Saving time with a little help from your friends

January 28, 2011

I wanted to wrap up saving time in the kitchen week with something a little more fun than a relentless push for efficiency, so here’s a great way to make more elaborate meals while getting to spend time with friends:

The book I mentioned is called The Millennium Cookbook: Extraordinary Vegetarian Cuisine [affiliate link], which is actually a vegan cookbook, but it’s not one I’d recommend for your first vegan cookbook ever, since it’s a little fancy pants, but that brunch was pretty darned tasty.

By the way, the concept I’m introducing in this video is called “stacking” and it’s an alternative to multitasking.  Multitasking has been shown to suck majorly for humans, mostly in business environments but also pretty much everywhere else.  We’re just not as good as computers at it, and even though the “it lowers your IQ more than marijuana” study has been discounted, the productivity experts I’ve studied seem to advocate one thing at a time.  Of course, a kitchen environment usually means a lot of bouncing between tasks that are all happening at the same time (you chop the celery while the onions cook and somehow you’re also mopping up a spill, etc) but bringing in friends can at least reduce some of that.

Where stacking comes in is the layering of complementary tasks together, so one doesn’t take away from the ability to do the other – think going for a walk while listening to an audio book, versus checking your email while having dinner with your family. In this case, you’re cooking a great meal and spending more time with friends (although the two are separate if you’re bringing the food to someone else’s house, the actual meal is a combination of your efforts.)

What else, in the kitchen and in your life, can you do at the same time without sacrificing the results of each activity?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Colleen January 31, 2011 at 9:23 am

I like the idea of the component cooking, a lot.

I also do a thing with various friends every once in awhile, but which I’m hoping to do more of (say, about once a month) in which two or three of us get together and cook and bake a tonne of stuff. We then split everything between us and freeze and/or eat it all up over the following week or so. It’s fun and we generally try things we wouldn’t necessarily make on our own due to time constraints. Also, the following weeks are always a fair bit less work in the kitchen. :)

laura February 21, 2012 at 6:33 pm

great info
love this blog!!
Visit the christian vegan

Ava Odoemena September 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Your kitchen looks like a protestant church:-)) But perhaps it’s the well groomed handsome guy with a microphone changing the style context:-)

Perhaps this is why Laura just had to drop some Christian spam:-) Checking it out right now.

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