The order that you measure ingredients can have a big impact on the clean up and how much water you'll have to use!

Do You Love Making Cookies But Dread Washing Up?

As I made peanut butter cookies (YUM!) the other day, I was reminded of something my mom taught me when I was young.  We didn’t have a dishwasher at the lake cabin, or perhaps I should say that I was the dishwasher.  And I complained mightily about having to wash sticky gunk such as peanut butter out of measuring cups and making a mess of the dish rag without really getting anything clean.

She said that if I’d measure stuff in the right order, I wouldn’t have the problem.  Huh??

And so I learned to use the same measuring cup and measure any dry ingredients (sugar, brown sugar) first.  No residue in the cup, okay.  Then the oil, which left a slight film on the measuring cup.  Then the peanut butter, which now wouldn’t stick to the cup with the oil on it.  I’ve gotten so that if I am using peanut butter or molasses in a recipe without oil, I either wipe the measuring cup with a few drops of oil or give it a squirt of Pam before measuring the “gunky” ingredient.

Similarly, if you measure dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa, oatmeal, etc.) before wet ingredients, there won’t be a mess in the cup.

Can you tell that I really don’t like washing dishes?  And if I have to, I don’t like getting a lot of crud in the dish rag? Especially on a boat where I don’t want to use water unnecessarily to rinse it out?

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15 Comments
  • Chuck Burns on Facebook
    Posted at 12 April 2013 Reply

    Funny.. This same idea came to me a few years ago and it sure saves a lot of clean-up mess…thanks again for all you share

  • charlotte
    Posted at 12 April 2013 Reply

    I have used the Misto spray for years, instead of Pam or equivalent. Saves money and there are no added ingedients!
    http://www.amazon.com/Misto-Brushed-Aluminum-Olive-Sprayer/dp/B00004SPZV/?tag=theboagal0a-20

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 12 April 2013 Reply

      Looks interesting. Jan has a similar device but hers was more expensive. I like the price of this one a LOT better!:)

  • Susan Parker
    Posted at 12 April 2013 Reply

    I don’t use a dishcloth to get gunk off my cookware, utensils, and dishes. Instead, I use a large Rubbermaid bottle brush. It whisks away the gunk and rinses quickly. They are available at Walmart and can be seen at this link: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Rubbermaid-Bottle-Brush-1-pk/13281357. Using the brush keeps my dishcloth cleaner.

  • Louise
    Posted at 16 April 2013 Reply

    I agree! It’s worthwhile to spend a moment thinking about what else you can use that kitchen tool for and in what order. For instance, when I chop veggies, I try to do all the ones I need for a couple days. Chop the “mild” ones first, like carrots. Then the “staining” ones, like red bell peppers. Then the “stinky” ones like onions and garlic. THEN wash the cutting board.

  • Claudia
    Posted at 20 April 2013 Reply

    When it comes to my favourite recipes, I weigh each ingredient and jot down the weight in the cookbook. The next time I make the recipe, I only have to use the kitchen scale — no need for measuring cups! Okay, I still have to use measuring spoons for really small amounts but it makes for less of a mess plus greater accuracy 🙂

  • Taunya
    Posted at 08 December 2014 Reply

    A really good way to make dishes less gunky before you was is to have a designated dish spatula and use it to scrape dishes clean before putting them in the dishwater.

  • Dave Skolnick (S/V Auspicious)
    Posted at 06 September 2015 Reply

    I’ve been weighing ingredients more and more often rather than measuring them. I can put the mixing bowl on the scale and hit tare after each addition to zero the scale. Nothing to wash but the mixing bowl.

    Just don’t dump in too much of something. *grin*

  • Dave Skolnick
    Posted at 06 September 2015 Reply

    I’ve been weighing ingredients more and more often rather than measuring them. I can put the mixing bowl on the scale and hit tare after each addition to zero the scale. Nothing to wash but the mixing bowl.

    Just don’t dump in too much of something. *grin*

  • Fiona
    Posted at 07 September 2015 Reply

    Any suggestions for a good kitchen scale that does the job and stores well, won’t rust etc.?

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 07 September 2015 Reply

      Of course I do (you knew that!). I have three friends with the Joseph Joseph TriScale that say it’s great. I used it on one of their boats and liked it, too. You have to read the directions as it’s not 100% intuitive – or at least it wasn’t to me – but after that, it worked really well. Folds up to nothing in a drawer! See it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1XCfgAZ

      • Rebecca
        Posted at 01 January 2017 Reply

        I was not able to get a digital scale to work on my galley countertop because the boat rocks. I tried a few. All of them had a flat surface as part of the scale to sit the measuring bowl on. The numbers on the scale bounced around and I could not get a useful reading. So my question to you is – does this Joseph Joseph scale work when the boat is rocking?

        • Carolyn Shearlock
          Posted at 02 January 2017 Reply

          When I used it on a friend’s boat, it was a catamaran and we didn’t have any problems with the numbers not “locking in.” I don’t know how it would be on say, a mono in a bouncy anchorage.

  • Connie Smith
    Posted at 26 March 2016 Reply

    Fantastic idea!

  • Victoria Fine
    Posted at 26 March 2016 Reply

    My secret trick is… the dog. Win-win!

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