Friday, 19 February 2010

Busy rant

This morning, as I stood at the kitchen sink swigging back my tea, Tom said: ‘Urrrgh that must be cold by now’. I told him that every morning I deliberately let my tea go cold as I don’t have time to sit down and sip on hot tea.

In fact, I spend much of my time standing at the kitchen sink, either doing the copious amounts of continuous washing-up, or scoffing my breakfast/lunch/dinner in order to avoid using a plate, hence saving on yet more washing up. If my mum comes over for lunch I refuse to give her a plate, or I make her share Betty’s.

In the last ten months, since going from one child to two, I have learnt that in order to run a relatively efficient and effective household, and still remain as sane as humanly possible, it is all about well thought-out strategies, cutting corners, and time management.

On the days that Betty is not at pre-school, I plan morning activities which always take place at the kitchen table, hence keeping Betty contained and not at large in the rest of the house. During the afternoons that Betty is not at pre-school I either hide most of her toys, eliminating the possible chaos, or make sure that we are out of the house, either at someone else’s house, or wandering around Sainsburys.

On a very good day I make homemade bread and soup for our lunch, and on a very bad day we have crisps and cake. The majority of the time it falls somewhere in between. I have often been tempted to make us all eat from the same saucepan to save on washing up.

I am obsessed with planning weekly menus of mainly one-pot recipes (ie saving on the washing up) and ones that we can all eat. I now have this down to a fine art. I quickly realised that it is false economy to try to make-up dishes such as lentil, orange rind and beetroot stew just because these ingredients happen to be lying around and you have a husband who is trying to save the world breathing down your neck. Not only is it universally (or at least Buttonly) agreed that these concoctions taste disgusting, but you have to whip up an entire nother meal, hence doubling the bloody washing-up.

As for my daily washing, hanging out washing, ironing rituals, that is a whole different post all to itself which may be a long time coming. I only managed to write this post one sentence at a time over a period of about six weeks.

12 comments:

Heather said...

it's hard to please everyone and get everything done, isn't it? thats why i've mostly stop trying.

SkyP said...

Ever thought of investing in a dishwasher?

Iota said...

Do you look back at the days when you had one child as some kind of creative nirvana? I seem to remember you had ideas of opening a craft shop... or was it a cake shop?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

now i'm glad you raised the one-pot meal issue! what is it with the meat and two veg tradition in the UK? a pot for this, a pan for that, a grill to clean (shudder) after grilling a lamb chop, WHO thought all this up? i much prefer the one-pot method, the clue is in the name, just the one pot to wash up. and when husband forces you to cook a ghastly stew of beetroot, lentil and orange peel (what was he thinking?) to save the earth...point out that you don't have a dishwasher and thereby you can justify take-out pizza eaten straight from the box!
pigx

Pig in the Kitchen said...

and in case my last comment was a little garbled, the reason you can justify the take-out is because you are saving so much water by washing-up by hand. i know, it doesn't make sense, but do any of these climate change arguments make sense?
pigx

Metropolitan Mum said...

I am making this list at the moment. One baby vs two babies. And here goes another point to one baby...
Now, seriously. I am really pondering about if I should or not.

Livvy U. said...

Hello Elsie, you've reminded me of the time I tried that Annabel Karmel suggestion to do pureed butternut squash... I mean, who is she kidding??!! It took hours, literally HOURS, to get through the bloody skin of the thing, let alone cook and puree it. AND, it tasted HORRID! Ridiculous.

I think you've just about got the time-saving/energy-saving thing cracked. It's the only way to go!

Livvy x

Mamma Po said...

Admire your washing-up saving strategies hugely.

But reckon you could save yourself a whole lot of angst by getting a dishwasher.

Sorry, I know that's not the point but it did kind of scream at me whilst reading your post...

Beccers said...

I agree, there are about 10 mentions of washing up in there! Please get a dishwasher so you can post more. I miss my button household updates!

(ps husband is also VERY environmentally conscious, but managed to talk him into a dishwasher with lots of faux-scientific arguments about how they are now more energy efficient and water saving. He loves it more than me now...)

More than Just a Mother said...

I laughed my way through this post - fantastic, and so so true

Mummy Bear said...

I envy your one pot wonders...even the beetroot one. There are little footprints by our sink where I stand and wash up. When I cook, I manage to use every utensil in the house. Mmmm. Need to address!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

and a lovely post it is too. Long time no bloggy! It doesn't seem that long since I started reading about Betty being a baby and now she's at pre-school, and you have another.

I posted an award for all my readers yesterday, do collect it, you more than deserve it.

CJ xx