Life by a Kitchen Timer: A Rediscovery

Gentle Readers, it is very easy to get in the habit of rushing through the kitchen. I am the guiltiest of guilty parties these days, often with less than 30 minutes to fix a meal for Team Practical Cook before jetting off to the next thing.

The magical Harry Potter carrot cake. It was self-decorating. I just left the room.

The magical Harry Potter carrot cake. It was self-decorating. I just left the room.

The other weekend, I stopped and cooked. It was nice. Nothing monumental, just cooked cabbage (it is so fast) and corned beef (hello slow cooker), and a homemade carrot cake for the Eldest’s birthday party. This is a long-standing tradition for both of TPCs Jr, unbroken, even by illness (TPC’s Mom stepped in last year).

The smile that keeps me baking.

The smile that keeps me baking.

The cake itself is simple and delicious, but it takes time in the kitchen. Time that is broken into increments by checking and turning and letting things come to room temperature. In the blocks of time between, I found solace, structure, and the need to accomplish things.

Off with your head, cabbage!

Off with your head, cabbage!

Fifteen minutes is too long to be idle, to short to nap. So I blogged as my professional self. (This blog, about Social Media and the impact on real-life communications, for anyone interested.) I always mean to blog over there, but time is precious. It started a big conversation on Twitter, which filled in other minutes in between, and led to a colleague writing a blog and referencing it. Cool, community forms.

Garlic, Knife, and Spinach

Wustof Classic Chef’s Knife

Also, I cleaned my kitchen. I chopped things with a large sharp knife. I breathed. Cooking is good. Even sometimes. Work it in when you can, and let all the other things that can happen in those spaces of time that are required happen. I need more kitchen timer days. I’m grateful for this one.

What do you do while you’re waiting in the kitchen? Post a comment below, or perhaps start your own blog. 🙂

Questions, quibbles, confessions? Email them to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Coming up Sunday, we take a break from our regularly scheduled weekly menus for a Chicken and Waffles Throwdown.

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