Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cooking and Cleaning

I have a little recipe card holder that sits on top of the back of my range. It's probably only intended to hold a single recipe, but I have several favorites stashed there. It sometimes migrates, as needed, to the counter top. See it right there, to my left?

(Mia chose my outfit that day, the yarn socks in particular. Who knew she was a fashion genius?)

Well, it would have been better if I always had it on the counter, because last week as I was replacing Grandma's Swiss Steak recipe card, I pushed the whole thing over the edge, into the abyss behind the oven.

I just kind of stared at the empty space, not able to comprehend my next step. Should I call someone to find out if loose papers behind the oven is a fire hazard? (Answer: no. I'd probably end up sounding like an idiot with no knowledge of electric appliances. A true story in any case.) Should I not use the oven until I found out? (Answer: no. I've got things to bake. I dare you to deny me my baked goods.) I resolved to figure it out later. My usual resolve.

But I needed those recipes! Aunt Ellie's Floating Peach Cobbler is in there! Justin's favorite dessert ever!

My mom (who comes over every morning before work, bless her early-rising heart) suggested pulling out the drawer at the bottom, removing it if possible, and retrieving the lost stuff that way. Simple solutions are usually the most evasive for me, so I'm glad my mom's around to make me feel like an airhead as needed.

Anyway, today I pulled the drawer out and looked beneath the oven, worried about what I would find hiding there; at first glance it wasn't too bad. Dust bunnies, a pen, a crayon, several dry macaroni noodles (Mia's go-to kitchen activity - dumping and scooping and general mess making), and a few unidentifiable clumps of goo. I'm guessing raisin goo. But also, my recipes! My card holder! (Thanks Mom!)

I cleaned up what I could, reaching to the back for the papers. In order to do this, I had to nearly lay my head on the floor, mind you. Contort my upper body in weird ways. But I got what I wanted. Then I looked closely at what I assumed was a piece of dust bunny I'd missed. Right where my hair had been dragging the floor.

It was a crawling, moving, wiggly little something. And it was crawling back to it's buddies. I totally succeeded in muffling my scream so the kids wouldn't notice I was freaking out. I jumped around a little, shaking my hair out, and blessedly, I didn't find any of those things. Actually, the girls probably would have enjoyed my crazy bug removal dance.

After cursing my slovenly cleaning habits, I seriously cleaned that floor. Then since I was down there, I looked across the whole kitchen, and noticed bits of food under Mia's booster seat that I never quite managed to reach with my regular sweep ups.
Which needless to say, could be more thorough. Cobwebs under the cupboards. Spilled dishwasher powder. A few pieces of cat food by the back door. Gross. How can I not have noticed those things before?

Now, though, my floor has never been cleaner. I went on a binge. It is done.

Want some cobbler? From my now clean kitchen?

Hello? Anyone?

OK. I'll post the recipe, so you can make it in your own kitchen. I understand.

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?