand; any bowl or bucket will do. The important thing is having a place to toss your scraps as you cook, so they don't clutter up your workspace. If you don't use one, it may seem small and not terribly important, this bowl full of peels and trimmings, but if you are a dedicated garbage bowl user, you know it is the difference between chaos and efficiency, between happiness in the kitchen and utter despair.
Perhaps I am being overly dramatic. But I doubt it.
Garbage bowls save you from needless trips to the garbage can or compost bin. They also help you to clean as you go and keep precious counter space clear. Perhaps most importantly, they keep you organized as you cook, separating the ingredients to be used from the scraps to be tossed or composted. To me, they are as essential a tool as knives and cutting boards, but — poor garbage bowls — rarely get the same attention.
So today let's give a cheer for garbage bowls! They deserve it.
(Image: Anjali Prasertong)