I bet most of you have some area in the house that you hope people don’t notice. Or you wish you would magically come home and would be magically cleaner or more organized. Your little problem area. Am I right? Mine is the kitchen. Well, among others…but we are tackling those as we can. A few weeks ago, not knowing the Cure was coming up, I fixed up the spices, oils & vinegars. There is so much more to do! The fridge! And what is the freezer anyway?
Last spring I read about the Kitchen Cure: Spring 2010 and thought 2 things. 1) Brave souls baring their messes to the masses. 2) I need to do this. Badly.
When Kitchen Cure: Fall 2010 arrived on the scene I signed up before I had a chance to think about it. Did I really want to air my mess online? No, not so much. Yet, I know more than anything I need accountability to do this kind of thing. Deadlines. Over 2,000 signed up so I am pretty sure I am not alone in a) kitchen messes or b) the need for accountability and deadlines.
Kitchen Cure: Week #1
Want to know what Grow & Resist’s kitchen looks like? Sorry, I didn’t clean for you. I didn’t even pick up. You understand don’t you?
Week #1’s assignment was to clean out the fridge, freezer and pantry spaces. Yikes! I suppose tackling my main demon right off the bat is a good thing though, right? So, without further ado, I present my mess.
FRIDGE DURING & AFTER:
I removed all the inner shelving, the produce bins, the in-door shelves and meat/cheese drawer and scrubbed them all. I used a earth-friendly glass cleaner, hot water and a good scrubby sponge. I found a bigger mess than I anticipated on the lower shelf and under the meat/cheese drawer. A while back a kombucha bottle broke and I guess it flowed more places than I thought. Gross. Luckily, it was easier to clean than I feared.
I tossed anything expired, anything remaining with corn syrup (there were 3 or 4 condiments that still had it in them) and anything I knew we were never going to consume.
FREEZER AFTER :
I tossed anything with freezer burn, a bunch of syrupy popsicles and a slew of random bags of things I froze when I didn’t know what to do with them (and still don’t.) I consolidated a boozy concoction (strawberry-rhubarb liqueur) that was in 2 bottles.
The best thing, however, about the freezer clean up was cleaning out all the ice cubes that fall below. I am not sure if this is just a problem of having a freezer on the bottom, but we get ice cubes all over the place. It’s annoying.
The pantry wasn’t too bad to start with- a few items tossed on top and things not necessarily in place. But the pantry doesn’t cause me the stress the fridge does. I tossed a few things that had weird ingredients in them. I’m looking at you yellow rice! But kept the marshmallows. Never know when the Ladyfriend could need a hot chocolate.
We don’t keep much in here. It is mostly dried fruit from bulk bins stored in jars, lemons I preserved, nuts in jars, some chicken broth, dried pasta and canned beans. A bit of cereal.
RANDOM PLACES BEFORE & AFTER:
I learned to can a little over a year ago and somewhere along the way I learned that you shouldn’t keep the rings on your processed goods for storage. Yet, I hadn’t done it yet. Even with the items I processed after learning the info. I have no idea why the reluctance on my part.
I also went through all areas I store canned items and removed things I know I will never eat. Like the Rhubarb-Honey-Rosemary Jam. Gone.
The bigger question is: why does a household that doesn’t really drink tea have so much of it? Are we are trying to confirm the cliché of lesbians loving tea? No, no we are not. And besides we prefer ‘queer’ over ‘lesbian’ anyway.
Some of it is for iced tea, some for kombucha and some because I go through random periods of wanting mint tea. That is all. Some visitors drink tea. It is good to have a selection.
So, there we have it. Kitchen Cure Fall 2010 is well underway. And, assignment #2 is up as well! Next week I’ll be cleaning through all the kitchen gadgets! Whew! I feel better already. The fridge was my nightmare. Gadgets I can handle. Gadgets I keep up on. But their storage places? Definitely could use a good cleaning!