Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Start with a Clean Sink

"Before you start cooking, wash any dirty dishes or you'll dig the hole even deeper." --Lucinda Scala Quinn, Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys

When I was re-reading my copy of Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys, this sentence jumped out at me. I think that following the wisdom contained within would do wonders to ease my feeling of being overwhelmed at the sight of my kitchen after dinner. Pots and pans in the sink, stirring spoons and spatulas sometimes still on the stove, cutting boards on the counter...I'm usually in such a hurry to get the meal made and served, I don't clean up fully as I go along. But at least I can be sure I'm starting with a clean kitchen sink.

That way, once dinner's done, the only dishes I'll have to face will be those from that meal. Even though there may be many, there won't be as many as if lunch dishes or afternoon snack dishes added to the heap.

Another tidbit to ease the pain:

"Assign chores to each family member and enforce them. Assign meal cleanup to a different person every night. Or, for each meal, divide the tasks among everyone: table setting, clearing, cleaning, drying, or taking the garbage out. Depending on the age of your kids, tie important privileges to the execution of assigned tasks...Not only does spreading the meal chores divide the labor and increase your productivity, it also improves the whole mealtime experience."--Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys

So before you start dinner, be sure to take a few minutes to wash any dishes in the sink so you can start with a clean slate. As Ms. Quinn writes, "It never takes as long as you think, and it will save untold mental anguish."


  1. Truer words have never been spoken...Actually it the same as any work space...clean it before you start a new project and clean up after will be much easier and quicker.

    Blessings Kelsie

    PS: Another cleaning tip is always start cleaning a bedroom by making the bed, this will make the rest of the job so much easier.

  2. Hi there!I was your winner for your Mad Hungry giveaway back in May and I never received the book. :( After reading this post, I REALLY want to read the book! :D Any word on when I might receive that? Thanks, and keep the awesome posts coming!

  3. Hi S,
    Yes, I remember that. The publishing company (Artisan Press) was supposed to send you a copy in exchange for my review. Unfortunately, they did not hold up to their end of the bargain. I sent an email to the publicist I had this deal with several months ago, when you told me you hadn't received it. It came back to me, as she is no longer with the company.
    If you send me your mailing address again (, I will write a formal letter to the company and see if they will honor what the publicist said long ago when we did that. Sorry they did not send it to you.