As a wife, stay-at-home mom and self-employed, work-from-home woman, I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. Whether I’m just making another cup of coffee with my espresso machine, loading the dishwasher, getting my lunch or making dinner for my family, I am in and out of my kitchen all day.
As I observed my messy kitchen one morning, I realized that everything I know about life, I learned while in the kitchen:
You can’t hide a messy kitchen, you just have to clean it – Piles happen, you just have to deal with them – When you plan meals ahead, it saves time and money – Pots and plastic bowls are a two-year old’s best toys – The best conversations are had over a hot cup of coffee or tea – You can solve any problem with a sink full of soapy dishwater – Some of your kids’ best memories happen in the kitchen – Cookies and milk will dry anyone’s tears – Plastic containers work to store anything – A bright kitchen window cheers up any day – Some of the best recipes I’ve made up myself – Eating around the kitchen table brings out the best in my family – Visitors are more comfortable in the kitchen than sitting in a living room – Games are more fun when baked goods are added – The sound of a dishwasher can lull a heated conversation – Don’t leave stoneware sitting on top of the stove, if you turn on the wrong burner it will break and two-year olds are not discreet – A plastic sheet, a bucket of cornmeal and a toddler is a winning winter activity – Cornmeal is slick when on a linoleum floor – Cornstarch with a bit of water is just plain cool – Freshly ground espresso beans should be one of the wonders of the world – Hot chocolate is good during any season; so is ice cream – Your day will go better if you cleaned the kitchen the night before – Kids gain self-esteem when you allow them to cook by themselves – Don’t wait for someone to unload the dishwasher at the end of the day when you can do it at the beginning – Kids open up when you cook with them – A sink full of soapy water and a stool can keep a toddler busy for hours – Did I mention baked goods? – Sometimes you have to let the kitchen get wrecked just to have the pleasure of cleaning it up – Dirty floors are memories of happy times past – The right kitchen tool for the right kitchen job, don’t settle – Healthy meals are important, but sometimes we need brownies too – It’s a great week when we haven’t wasted any food – Leftovers can be a meal too – Don’t worry about the walls, everything can be cleaned – Your kitchen should make you feel happy, fill it with things that do – Don’t ever tell anyone they are doing something wrong, they might never do it again – Multi-tasking is over rated – A watched pot doesn’t boil over – Remember to set timers, or bad things can happen – Make sure you don’t push too many zeros on the microwave, bacon only needs one minute not ten – Keep track of your plastic containers or your family will blame you – Make sure you don’t burn popcorn or the smell will linger for days; same with fish – Cooks are creative people – Thank the chef – There are some food items you can’t run out of or life as your family knows it will stop – Make a list and cross is off as you go – Include your family by having a list they can add to – You have to tell your family to look beyond their nose, what they’re looking for may be there all along – The cook controls the incoming food – Moms don’t have to always give up the best bite – Mistakes happen, that’s what pizza is for – If they don’t like it, tell them to eat it anyway – Every meal is a blessing for you and your family – The best days start and end in the kitchen.
Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is busy making life lessons in her kitchen. You can also read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website livingwithgleigh.com or on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh.”Her column is available every week at maplevalleyreporter.com under the Lifestyles section.