Fact: Cleaning up as I go is a tough thing for me. I'm also prone to spills. By the time I'm done with a cooking or baking project, it usually looks like a bomb went off in my kitchen.
Because I'm innately a messy cook, many of the recipes I've ripped out of magazines or borrowed from my mom often end up coated in flour or covered in some kind of liquid that makes the ink run. (Sorry, mom.) I also like to use recipes that I find online, and few things make me more nervous than bringing my phone, tablet, or laptop into my kitchen. Don't even get me started on the state of my cookbooks. (Those five pages are stuck together from now on? Cool, I didn't want to make that gooey chocolate cake, anyway!)
So, yeah, I could use some help.
Luckily, I found it! In the form of something I actually already owned. After a recent move, I was going through a cardboard box labeled "Random Stuff" and stumbled across a piece of white plastic with a lip on either end. I stared at it for a while and eventually recalled buying said piece of plastic several years ago at IKEA. It's intended purpose? It's a tablet stand.
Buy: ISBERGET tablet stand, $4 at IKEA
I bought it from the Swedish store's Marketplace section for four dollars, mostly as an impulse buy. (You can get it on Amazon, too, but it'll cost you $10 there.) The minimalistic design matched my decor, and I'd figured it would be a safe place to keep my iPad while reading in bed or cooking.
I clearly didn't use it back when I bought it, but since rediscovering it, all I do is use it. See, the stand can be set up one of two ways: I've found that propping up single sheets of paper works best on the smaller lip, which comes closer to a 90-degree angle, while my electronic gadgets and physical cookbooks rest easier on the opposite side, which is a bit flatter.
With my recipes up and out of the way, they're less likely to get spilled or splattered on, which feels like a minor victory. If my new favorite cookbook goes back on the shelf in mint condition, did I even make a mess at all?
The stand makes it easier for me to see what I'm doing and, somehow, I actually spill less now when I cook. Flour seems to stay in the bowl when I whisk it, batter doesn't end up on my iPhone screen, and I can't remember the last time I knocked over a measuring cup. Maybe it's because the stakes are lower, but I honestly think it's because the stand makes me a less frazzled cook.
I went on IKEA's website to buy one of these for my mom, and scrolled through customer reviews out of curiosity. It turns out I'm not the only one who loves this thing!
"Nothing is more frustrating than using your tablet in the kitchen and having to go and pick it up so you can read the recipe ... this stand makes it easy!"
"When cooking, it's a great place for reading a recipe off a wet or sticky counter."
"I purchased this to help out in the kitchen, as all of my recipes are on my tablet. It was everything that I needed. Fantastic!"
What do you think? Do you use something to hold your recipes when you cook?