Be Kind to You in the Kitchen

Dear Friends,

In 1999, when I began my journey to get organized, I made two new year’s resolutions. The first one was “To Get Organized”! How in the world could I possible do that when I was such a mess. I began to ponder on why I had always had issues with organization.

What I realized was I had never established a habit. At that point I started to berate myself. You know the ugly things we can say to ourselves. That barrage of hateful words almost put an end to my journey before it had even begun. We have all allowed those negative words to stop us in our tracks.

I am thankful for that session of negativity. It made me understand the importance of being kind to myself. That was the first time I ever put together why my procrastination was fed by my hatefulness toward me. This is when I started to FLY!

Now what does this have to do with our kitchens and cooking. Well we beat ourselves up over spilled milk, burnt food, dinner not being ready on time. We get in a hurry and dinner  ruined. I want you to be kind to yourself.

This kindness starts with your planning process. We don’t have to be superwoman to get a dinner on the table. When we get in that hurry our kitchen looks like a bomb when off. The time it takes to clean up the kitchen expands in reverse proportion to the speed at which you are trying to cook. If we think ahead just a little we can practically eliminate the mountain of dishes we need to wash.

  1. Start with an empty dishwasher
  2. Fill your sink with hot soapy water
  3. Think about one pot meals, one oven, one grill, or one skillet.
  4. Prepare one dish at a time
  5. Clean up after yourself.

Sunday is a day to relax around our home. I have plenty of time. This is why decided to cook roasted chicken in the oven. I don’t have a whole chicken but I do have a supply of my standby chicken thighs. One pack was only $4.00. This is the basis of our meal. I can douse them BBQ sauce or anything I chose at this point. Since there are 6 huge thighs. I am marinating them for about an hour before I cook them.

Every marinade needs oil, vinegar or lemon juice, a little soy sauce, salt and pepper. I added cayenne pepper. We like a little kick to our chicken. Our dinner time is 6pm. I have been thinking about how long it takes to cook the chicken. At 300 degrees it takes about an 90 minutes. I don’t want the stewing in their own juices so I will put them on a roasting rack. Roasters can be a pain to clean; that is why I am going to cover the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil and add a cup of water to the pan. The water will keep the pan from smoking.

Our whole meal is going to be cooked in the oven. Here is the menu: Roasted Chicken, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Roasted brussel sprouts, and apple crisp.

I am enjoying my Sunday afternoon and writing this essays as I put together our simple dinner. Everything on our menu comes from my well stocked pantry and freezer. I have been traveling for two weeks and when I got home I needed a few days to recover. Going to the grocery store was the last thing on my agenda. I am so thankful for our stocked pantry.

Here is another great tip to be kind to you and help you with your memory. When you use something from your pantry or freezer put it on your grocery list right then. It is fresh on your mind. I have been doing this for a long time. In our control journal we have a grocery list for everything you may need from the supermarket. Make several copies of it and put it on your refrigerator. Use a highlighter to mark the things you use.

Let me tell you another thing I did to be kind to myself. I put everything in the oven to cook at 4:00 pm except the Brussel Sprouts; they don’t take long. This way I will not be rushed and everything will be done on time; even if I have to keep the meal warm till we are ready to eat.

I only needed one recipe for this meal. It was easy to Google a recipe for Apple Crisp made with dried diced apples. The oven temperature is at 300 degrees so nothing is going to burn and I am setting my timer to check things out every 15 minutes.

Are your ready to FLY with a new way of looking at cooking?


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