The honest truth – I make a tremendous mess when I cook. I never manage to put things away as I go and always leave cupboards and drawers open, as the teriyaki-laced bamboo skewers in my utensil drawer attest. So this, or a similar scene, is what awaits me most mornings.

By the end of every day I’m too tired, too cranky, too sore, too buzzed, or just too bummed about having spent the better part of the morning doing the previous night’s dishes to tackle the mess. This photo is not as bad as it gets – but still, it would be nice to get a grip. Once a friend turned me on to Flylady, but I’m too much of a contrarian to get with the program.

I felt better about my mess after I read the bit in Frank Bruni’s Born Round where he explains that his mother had a second kitchen installed in her basement, one she didn’t let on about. Family would come over to her hot, scrumptious, multi-course meals of freshly made pasta with homemade sauces and roasted meats and freshly baked desserts and marvel at how she could have produced such a feast and kept the kitchen so clean, too. Even Mama Bruni needed to make a mess. I’m in good company.

The messy truth is that if you cook a meal you have to clean it up. Eventually. Although preferably before the fruit flies and mice find it. If I had a superpower, I would DEFINITELY be able to summon a cleaning fairy who would load the dishwasher the way I needed it to be loaded, wrap the leftovers in an ecologically sensitive manner, put things away where they belong, dispose of leftovers in a manner sensitive to the potential food poisoning aspects of the item, mop the floors, and pick up the stray kibble from around Koah’s bowl. In exchange, I would never grumble about the mountain of laundry again.

I can always dream . . . 🙂