The Lifelong Kitchen Lesson I Learned From Rachael Ray

I write and edit recipes for a living, so it won’t surprise you to learn that my most-frequented TV channel growing up was The Food Network, which debuted just shy of a year after I was born. I took studious notes watching Emeril Live!, belly-laughed with Ina, Jeffrey, and their sweater-clad friends, and tried to keep up with Rachael Ray’s go-go-go meals.

All of whom taught me a lot, but what I appreciate most is Rach’s lesson of the garbage bowl.

If you aren’t familiar, a garbage bowl, aka dump bowl, is just what it sounds like: a large bowl to preliminarily collect scraps, wrappers, odds, and ends while you prep and cook.

As Rach puts it, “The point is not really to use it as a garbage can, but it saves a home cook steps from running back and forth to the garbage or compost or recycling bin.”

Saving steps means saving time. And saving time means being able to watch that last episode of Cheer. Which is important in its own way! Beyond just the time, though, I’d always rather keep a compact (even cute!) bowl by me on the counter, versus standing next to a garbage can that smells, ahem, not-great.

Now, your turn: What why didn’t I think of that? home-cooking trick do you use all the time? Let me know in the comments—I’m always looking for new ones.

3-Quart Stainless Steel Non Skid Base Mixing Bowl, $21.38

Because no one wants to throw a rotten onion in the garbage bowl, have it slide across the counter, and then, oh boy, you’ve got a big mess on the floor.

OXO Good Grips 4.5 Qt Glass Bowl, $24.09

Glass, so you can really appreciate just how many carrots you’ve peeled. Also doubles as a nice serving bowl for salads.

Nordic Ware Mixing Bowl Set, $22.88

A beachy-hued set with a slew of sizes, so your garbage bowl can match whatever other prep bowls you’re working with. Coordination!

Rachael Ray’s Garbage Bowl, $12.99

We’d be remiss not to include Rachael Ray’s actual garbage bowl, which comes in a lot of nifty colors, like cranberry red and sea salt gray.

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Emma is a writer and recipe developer at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles “on the fly,” baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma’s cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she’s up to on Instagram and Twitter at @emmalaperruque.

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