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Candle in the Night

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How to Spend Less Time in the Kitchen

I hate my kitchen.  Okay, that's not entirely true.  But I do have some serious kitchen envy.  My sister just bought a house and her kitchen looks like this.  

amazing kitchen picture
A Seriously Amazing Kitchen

Okay, so that's not true either.  But next to my kitchen which looks about like this...

This is my kitchen during a cabinet remodel.  I now have white cabinets and a shelf above all of them.
It helps, but it's still pretty tiny!  

I try very, very hard not to covet other people's kitchens, but I'll be honest, I don't love my kitchen or enjoy being in it.  And yet, it is the room in the house where I spend most of my time.  I have tried and tried to clean my kitchen each night, but with two babies age 2 and under, I'm exhausted most nights and just want to lay down.  So this morning, I woke up to a kitchen that was a total wreck.  To even start cleaning it, I had to wash a crockpot, two pots, a strainer, two mixing bowls, and a large skillet.  And that all had to be done before I could even begin washing the numerous bowls, plates, cups, and silverware that we used yesterday (and the day before that).  I'm going to go ahead and confess that it's not all clean as I sit down to write this blog.  But I can only have so many things in my sink soaking at a time, so I'll get up and wash the next load in a few minutes.  

Anyway, as I was washing the last batch, I got to thinking.  I spend so much time in the kitchen even though it's my least favorite room to spend time in.  I enjoy preparing food, but that's about it.  I hate everything else about it.  ALL the cleaning...I hate.  It's not only work, it's hard work.  I have to shove all the pots and pans onto a tiny little counter space and soak them one or two at a time in my tiny little sink.  It's not fun...ever.

(Crickets chirping in the blog world while I go and do another load of dishes...and fix dinner, and do more dishes, and put the kids to bed, do some laundry, and spend some time crocheting...)

Okay, I'm back.  So I've been thinking.  What can I do to spend LESS time in the kitchen?  There's got to be something!  How can I minimize the number of pans, plates, spoons, measuring cups, pots...that I have to wash each day?  So I'm making a plan.

At least twice a week, I'm going to double the food I would normally make.  One of the days, I'll just make enough for leftovers the next day.  The other day, I'll make something that I can freeze half of.  That way, I'll have two days that I'm not using pots, pans, measuring cups, or spoons.  I'm just pulling something out and heating it up.  I'm also going to choose one day of the week to be paper plate day.  It just does me good to be able to throw away all the dinner mess.  I wouldn't be so wasteful as to use paper plates every day, but to keep my sanity, I think I can do it once a week.  I also want to make breakfasts less of a hassle.  I'm going to try to keep cereal around, but also make a big batch of muffins once in a while that I can freeze half of.  I need to look more into freezer breakfasts because I love having bacon and eggs and things like that for breakfast, but I don't like the mess they make in my kitchen.  I have a couple of good recipes I can freeze, but I'd like to have more variety.

So that's my plan.  I think it'll really help me...or at least I hope so.  Because you know that feeling when someone really annoys you and then you find out you're going to be stuck in close quarters with them for a long period of time and they just drive you more and more crazy?  That's how I'm starting to feel about my kitchen.

Welcome Home Wednesdays



At July 25, 2012 at 4:41 PM , Anonymous Sarah said...

Wow, that is a SWEET kitchen I have there!!!

Ah, if only...

As far as breakfasts, here are some things I can tell you: bacon heats up nicely in the microwave. I HATE making bacon because it makes the whole house (and my clothes, and my hair) smell like grease the whole day (or more). So make up a big batch, and you can microwave it as leftovers. ALSO, bacon baked in the oven is really good if you do it right. It does take a good 20 minutes (at least), but line the pan with foil and you aren't cleaning up a greasy mess. You could actually dedicate a morning to baking several packages of bacon... I bet it would freeze...

We do a double batch of sausage any time we're doing sausage or gravy, too. Eric loves it, so I like to keep some in the fridge for as long as possible.

Eggs are easy enough on the stove, but they're faster in the microwave! Microwaved eggs are shockingly delicious. They're actually more fluffy than stovetop eggs, and if you're ever just doing ONE egg, it's silly to heat up your stove. Grease a ramekin and nuke for 20 seconds. Stir, and do another 15-30 (depending on your microwave and your tastes).

I know we talked about freezer sausage/egg/cheese biscuits... English muffins are less fatty, so that's what I'm going to do next time. And maybe without the sausage. That's also super-bad for you. It also cooks up round and can make the sandwich an odd size to wrap/freeze. :) You wrap in freezer paper first, then foil to better secure the wrapping and keep out freezer burn.

And I'm done. One day, my dear, I wish for you a dishwasher!!! And our toaster. You would love that. It would solve a lot of your breakfast problems. If you didn't have such limited counter space, I'd suggest getting one right away. But someday!!


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