Wednesday Whine (Why I’d rather be baking!)

Blog5 070I am sick and tired of cooking. No, that’s not right. I don’t mind the act of cooking – what I really hate is cleaning up after myself.

Let’s see. I got married when I was 18, so even if you only figure one meal a day (and believe me, that’s a very conservative number) and throw in a handful of breakfasts, that’s 15,000 meals. Fifteen.Freakin’.Thousand!

It was 96 degrees here today, so I planned a simple chicken salad. Here’s how that worked out:

I baked a loaf of sourdough rye bread in the morning.
• One small bowl for the “sponge”
• One mixing bowl and dough hook
• Two measuring cups, 2 measuring spoons
• One large bowl for letting the dough rise
• One bread pan
• One lasagna pan to add steam to the oven
• One serrated knife to cut the bread
• One bread board
• Oh, and one butter knife!

Boiled and deboned a chicken. Couldn’t waste the broth, so added veggies and cooked it down to put in the freezer. I have a sick dog, so I also cooked some rice using some of the broth and added chicken and cottage cheese.
• One large stock pot
• One cutting board and knife for the veggies
• One small pan for the rice
• One measuring cup and spoon
• One bowl for the dog food mixture
• One strainer for the broth

Made the salad.
• One knife for the lettuce (I know. I cut instead of properly tearing the lettuce. Don’t judge!)
• One strainer to wash the lettuce
• One peeler for the cucumber
• One cutting board for the cucumber, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, and green onions
• One grater for the fresh Parmesan cheese
• One salad bowl and salad tongs

Made croutons, using the rye bread
• One knife
• One cutting board
• One small bowl for tossing the bread cubes in oil and seasonings
• One cast iron skillet for cooking the croutons.Blog5 067

Made dressing
• One small bowl
• One whisk

Add two dinner plates, forks, and wine water glasses. Do you see why my kitchen is never spotless? If I could just be “normal” and buy a pre-cooked chicken, some salad greens, a bottle of dressing, and a bag of croutons my life would be so much simpler. But I can’t DO that. Well…occasionally I’ll break down and go the easy route, but I save money this way and make sure we don’t eat ingredients that I can’t pronounce.

But the real bitch of this is, even though everything tastes great, it’s just another meal.

Baking is even messier, but the reward is something that is covered with chocolate, or filled with maple cream, or bursting with raisins. Baking is a joy.

Sometimes I cook because it’s fun, but mostly I cook because I must. And since I don’t have a maid to clean up behind me, I spend a lot of time doing dishes that never end. Tonight was #15,001.

And that’s what wine is for.Blog5 069