Still gotta eat

As would be expected, the move altered our usual cooking and eating patterns a bit.  I cooked on Friday night, but by Saturday it was time to start saying goodbye to our kitchen.

We planned to go out to eat on Saturday with my mom, who came to see Sir and help pack.  Unfortunately, I came down with the latest disease from Typhoid Gabriel and didn’t really feel like eating much of anything, much less leaving the apartment to do so.  We settled on take-out from Pho Grand.  Not the greenest dining option, giving their use of the standard large polystyrene containers, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

We had a decent supply of leftovers in the fridge, so we worked on lightening that load at both lunch and dinner on Sunday.  We enjoyed a “deconstructed” pumpkin lasagna for lunch (yay for frozen homemade pasta) and a Swiss chard and chickpea dish for dinner.

All bets were off on Monday, our actual moving day.  When lunch rolled around, we’d been up packing and moving for hours.  I picked up some sandwiches and deli-case salads at a nice little deli within walking distance of our new place.

Except I didn’t walk (hangs head in shame).  I was heading back to our old apartment to get Matthew and a last car load, and the deli was more-or-less on a direct route anyway, and it was like eleventy-million degrees outside with high-noon sun, and with a second floor to second floor move, I’d already walked up and down more flights of stairs than I cared to count.  So that’s my excuse for choosing inactive, gas-guzzling transportation.

But lunch was good, though, once again, some disposable containers.  Matt’s mom brought us carry-out pizza for dinner.  The pizza box was pretty darn clean, so that at least got recycled.

The good news is that despite the still-crazy state of our apartment, we’ve gotten back into the kitchen the past few nights.  By which I mean Matthew’s gotten back into the kitchen, of course, per our usual weeknight routine.

The garden supplied almost all of the ingredients for Wednesday night’s dinner.  Boiled beets — some cubed for part of the main dish, some thinly sliced for a side with goat cheese.

Potatoes “baked” in the microwave, cubed, and tossed with olive oil and salt to serve as a base for sauteed cabbage with onions [previously] roasted elephant garlic, edamame, and the cubed beet.

The only produce on the plate NOT from the garden was the edamame and the onions (both of which we’re growing but are not ready for harvest yet).

Entropy in the Kitchen

As a child, I was slightly obsessive about having a perfectly neat and clean bedroom.  I somehow grew into an adult with much lower standards.  The normal state of our kitchen:

Not bad, but not great.  And it moves rather quickly from the in-between state pictured above to really bad.  Behold the horror:

I took these pictures last Friday morning, after a very frustrating time cooking dinner amidst this mess on Thursday night.

With dirty dishes covering the already limited counter space, we didn’t have much to work with.  A relatively simple meal prep turned stressful.

Fittingly, I forgot to snap a photo immediately after I cleaned last Friday, and by the time I thought to pull out the camera, things had devolved into the middle state depicted at the beginning of this post.

Cooking vs. Cleaning

The time from clean to messy is frustratingly short.  Here’s the thing: we like to cook and eat good food.  We’re often exhausted when we arrive home in the evening, but looking forward to a good meal usually provides motivation to cook.

However, by the time we cook the meal and eat, we’re ready for some down time — returning to the kitchen to clean up is the last thing on our list.  We USE our kitchen, and there are only so many hours in the day.

Green vs. Clean

Part of the problem is my own doing.  In an effort to reduce the amount of dishes we use, and therefore the amount of water and energy required to wash said dishes, I like to use dishes and utensils that are relatively clean a few times before washing them.  In this state between clean and dirty, there’s not much to do with the dishes other than leave them sitting out on the counter or table.

Between the cooking and the conservation attempts, the kitchen rarely looks like this . . .

. . . and the time it requires to go from clean to messy is distressingly short, but I am hoping that with a little more effort, we can maintain something a bit more sane, livable, and sanitary.