Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Queen of Cleanup

This week between Christmas and New Year's, when I'm free of the workday routine, is usually a time for me to switch into cleaning mode. All the housecleaning that I don't get around to during the holidays rises to the top of my to-do list, and the approach of the New Year compels me to sweep out the old to make room for the new.

Of course, this annual tradition has been thrown a little off-schedule thanks to my work at the Inn. But I'm still the Queen of Clean, there or at home.

I covered the breakfast shift this morning with the Bistro Chef at my side, and while he made whole wheat buttermilk pancakes for the guests, I whisked around him, preparing the broiled grapefruit, the bacon, the potatoes... and then made beds and cleaned one room before tackling the dishes. (What can I say? I'm a morning person, and he isn't.) He commented, as he so often does, that he could use someone like me in the Bistro kitchen. But I sass him enough that I think he thinks twice before following through...

Anyway, that cleaning mode continues to guide me once I head home after my shift, and so far this week I've finished thank you notes, put away presents, and got started on my break projects (of which there are many). And here on the blog, I'm going to try and "clean up" a few links and ideas that have been set aside lately.

Over at The Herbwife's Kitchen, there's a recent post about "Commonsense eating" that reminds us all that "I am not you" -- and therefore what food is right for me may not be right for you. That's a general principle I've tried to follow for years, especially since I went vegetarian, but it's not usually a conscious thought. Still, it helps to remind me that with all the diets and ways of eating out there, there's room for everyone at the table.

I can't remember where I came across this article, but if you want to know what "The 6 Most Unhealthy Foods" are, be prepared. I knew that soda was on the list, but I'm crushed to find that potato chips are so "bad." At least I don't eat nearly as many snack foods as I used to, but little things like this help keep me honest with myself.

And thinking of "bad" foods, The Bistro Chef's recent column in the local weekly talks about New Year's food resolutions. He points out the futility of "extreme" resolutions that label foods as "bad" and encourages readers to take "some small steps toward bettering ourselves and our society." For himself, he set three goals: to cook for his family more often, to try a new food ingredient each season, and to bake bread. These are all goals that I've set for myself, too, so I applaud his public effort to encourage others to think about resolutions differently.

So as the New Year approaches, I'll keep cleaning, making room in my home and my life for new good things.

May your own New Year be bright!


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