I’m currently engaged upon a mission to not eat everything in sight, so to that end I made a lovely pan of green lentils this morning, all onion-y, and spiked with a healthy shake of Berbere Seasoning (from Bart Spices) that I think came in the going home bag from the Observer Food Awards, because I definitely didn’t buy it.
It’s actually rather good: a fair thwack of chilli flakes, some coriander seeds, cumin & fenugreek.
The lentils take about an hour to cook so, as I’d already removed most of the bottles & jars from my spices & condiments cupboard whilst looking for something to flavour them, I thought I’d go the whole hog.
Which is why two hours later I had spring cleaned my kitchen. It’s also got quite a lot to do with the two Nespresso shots I drank on my empty stomach.
I emptied out all the kitchen cupboards, washing all the shelf liners and disinfecting the interiors. So then I thought this is good: let’s do more.
So I emptied out my utensil drawers, and put all the cutlery & spatulas in the dishwasher, along with the now emptied out salt pig, utensil jars and tea & coffee containers, as well as anything that else that might benefit from a nice hot, soapy wash. (That includes the fingerprint-y lids of all storage jars, the utensil pot from the draining rack, the drip tray from the Nespresso machine, and the pestle & mortar that sits on the kitchen counter.)
Whilst that lot washed, I cleaned all the silver in the house: my two canteens of plated cutlery, jewellery, photo frames, boxes, and all the random bits of silver and utensils I have accumulated over the years — like my grandmother’s Stilton scoop. Then I handwashed all the cutlery and polished it with a soft cloth.
My cleaning lady comes for three hours once a week, but all of the above is not in her remit, and goodness it’s easy to let things slide. I was not impressed with the bits in the bottom of my utensils jar, for instance, yet I could swear I’ve cleaned it out since Christmas. It really is amazing how much hidden grub there is in a kitchen, that looks superficially clean, once you get going.
I have emptied the dishwasher filter, cleaned all the cupboard handles and light switches, and pulled out all the drawers so I could clean along their tops and sides. I even replaced the plastic protectors in the photo frames, when I discovered that my father and aunt were not going yellow from age…
Next up: restoring the dining room to this state. Because at the moment it’s CHAOS.