Sunday, December 27, 2009

Messy Monday: How You Go About the Process

I love this picture, because more often than not it represents what my kitchen tends to look like as I cook or bake. This past week, for example, with Christmas coming and myself being the only one responsible for my family's meals, I did a lot of cooking and baking. Even though I thought I was doing great to put my measuring cups, spoons, mixing bowls, and pans in the sink right away instead of leaving them on the counter to deal with later when I was done, my husband walked in the kitchen once and said "Whoa, what a mess!"

This spawned an interesting discussion about the process of any aspect of homemaking, whether it be cooking or baking, sewing, laundry, or anything else. In the process, I stay strictly on task with my eye toward the immediate goal: get dinner made and clean up once it's in the oven or on the stove (or afterwards), make the muffins (cookies/bread/etc.) and clean up once they're in the oven. I am improving as I go about the process by at least getting the stuff to the sink, but I still have a sink full of dirty dishes awaiting me once I'm done making whatever it is I'm baking.

I asked my husband if he ever remembers his mom making a mess in the kitchen as she went about her cooking (even if she cleaned it up all the way immediately afterward), or if it was always under control. He said she went about the process much differently than I do. She never let anything get out of hand. So she slowed down the process to keep up with the used items, and found once her baking was done, so was she. The kitchen was spotless because she had kept it that way as she went about the process. Interesting, hugh? :)

For those of us for whom this does not come naturally, we can train our mental responses and start to learn new skills. I truly believe some of us are more skilled in tidy homemaking than others, and some of us struggle much more in this area. I struggle.

So this week, as I go about the process of whatever it is I'm doing, I'm really going to try my hardest to keep it under control at every step. Use a measuring cup; wash it right then, dry it right then, put it away right then. That way, if you stopped over for a surprise visit, I wouldn't be petrified as you look at my disastrous kitchen; and you would never know I was in the middle of baking!

What tips do you follow to keep things under control as you go about a process?


  1. My Grandma always has a sink of hot water and puts the dishes in it and then cleans them as she goes.

    I cook much like you do. It's a mess. I really should be striving for a process like your husband's mom. I think it is just ridiculously hard with young children. It takes all my attention just to finish the task.

    Thanks for sharing and that is a great tip!

  2. You know that whole "Joy of Cooking" thing? I never got it.... it's not the cooking part, I mean, I would love to cook and bake to my hearts content if I had someone to come along and keep it clean behind me. But i have been working on it this past year and am happy to report I have seen great progress and restored more joy to my cooking experience. And this even without a dishwasher! I have to admit this year I enlisted my girls and/or husband to wash up after me while I was baking though, and that was sweet! I also do the sinkful of soapy water and wash as I go and slow the process down rather than just trying to complete a recipe, ENJOY the recipe adn keep my kitchen beautiful all the while. A few things that help are to set the tone,

    1. Dim the lights!
    2. Play some music that gets you in the groove (I play Van Morrison quite alot, i know you like him!)
    3. Pour yourself your FAVOURITE drink in a fancy glass. sip away at it as you go.
    4. burn a candle and use aromatherapy.
    5. Invest in top quality kitchen linens. There's just SOMETHING about using the good stuff.... it makes me happy.

    I am very excited that my new dishwasher is installed and running as of two days ago and I have many fun and wonderful projects planned for my kitchen this year! Wishing you all God's best for 2010!!!