Thursday, July 08, 2010

No Thank You, I'm Full

First, let me say, I love to cook. I love everything about cooking, the equipment, the recipes, the wine that I drink while I assemble dishes. Besides being a better, more nutritious way to eat, it's a bit of a stress reliever to be in the kitchen, alone. Most of the time, I turn on the radio, sing along with whatever happens to be playing and I let the sauteing and mixing take me away.

As I'm sure you've figured out, this is going somewhere. Specifically, this is all leading up to what I DON'T love about cooking and that is the clean up. Somewhere between raw inputs and final product, I manage to completely destroy my kitchen. Cabinet doors are flung open, every dish is streaked with sauce or juice from freshly chopped vegetables. Forks and spoons stand at attention in jars of minced garlic or pesto. Mixing bowls are stacked in the sink, the topmost bowl stuffed with measuring spoons, knives and spatulas. The floor is sticky and stained black in places (I have not figured out where this brownish-black stain comes from). By the time I serve dinner, my kitchen looks as if I prepared supper under heavy artillery fire.

Most nights, Blake cleans the kitchen and I don't have to deal with the entire mess myself. I try to at least get the the dishes scraped and I usually sweep and mop. But still... It's hard to believe that a meal with only a few ingredients can cause such complete destruction. Often, after we finish a meal, Blake and I will stand in amazement and wonder at just how thoroughly gargantuan the mess is.

So, my completely logical conclusion is that it makes no sense whatsoever for Americans (OK, just the Doerr family) to eat three meals a day. Really, why three? Just feeding myself and my kids takes up most of my day and energy. If I'm not cooking a meal, I'm cleaning up the remnants of one. If I'm not doing either of these things, I'm probably working up a grocery list or on my way to the grocery store to buy food. When I look at my credit card bill at the end of the month, I just can't believe that Wal-Mart takes such a big bite out of our monthly income. I'm so over it!!

I'm not sure what I'm going to do about this issue, but I can say that something has to change. For one, I'm not exactly the skinniest person I know. So, I could probably knock off one meal a day and save myself some prep/clean-up time and get on down to my fighting weight. Further, I think I am going to establish a open/closed schedule for the kitchen to cut down on mess. Every time I look up, the kids are trying to get in the pantry for snacks (I say trying because I installed a child proof doorknob cover to keep the wee beasties out of there). Beyond that, I guess I will just have to come up with some new ideas and do some experiments to figure out what works for us. Actually, whatever I come up with really only needs to work for ME, unless of course someone else in this house wants to take over meal prep...

1 comment:

Todd said...

Definitely agree with the last comment. You tell her!

I put a real effort into cleaning as I go. Along the way there's always a few minutes while I'm waiting for something to simmer or sear or whatever, and I'll start loading the dishwasher then. But then, I don't have three little girls to complicate things.

Speaking of three little girls, your little blog header is one little girl short!