Saturday, August 7, 2010

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times – Chapter 46

#46 - “Always clean your kitchen while you cook. 
It should be clean when you sit down to eat.”

Just when I think I’ve finalized the list of one hundred things my mom taught me a million times, another one springs into my consciousness. Like a car running a red light, it appears as a blur in the corner of my eye causing me to stomp my break and blurt out an expletive!  Sure enough, last week, just as I always do before I take my hubby his dinner plate and sit down for dinner, I was putting up food, and cleaning the kitchen counter and stove top, when a thought bubble popped up over my head, “Oh my gaud! Another of mom’s lessons.”

This one of one hundred conjures one question and one fact:
1.  Does everyone clean their kitchen while they cook?
2.  My husband doesn’t.

I worship Food Channel star Giada De Laurentiis. When she cooks in her “church of the immaculate kitchen,” it looks like a high-tech clean room. I strive for her virgin white kitchen ethic; but in reality, Rachael Ray is really more my style, sloppy and colorful. Of course both have minions to come along and clean up after them during commercials, so no reality there.

I should probably clarify that I like to leave a clean stove and countertop, but washing dishes is right up there with cockroaches on my list of things to hate. I say this with a complete lack of irony. I will do almost anything to avoid washing dishes. Which brings me to my husband. Click on Read More Below...

My husband has an amazing capacity to not see kitchen horror. He can sprinkle seasoning on ever inch of the counter (getting some on the food), and splatter copious grease on the stovetop and the floor in front of the stove, and be completely, innocently oblivious. When I point it out to him, he looks back at me and says, “What?” 

I’m not entirely convinced that this isn’t all part of that thing men do to ensure that you will never ask them to do whatever again, i.e., vacation, shop, cook, do laundry, etc. You know. So it’s a rare thing when I ask the old man to cook a meal. I just can’t face the resulting kitchen disaster. However, and this is a big, big however. He never minds putting the dishes in the dishwasher when asked, which is divine! Now if I could just get him to see the dirty dishes sitting on the counter, so I don’t have to ask.

Of course mom’s advice is about reducing the amount of work you have to do after the meal, which I love. The last thing I want to see on a full tummy is meal detritus.  So she’s right again. Clean your kitchen while you cook.

Have a wonderful weekend, and good luck on staying cool!



  1. Now I know where that part of my genetic make up comes from - ha! It drives me crazy to have dishes and/or pots and pans sitting either on the cabinet or in the sink. It's always been my habit to clean as I go. Otherwise, while I'm eating dinner I'm thinking about those dirty dishes that need to be in the dishwasher - ha! ha!
    But, that is also part of my work ethic. Before I start a new project, my desk items are put away and the workspace is clear - then I pull things out again and begin work.
    Now that I think about it, not sure if it's genetic, just being anal, my type A personality or a combination of all three, hmmmm....

  2. I did not know the above about you Lynda Marie, but loved hearing about it. I think maybe you and I need to spend more time together?!

    Although I've mentioned it before, I probably should have reminded everyone that mom "fell off the domestic wagon" at some point and stopped doing dishes or cleaning house altogether. I think after the fourth kid left home and dad died she was ready for a break!

    The baby of the family (me) may be the spoiled one, but they're also the one that gets the dregs of parenting, almost left adrift. Oh well, I guess it produced me, and with a few exceptions, I like me. I'm not sure we don't over-parent sometimes anyway.


    Aunt Sue

  3. After a big meal at Mommy Wade's, with our 6 and several others on top of you and Mommy, she and I were going to do the dishes. I looked at all those pots and pans and must have sighed heavily. She looked at me, looked at the dishes, and said, "You know I really hate doing the silverware. Why don't we make a deal? I'll do the pots and pans and you do the silverware." What a deal!