Saturday, April 17, 2010

Managing a busy kitchen

My mother had a job a great deal of the time I was growing up.  This was during a time when the majority of women didn't work (the 60s).  I realize now that they were always needing more money and that was the reason.  I remember little things that let me believe that it was incredibly difficult for her.  They both believed that the house and kitchen was her domaine.  My father did not do much of traditional "woman's" work.   

Not that he was lazy. He was a very busy person and almost always had additional projects.  For example, in the fall, he purchased a wrecked vehicle and spent the winter months rebuilding it in the garage.  I can't say exactly how many winters he did this but several.  To this day, the sound of a man banging around in the garage is quite comforting.  He was always building something, almost like an inventor.  When he decided he needed an air compressor, he took the compressor out of an old refrigerator and built one.  One hobby we had was going place to collect rocks.  He built an agate polisher out of two paint cans and some sort of motor.  We'd put the rocks in the can.  He'd add something other substance, can't remember what.  He'd turn it on and it would shake back and forth all night.  I still remember listening to the rumbling sound in the garage.  Then, like magic, we opened the cans to find polished agates.  As you can tell, I have a fondness for both men and garages. 

We always had some sort of little travel trailer.  We'd go out for the weekend camping.  Mom would cook on an old Coleman lantern.  We'd have a fire.  At bed time, we'd snuggle up in our sleeping bags in the trailer.  We'd wake up completely freezing, so Dad would get up and start the little propane heater in the trailer until we were warm enough to get up.  Mom would start a pot of coffee on the stove in the trailer, an old fashioned purculator.  I didn't taste coffee until I went away to college, but I've loved it from first taste.  I think I associate the smell with the comforting feelings of my safe little world and that purculator.

So what does all of this have to do with managing a busy kitchen?  I have absolutely no idea how my mother managed to produce good food for all of us so consistently.  It is very difficult to come home after a busy day and make dinner sometimes.  I'd like to have some life outside of work and cooking dinner.  When can that happen? 

I've changed my yoga habit from day classes to evening.  This class is important to me, so I'm fairly determined to do it consistently.  I run home and start the preparation for the meal, get everything ready.  Do any sauting or early cooking, then turn it off and head for yoga.  I come back and finish the meal.  Husband has been very helpful and patient, but it isn't easy.   I still need plans for breakfast for me and lunch for the two of us.

I'm going to start chronicalling this problem.  I'm going to be more appreciative of what my mother did.    I'm going to be more appreciative of the help and support my husband gives me.

I'll start with grilled chicken and rosemary.  See the next post.

Remember to be thankful for the little things.

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