I’m actually an extremely neat person. It’s just, at the moment, it’s all very one-step-forward with eight little steps back. And similar to having your drunk uncle ransack your house in an adult diaper muttering “Otto!” “Lucy pop!” demanding to be fed as he staggers with a glass dish to the kitchen, there is an enormous amount of physical work to keep the house from caving in. I try very hard to tidy and tuck-in the kitchen before I go to bed, but sometimes after the bread is cooked, the bed calls sooner than expected. Today, this is on the bench:
– One five litre plastic bottle that was once full of wine from the dude down the road. I bottled it using that orange funnel. Only briefly sealed because glasses, beef and sauces call its name. If you live in wine country, why the heck are you buying at the shop when you can have the dude pour it out of the oak barrel (actually syphon it) or the cement vat. We giggle. We talk about the weather. Rain is good for grass farmers and bad for wine makers.
– Two bottles for Z. I’m a mama. Bottles have a way of waiting for washing on the bench
– Brent’s Giraffe Mug for his morning brew. Each year the kids pick an ugly mug to celebrate Father’s day. Father’s day is coming up. Sadly, Zach Efron no longer greets Brent in the morning with images of High School Musical. We are but weeks away from this year’s unveiling.
– Two giant bags of ground grain. One is Rye flour. The other is Einkorn. Both are organic. Both are from a farm down the road. We don’t eat much of the stuff, but when we do, we like to roll old style.
– A blender, A kitchen-aid and a wand. All live on this bench because they are American powered which means they live near the transformer. The blender made Brent’s coffee protein shake. The kitchen-aid made this new cake I’m working on served with custard. The wand pureed the potatoes for tonight’s fish pie.
– A little rami with that five or ten lines of chocolate the kids couldn’t get out of the pot de crème au chocolate I made last night.
– Two bowls, one green, one black left over from Chili Friday. The chili is getting good. I’m starting to get my schtick with the chili.
– A long, white handle of a spatula that helped scrape out the last of the cheap-arse mayo that I buy because I’m lazy. I have friends in the duck bidness. They have excess fat they have no idea what to do with (other than duck confit). I know my future in duck fat mayonnaise. I can do it. I need to get on it. I’m motivated.
– A not-very-clean cooling rack that Lucy uses when she makes cookies. Ain’t no better skill you can teach your children than “how to make a chocolate chip cookie.” Lucy is the chocolate chip cookie master. Don’t be messin’ with her. She owns it.
I also see a sippy cup put on the bench because Zélie enjoys tipping the sipping cup and spreading water around the house for everyone to enjoy. I see a yellow pan I bought in America in the sale bin, unloved. That yellow pan is the best pan I’ve ever used. Its main duty is fish. It never lets me down.
… and then there is our little “sensory tub,” the spice drawer. There is nothing more satisfying than Star Anise in a little plastic tub in one hand and whole Cinnamon Sticks in a little plastic tub in another to pass the time away. I’m not a sensory tub mom, my sensory influence gently guides the kids over to the hose and points them in the direction of dirt. My favorite phrase at this time of year is “go away and come back when it’s dark.” At this time of year, dark is at ten. The kids are discovering all sorts of interesting spring things (tadpoles, bird nests, broody hens). These things do make it to the kitchen bench. We made tadpole food. If we look closely, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Bonne Maman jar full of cloudy water and swimming tadpoles. I may have popped that one outside.