Monday, June 30, 2014

A Used Kitchen is a Dirty Kitchen – But It’s Worth It!

I have cooked two huge meals in the last two days.  I doubled the recipe for one of the meals in order to feed our family and a friend with her three adorable small children.  The recipes* turned out great.  They were both easy to make and will be a lot quicker to prepare the second time around.  The best part was they tasted good… better than good.  I mean, really good.  Unfortunately, I have discovered over the years that the resulting mess is directly proportional to how tasty the meal is.  After I finished, the kitchen looked like a starving, and slightly sadistic, wolverine had worked his way from one end of it to the other.

Once the meal is through, its time to call “The Clean-up Crew”; you know, those people that come in a flash and scour your kitchen.  Some call them kitchen fairies.  I call them slave-labor family members! 

I will be the first to admit that I am not the housekeeper my mother was and still is.  I can go to bed with dirty dishes still hanging out on the counter, pots and pans soaking in the sink and the counters a bit crummy.  Sorry.  I’m just being honest.  I do strive to be more like my mom (gee did I say that out loud?  Yep…), but I usually fall short.  Once I prepare and cook one of these really great meals I am exhausted.  So you ask, “Why cook, then?”  Why? Because my family then sits down, spends time together and eats.  So if that means dirty dishes, so be it.

But once the meal is finished we do try to clean the kitchen. We clear the table; get the dishes loaded and the dishwasher splashing away. I try to get everyone to give me fifteen minutes of their time to clean, but sometimes even that is a singular struggle.  I get it; we are all tired.  But we also all want to eat!  So everyone helps out in the end. 

One thing I do know is that eating at home in the long run will be cheaper and will be far healthier.  Right now Denny’s is running an ad about their four-dollar meals.  Okay, start with four bucks, add a two-dollar drink, tax and a two-dollar tip.  You are up to eight dollars and some change; then there is the time it has taken and the gas as well.  You have a clean kitchen, high blood pressure and that extra twenty pounds around your middle.  Then that extra twenty grows each year as you eat out more and consume easy and cheap food.

So cooking at home can mean an especially messy, blasted kitchen.  But it also means real family time, far more healthy food and an overall lower cost. 

*The recipes can also be found on my Pintrest page, Recipes to Try...