I am not, by nature, a tidy person. I rather think I may have confessed this to you all before over the years I have been opening up my heart to readers of the Daily Blog.
It is a total surprise that I have managed to raise three amazingly tidy Darling Daughters, all of whom put me to shame with their tidiness. Indeed, when the Youngest of the Darling Daughters comes to visit, I kid you not
- should I be foolish enough to walk away after taking a fresh mug out of a kitchen cupboard in preparation for making a restorative coffee, then I will return to find she has consigned it to the dishwasher, clean as it might be. As tidy people go, the Y of
the DDs is an Ace Tidier. You may have noticed that I have failed to mention Our Boy in my praises - I am quite sure he would be a Tidy Type were it not for living with the (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys who are every bit as tidy as any lads of their age.
As in, not very tidy. Much like me, in fact.
Yesterday evening, however, I was extremely excited by an idea put forward by Greg Wotsisname on a TV programme
called Eat Well For Less. No, it wasn’t the idea of making my own baked beans for breakfast rather than opening a Snap Pot - I can be very lazy, as well as very untidy when it comes to food preparation. Nor was it a startling discovery over swapping
brand named goods for supermarket own brands, which I have been doing ever since I took over Shopping Duties from Mr B. I have to hide a smile every time Mr B watches such programmes and swears that nobody could fool him by switching this for that.
What excited me (I am easily excited, as you know) was the suggestion of using a plastic bowl to collect, while preparing food, the inevitable mess that comes with cooking
- the potato peelings, the black plastic trays which can’t be recycled, the silver foil off the Oxo cubes. I was particularly thrilled because I knew I had exactly the same bowl used by Greg hiding somewhere in the garage. Oh, for heaven’s sake,
it was the bowl hiding in the garage, not Greg - though perhaps I should go and check just in case he is going to let himself into our house one day and tape up all my kitchen cupboards to prove that we, too, could Eat Well For Less.
It took me a while to locate said bowl and when I did it needed a good wash-out to remove various dead insects, bits of fluff which had somehow wafted from the filter in the tumble dryer and a good
few layers of dust. This meant that my kitchen sink would need a thorough clean when I eventually got round to it. Still, you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, now can you? Which really has nothing to do with anything but just saying...
Anyway I positioned my Tidy Bowl on the work surface and set to making a beef stew with dumplings for our dinner. This would usually mean that I would waltz from one
kitchen surface to another with each separate task - the peeling and chopping of the carrots and onions, the preparation of the mushrooms, the browning of the meat, the mixing of the dumplings, the shredding of the cabbage, the massacre of the potatoes (my
daughters despair of the amount of potato I remove along with the peel), the brewing of the gravy - leaving a trail of mess behind me. Thanks to the Tidy Bowl, all the culinary detritus is captured in one place and as a result my kitchen looks almost tidy
compared with its usual state.
I am indebted to Greg for this wonderfully simple idea which will revolutionise my Kitchen Habits. All I need now is to empty the
Tidy Bowl of its collection of scraps, making sure to recycle, reduce and reuse as appropriate (I say, hurriedly, in order to avoid criticism. I am not good at accepting criticism. Sometimes, I cry.)
The beef stew is now happily cooking in the oven and I think about telling Mr B about my Tidy Bowl but I am not at all sure he will be interested. Now I come to think of it, I am not sure anybody would. Be interested, that
And I thought it would make such a good subject for today’s Daily Blog, too...