Tonight as I cooked our dinner (clean-out-the-refrigerator linguine and last-half-a-head-o'-lettuce salad) and then made granola, I contemplated the pretty much permanent wreck that is my kitchen. If you've ever had dinner here, you may not know this fact about the near permanent wreckage (although you may, and if you do, then please keep it to yourself), since for a dinner with company, we try to clean up nice. But day to day, there are dishes that, though clean, we never quite put away, since the historian usually loads and unloads the dishwasher, and I could be a little more prompt about putting the pans, etc. in their proper places.
Also, there is an insufficient amount of proper places for things in my kitchen. This may be because I am organizationally impaired, but it may also be because of my penchant for bringing more kitchen stuff home. To wit: new ice cream maker, innumerable serving pieces that were on sale for an irresistible price, ramekins, espresso cups. Also I save things like jars, because there's nothing more useful than a small-ish jar for transporting vinaigrettes, for instance, to a family party when you've been assigned a salad. Add to that the enormous amount of garlic we received from our farmer at the farmer's market. At this point, it's probably containable in one brown paper bag, instead of the myriad of brown paper bags in which we received it. But in the myriad bags the garlic remains, with all of the bags in a very large bowl that I bought at a consignment store (for an irresistible price).
Okay, all this is to say that, though such a rumination would generally put me in a soul-despising crisis of self-loathing, it has not, and here is why: soon, I will be baking. I have toyed with the idea of replacing the baking and delivering of baked goods to the neighbors with other holiday projects, such as ice cream making (also mass granola making), but I think I will probably bake the same stuff I always bake every year. Anyway, soon the kitchen will be a happy mess. There will be sprinkles and colored icing, dried fruit and nuts, yeast and butter. This year, my Scotland daughter will be here to help. Once she and I decided to take on a very complicated cookie recipe that resulted in checkerboard cookies of vanilla and chocolate doughs. They were so damn cute it was hard to eat them, even though they were good. I guess I'm probably not willing to go that far for a cookie. But to go as far as making dozens and dozens of various treats to give away?
Yes, I am willing to go that far. But first, I will clean up my kitchen--when you embark on a cooking project of this magnitude, it's best to start clean.