I live with people who like to soak pots and pans. Even though my kids are supposed to clean up the kitchen after they each make dinner every week, there are numerous mornings when I find a pot or a pan sitting in the sink when I get up. Sometimes, I even spy a pot or pan before I head off to bed and I say, ever so sweetly, “Hey, what’s the deal with that pot? When are you going to wash that and finish cleaning up the kitchen?” The response is always: “Oh…that pot (or pan) needs to soak,” and then there are lots of promises to take care of it in the morning. Sometimes those promises are kept and sometimes, not so much.
The good news about the soaking is that it really works. A dirty pot or pan filled with warm soapy water and a few sprinkles of baking soda, left over night (that’s where the SOAKING comes in – as I’m so often told) is much easier to clean than one that has not soaked.
These pots and pans need to soak
Fill the dirty pot or pan with warm soapy water and give a few shakes with a very stylish baking soda shaker and in no time, the dirty pot or pan will practically have cleaned itself. Well, sometimes it needs a little elbow-grease and one of these metal scrubbers to finish the job.
But, then there’s no need for lots of detergents or scrubbers that come with detergent and get tossed into the garbage after several uses.
If you cook with cast iron like I do, you may find that less soap is better and that in the morning, after the cast iron skillet gets cleaned and dried, the cast iron may need just a little wipe down with olive oil. Not a full re-seasoning, just a wipe.
So, I’ve resigned myself to the idea that my kitchen doesn’t look “just so” every night before I head to bed but at least when it doesn’t, it means someone else made dinner and the kitchen was mostly cleaned up. (Virtual high fives all around!!) To be honest, my kids learned this whole soaking trick from my husband. He started it but is usually the one who cleans the soaking pot or pan in the morning so I really can’t complain.
Can you stand one more note on cleaning pots and pans? Yesterday, I made applesauce and some burned to the bottom of the pot. After soaking the pot overnight, the burned part wouldn’t budge so I added about 1/4-cup of white vinegar and placed it on the stove on low. After 15-20 minutes, the burned parts came up with a quick scrape from a spatula. It was so much easier than standing over my sink and scrubbing it for 30 minutes! Give it a try next time you have a burned on mess.
Do you like to soak pots and pans overnight? Do you wish for a scullery maid?
Go Gingham related links:
Good times at our house with “teenager times” or how to get a teen to leave the room!
Paying allowances to kids – I pay allowances on-line now and it’s so much easier
Vacation rules for inappropriate moms (that would be me!)
Family rules that have (surprise!) worked out well
Pantry basics for the home cook – what’s in my pantry
Refrigerator basics for the home cook – what’s in my refrigerator
New to cooking at home? Fear not!