Three significant things have changed in my plan-cook-clean lifestyle since starting this blog last spring.
First, I remember being stunned to learn that many of you do both the cooking AND the cleaning for the nightly meal. Now? I too do both the cooking and the dish-washing at least a couple nights a week. It affords my husband more time with the kids (and a respite for me), and, doing dishes has become significantly less onerous to me. All because of the addition of a dishwasher. HUGE change in my perspective that I never would have imagined when we first lugged that lumpy appliance into our home. So, maybe this is part of the reason why I couldn't relate to how so many of you seemed relatively at peace with the whole cook-clean routine. I get it now, at least a little bit.
The second major change has been with menu-planning. Although I menu-planned prior to starting the blog, this year has provided a lot of practice. I initially took 30-45 min to plan and write a list for the week. Now I'm easily down to 10 minutes. Someday I might even understand how people like my mom are able to get a perfectly reasonable dinner on the table with hardly any thought at all. For now, though, I still need the plan. That leads me to number three.
Last week I never got around to writing the menu on our chalkboard. It existed online, but each morning or afternoon as I stood in the kitchen pondering dinner, I'd scramble a bit to remember what the options were for that week. It took just a bit more concentration on my part to remember the menus instead of just glancing at the list. It drove me crazy. So, while the chalkboard has only been around for a bit longer than the blog, it's already a staple in my kitchen.
Speaking of which, some day far, far from now we'll be remodeling our kitchen. As housing values drop, our plans become more humble by the day. However, if anyone wants to comment on their favorite things about their kitchen, please share! I'd appreciate hearing what features make your kitchen work well for you. More on this topic later.