I don’t know anyone who cooks as much as I do. I know wonderful cooks who make much fancier fare, and others who’s presentation rivals top restaurants. But for straight out, cooking everything from scratch, every meal, I’m right up there with the certifiably obsessed. I obviously have a good, working kitchen, relatively organized. Yet, it fell apart because of one little event.
I bought a few new plates. I wanted a little more variety in my photography, so I bought several different types to experiment. Naturally, I put them all in the dishwasher … and that is where the trouble began. I do have an organized kitchen, but it is a very small scale. I love a small kitchen, because it forces me to be neat, not a natural tendency, and everything is a step or two away.
However, I have room for eight dinner plates, and about 10 smaller plates. The small ones sit on top of the large ones on a shelf divider. My new plates didn’t fit. That’s not an unsolvable problem, but it started a chain of events that totalled my kitchen in one day.
I didn’t want to take them out of the dishwasher because I had nowhere to put them. Unloading the dishwasher is one of my favorite procrastination tasks at the best of times, and this was an excuse too good to waste. So, the dishes built up on the counter, which invariably leads me to be untidy in other ways. In less than 24 hours, my kitchen was no longer a place I wanted to be, and of course, the original problem that started the mess was still in place.
I bring this story here for a very good reason. You cannot be a real-food cook if your kitchen does not work. You don’t need a big or fancy kitchen, and I will absolutely guarantee that a granite countertop is not a requirement for cooking great meals at a reasonable cost.
Even my kitchen, an honestly functional kitchen, where an amazing amount of food is processed every year, could not stand up to having nowhere to put my dishes. I know better. I should have made the plan to absorb the new dishes before I put them in the dishwasher.
The problem is now solved, with some of my old dishes heading to the basement until I make a decision about which plates stay or go. The dishwasher is back in action, though it took 45 minutes to put my kitchen back in order, a very long time compared to the time I generally spend cleaning up.
I am going to do a series of articles on organizing your kitchen, because that is probably the most important step for anyone who wants to leave processed food behind and work with ingredients. It had always been my plan … this week has proven just how critical it is.