31 March 2008

Cookie sheets keep the countertop clean during bulk sandwich-making

KS found a clever way to further streamline lunch prep:

I am learning to love mass production of packed lunches. One thing particularly pesky is the crumbs left on the counter after sandwich assembly. Enter the cookie sheet!

Ahh – a flat clean surface big enough to lay all of the bread faces out, then spread the goop, and add the contents. The cookie sheet not only catches all of the crumbs, but also any wandering lettuce, etc. When finished, pick up the cookie sheet, and just wipe it off over the sink. Clean counter is ready to go.

Related: Plenty more sandwich hacks...

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Umm...doesn't this just leave you with a dirty cookie sheet instead of a dirty counter top?

Most of my food prep takes place directly on the countertop. If worried about germs and/or soap residue, you could use the new clorox disinfectant spray that is safe for food surfaces. I just clean then wipe with a damp paper towel. After mass assembly of whatever the meal is, I use the same damp paper towel to clean my mess. Much easier in my opinion than endless plates and cutting boards, like we used to so, or the dirty cookie sheets like you're doing.

I work directly on the counter, as well, and I'll take it one step further... I use the counter above the dishwasher. When I'm finished, I just grab a sponge (or paper towel, or wipe, depending on the mess), open the diswasher, and as I wipe, the crumbs get brushed into the dishwasher, only to magically disappear the next time it is run. Obviously, don't do this if the dishwasher's filled with clean dishes.

It is amazing how many "hacks" on this site I already do... I guess it doesn't occur to me that anyone does things differently! :-)
In this case, I use a large cutting board rather than a cookie sheet.

I used our sheet pans for cleaning the frig this weekend. After filling up each one I could move it to the table to get more space for pulling more stuff out. They are great for extending counter space by covering the stovetop if we are doing a lot of cutting before cooking, particularly for Chinese food night.

We use a tempered glass cutting board that always sits on the stove top over 2 of the 4 gas burners. Since it is tempered, even if we turn the stove below by mistake, no worries. We use it to prep food and make less counter-top messes. It is easy to cleanup versus cleaning the counter, as we can just slide it over to the sink and rinse off crumbs. We use it as a quick chopping board for those little veggie/fruit chops when making a quick meal or snack instead of dragging the wooden chopping board out--which we now use only when cooking a full meal.

Since the board is glass, it is easy to clean with the Clorox wipes and then wipe with a dishrag, and all a lot more sanitary since glass helps minimize germ-collection.

We have given at least half a dozen of the Farberware glass boards as gifts to close family/friends and we find it useful as it gives us room to work on the stove-top right next to whatever is cooking, safely without worrying about the glass breaking.

We rarely use all 4 burners anyway and when we do, we just move it away and set it on the counter. We have often even used it on the dinner table for hot/messy dishes (esp Chinese takeout) as I really do not care to collect trivets.

Then the cookie sheet needs to be washed....I'd rather just wipe of the counter top. But thanks for reminding me to mass produce sandwiches!

OK, so this is not so green of me, but I use a paper towel for sandwich prep. When I'm all finished, I can just fold it up and throw it away. So much easier than chasing crumbs on the counter-top or rinsing off a cookie sheet/cutting board!

Great idea! I also bought a cookie sheet for each of my kids and taught them to only play with small Legos on it, so even if they do not finish a masterpiece all the small parts are in one place and they don't get lost, plus I can move it out of the way until they want to play with it again. I also bought one for my cats' food bowls to contain the mess and it works great. (I guess these are both cookie sheet hacks and not sandwich ones, sorry, but they do work beautifully).

This is more of a cookie sheet hack too...I bought an inexpensive one to use when playing with playdough. And I can tape or use magnets to hold down paper for coloring. No worries if my little fellow scribbles off the paper then. It also works on car trips to keep the crayons from rolling into the floor every two seconds.

Another cookie sheet hack... and a sippy cup hack... sorry, not really a sandwich hack - didn't know where this one fit in? Anyway, I put all my sippy cups and parts on the top shelf of the dishwasher and use a clean cookie sheet (or a mildly dirty one - like, oh? maybe from making lots of sandwiches?) and I lay the cookie sheet on top of all the cups/lids/straws/etc. This way, the cups don't go upside down, the lids don't get lost and I don't have to find a place in the dishwasher to place the big bulky cookie sheet!

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