Thursday, August 26, 2010

Before and After the Natural Disaster ( Canning Season)

I'm bold enough to show you what my kitchen looks like after days of canning and the mess that comes with it. With no shame... here it is.

I was actually already into the cleaning process by the time I took this photo. The sinks are full of soapy water and the "spiders" from the stovetop are in there soaking. But you can see burned on gunk on the range.... why bother cleaning it up when you just have another batch of tomatoes to do on Thursday? Green bean season is done, so I've put away the pressure canner. However, the weight from the pressure canner lid didn't make the trip with the rest of the gang, so there he sits on my countertop because it's too much trouble to take him downstairs. Every time I use up a freezer box of fruit lately, I don't bother to take them downstairs to storage, either, because I'm just going to have to do peaches next week.

What I am ashamed of is that I gave up on making it clean between projects because it seemed hopeless and more mess was coming. Therefore, I just added to the mess and it really did become almost insurmountable in my neglect. The kitchen's a mess, but I needed to bake cookies, so I got out my red Tupperware bowl and mixed up the cookies in a messy kitchen. Ava picked some green pears and I left them to ripen on a messy countertop. One of the kids made a glob of clay and painted it. They made it with their own two hands and I didn't know what to do with it, so it helped to clutter up the counter, too. The salt and pepper shakers were left out, the mail accumulated and a pair of swim trunks purchased in the wrong size laid there waiting to be returned.

But where there is gumption, there is hope. Eventually I just put my head down and did the hard job of putting things to right. I decided that the painted clay glob was not particularly beautiful or useful, and, since there is no shortage of precious things made by my children, I threw it out. I put the freezer boxes away knowing I will get them out when the peaches are ready. The swimming trunks were put in a shopping bag in my trunk. The mail was sorted and purged. I did the time-consuming organizing (which I hate) of lone paper clips, pens, barrettes that are always at the bottom of junky piles.

And I felt SO HAPPY making dinner in my beautiful kitchen.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! A happy ending to a dirty kitchen! My husband used to complain so much about my dirty kitchen and I used to get so mad at him because I thought I was usually keeping up with it. But it dawned on both of us that he had been raised with a clean kitchen because his mother cooked as little as possible and they ate out a lot. So we worked it out!

    I'm glad to know it's OK to throw away children's art. I'm starting to enter that morass and man, I have added to my mother guilt for recycling countless papers already. And my kids aren't even in school yet.


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