It’s struck me recently that one of the hardest parts of cooking at home is not the prep or the actual cooking, but the washing up.
In my teens I worked as a pot washer and occasionally a kitchen porter in a three-star hotel in Derbyshire. Both jobs are seen as at the bottom of the ladder in the kitchen hierarchy.
Pot washing was monotonous, shoving trays of crockery through a steamer, stacking them to dry and then shelving them.
But being a kitchen porter was much more physically demanding, scrubbing heavy saucepans, cleaning working surfaces, cleaning the walk-in fridge, mopping the floor, taking heavy bags of rubbish out to the bins.
As a home cook, you are both pot washer and kitchen porter.
I try and wash up as I cook, but even so at the end of an evening the sink and work surface are littered with pans, dishes, knives, spatulas, spoons, peelers, and all manner of items. I look around me and say to myself, ‘How on earth did all this happen?’
This is what you don’t see when you watch Jamie’s Fifteen-Minute Meals. The fact is there’s no such thing as a fifteen-minute meal.