An Almost Clean Sweep

Last week I received a ring a ling from a columnist with a big, BIG national newspaper. She wished to interview me for a Mother’s Day article…if I was available. A two second pause on my end as I gleefully cleared my mental calendar of all domestic duties. We chatted like old friends…always the sign of a great interviewer.

Our last bit of conversation was about inspiration and as I described my creative space, she suggested I supply a photograph that might accompany the article. Sitting on my balance ball, phone to ear, I looked out at the mess I’d given up trying to tame. Definitely not the picture the reporter was envisioning.

I began to slump as I took in what a total lack of control-over-chaos now wrought, when I was inexplicably galvanized by a surge of optimism that I could, and I would, put the room to picture-perfect rights.

Two days later, the room is staged and photographed by David Foxhoven, the most obliging spouse of good friend Irene Rawlings (author of my Sisters on the Fly 2-Winner Giveaway). Through the south window, light filtered through budding leaves and sunshine sprinkled the room. The yellow walls turned a hue in sync with the surrounding vintage palette. Picture perfect.

David and Irene had driven down from Denver, an act of generosity I repaid with yummy currency – homemade poundcake. After they drove off, I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting at my cloth covered desk, in love with the beauty of the room. Then came the evening, and I was forced to disassemble and retrieve all that was stashed…from beneath the desk’s drape,

from the closet, hallway, atop our bed, the guest bed, my youngest son’s bed…

Back to my old ways but not without this memory of what can be

Tie One On…an apron, of course!

A Kitchen Drawer Makeover

In the midst of preparing dinner, the spoon I’d set atop a pot tumbled and bounced along the floor. A mess indeed. But before addressing the cleanup, I needed to stir the stew, and for that, I needed another spoon. The utility drawer slid open a bit then stopped, stuck betwixt and between because it was stuffed beyond operational capacity with stuff.

Dislodging the handle of some turner or another freed the drawer to open fully. Searching through layers of hot pads and turners and stirrers and mashers and flippers and ballers and sifters, I began emptying the drawer of its contents, putting everything on the counter.

What in the world? Where had all this stuff come from? Was I one of those hoarder people and didn’t know it?

As the stew bubbled, I began sorting. First, the stirrer/beaters: two of modern vintage, two of an earlier time. The taller one belonged to my mother-in-law. It sports a wooden handle and the ring thing moves back and forth. It’s a great stirrer. The boing-y looking beater caught my eye at an estate sale. I liked the shape and bought it. Oh, dear, which to keep?

Three mashers. Oh, my. The dark handled round bottomed-square holed masher was in a box of kitchen stuff I bought at an estate sale. It is a master pulverizer and makes short work of mashing potatoes. It’s one of my very favorite utilities. One will stay, the other two must go.

Two sets of measuring spoons, because I cook/bake with both hands at once or what? The ceramic spoons were a gift from a cookware store where I did a book signing. The spoons accompanied recipes of the region, which I especially use in blueberry season. The aluminum set is held together with an old safety pin, clipped together by a homemaker many years ago. The measurements are worn smooth from the handles, perhaps rubbed flat after hand drying with a flour sack towel, as these spoons never saw the inside of a dishwasher.

Red handles! What a great idea, to color the wood of domestic work tools. They brighten the drawer’s interior…reason enough they will both stay.

Two aluminum peelers, although the one on the left double duties as a cheese slicer. Old fashion multi-tasker stays.

Scooper x 2. Identical in purpose, sure, but how to choose one over the other. I can’t, so I won’t.

At some point, I must have anticipated a baking career. How else to explain three sifters? The mesh screen strainers were purchased as a pair and each has held its share of rinsed berries or cherries draining. But the squeezy handled one is fun to use! How many to stay, any to go?

My green handled spatula is not going anywhere. It belonged to my mother-in-law, and I’ve kept it working as hard as she did, especially slicing brownies into squares while still in the pan and slipping them up and out a row at a time, onto a dessert platter. But modern pans scratch, and aesthetics aside, a silicone turner is a must. Two came out of the drawer; two will return.

Dinner is ready, and there’s still the original mess to clean up. Where I would ordinarily dwell and muse and consider to the point of craziness, which items to giveaway and which to return to

the drawer hinged on sentimentality, usefulness and impulse. Pretty much how I make most decisions!

Tie One On…an apron, of course!