Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring Cleaning: Kitchen

Pear Blossom Agave All Purpose Cleaner, from Caldrea

It's Saturday, a perfect day to take on a larger Spring Cleaning task than I would on a weekday. Today I'm tackling the Spring Cleaning of my kitchen and its breakfast nook. I can make today fun by watching a movie on my kitchen TV, playing fun music, and drinking glass upon glass of delicious iced tea.

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • While you're already in your kitchen doing your spring cleaning project, take inventory of your cleaning supplies. See how well you're stocked up on dish soap, hand soap, paper towels, scrubbers and sponges, and dish towels. What do you need to add to your shopping list?
  • Look around your kitchen. Do you see anything broken that needs to be repaired, or anything that's broken and needs to be thrown out? Soiled, limp, ugly dishtowels that should be replaced with inexpensive colorful ones from Target?
  • Will you and your family members be sleeping on clean sheets tonight? If needed, start a load of laundry. Take a break later from the kitchen to throw things into the dryer.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Spring Cleaning the Kitchen

Pear Blossom Agave Countertop Cleanser Spray, from Caldrea

Do you remember that in the fall we worked on our fall holiday kitchen preparations and it took four days? That's because we did those days mostly on weeknights. This time I plan to get it all done in one long Spring Cleaning day today. I sure as heck won't let my spring cleaning cut into my evening socializing time though. I'll finish in plenty of time to dress for dinner and go out!

Enamel on Steel Tea Kettle, on Amazon

Want to peek at my to-do list?

  • Wash all four kitchen windows, inside and out
  • Take down curtains, launder and dry them, and re-hang
  • Wipe down walls
  • Dust kitchen baseboards
  • Mop floors thoroughly
  • Have neighbor help me move the oven and refrigerator to sweep and mop behind and underneath them
  • Thoroughly clean appliances inside and out: Refrigerator, oven, microwave, toaster oven, dishwasher, and rice cooker. (If you keep up with our weekly fridge and freezer maintenance, the fridge shouldn't be overwhelming today!)
  • Wipe and dust outsides of all cabinets
  • Remove all dishes from all cabinets (Sigh, this is quite a project for me). Check for wear and tear, throw out any cracked or broken dishes you don't enjoy using, and try to de-clutter. Wipe down cupboards and replace dishes in an organized fashion.
  • Shine floor heat vents with Brasso; do the same with the four door handles on the kitchen's two doors
  • Dust the two wood doors in the kitchen, remembering to reach up to the top of the door frame too.
  • Vacuum cat hair off the four cushions in the breakfast nook (another lengthy project I'm sure!)
  • Dust wicker love seat, chair and ottoman
  • Dust and clean the two bar stools
  • Reorganize drawers, utensils and kitchen tools.
  • Wipe down counters and try to rehome as many items as possible so I have more counter space clear.
  • Declutter front of refrigerator, prioritizing just a few favorite photos and drawings, preferably recent ones.
  • Remove books from my two cookbook bookcases, dust books and shelves, return books in an organized fashion.
  • Organize kitchen calendar, desk, whiteboard, telephone, phone books, update emergency phone number list, and any other organizational and office tools you might keep here.
  • Clean and sort anything else you have located in the kitchen.

I'll finish by making myself and any helpers a tasty snack, pouring a delicious beverage, and sitting down to relax and chat. I do expect this project to take up much of the day. I'll probably be too tired to sort out the pantry (taking absolutely every item out, checking expiration dates, wiping down the counter and organizing everything as I put it back) so I may have to do that one weeknight next week.

Keep in mind that in our spring cleaning, we're not housekeeping. We're homemaking. And as the kitchen is the heart of the home, today's is the most important spring cleaning project of all!

LOVELY BLOGS: Stonegable

Yvonne's lovely, inspiring blog is based on her farmhouse living lifestyle. She's an empty nester (me too and loving it. High five!) with exquisite taste in home and garden decor and DIY projects. Check out her recent posts on 5 Things to Do Now for Spring, the pretty boxwood wreath in her foyer, her Creative Ideas for Setting the Best Easter Table Ever, and check out her recipe for Mason Jar Lid Chocolate Raspberry Tarts.

http://www.stonegableblog.com/

Stonegable on Facebook

LOVELY BOOKS: Buttercream Dreams

The owner of the Smallcakes cupcakery shares recipes for iced cupcakes, ice creams, and sweet treats. I probably don't need any more cupcake cookbooks, but this sure looks fun. It will be released the first week in May.

Buttercream Dreams, on Amazon

LOVELY BOOKS: Old-Time Recipes for Home Made Wines, Cordials, and Liqueurs

Here is Helen Wright's book from 1874 that we can all read for free online. "Old-time recipes for home made wines, cordials and liqueurs from fruits, flowers, vegetables, and shrubs." (It's the 1922 reprint). I'm probably not ambitious enough to make my own wines at home, but I might be up to making liqueurs or cordials. In this book you can get recipes for apple wine, "apricock" apricot wine, beer and ale made from pea shells, blackberry wine (yum!), something called "Fine Brandy Shrub," British champagne, cherry bounce, and a wide variety of ciders. I'm thirsty just reading through a few pages here!

Old-Time Recipes, on Archive.Org

LOVELY FOOD: Colorful Spring Pasta

I love to serve pastel colored pastas in Spring. These are made with vegetable dyes. They're known as "little ears." I wouldn't discolor them by serving them with a tomato sauce, but they're nice with a creamy Alfredo (I wouldn't drench or stir the sauce in too much so you don't obscure the lovely color). These are absolutely perfect for spring pasta salads with white balsamic vinegar so you don't stain the pretty pasta.

Donne Del Grano Orecchiette Pasta, on Amazon

LOVELY OUTDOORS: Lotus Belle Tents

Let's begin with: I do not go camping. I feel like I'm living a perfectly lovely life without that experience in it, ever again. But, should I really get my arm twisted by a favorite cousin or a bunch of nieces and nephews, I guess I'd have to suck it up, work up a good attitude, and go have fun. I'd prefer to go glamping, of course. They could tempt me with one of these beautiful, unusual Lotus Belle tents - only with a near $2000 price tag when all is said and done, none of us can afford one! Still, I wanted you to experience the same kind of lovely daydreams I had while perusing the website. Swoon.

http://lotusbelle.com/

LOVELY SHOPS: ChatterBlossom

This North Carolina based Etsy shop carries "Accessories with a story to tell." There are some lovely jewelry pieces here (necklaces, brooches, rings and earrings) but my favorite part of this shop is their Hair Accessories section. There are beautiful floral hair clips, leafy headbands, floral headpieces and fascinators.

It's ever so hard to choose just one favorite, but I suppose if pressed I'll say it's this Poppy hair wreath.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ChatterBlossom

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Cheesy Baked Cauliflower (A Beautiful Mess)

German Chocolate Oatmeal Bars (Confessions of a Cookbook Queen)

Rigatoni with Tomato and Onion (CHOW)

Strawberry and Avocado Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans (Chelsea's Messy Apron)

13 April Fool's Day Food Pranks (The Decorated Cookie Blog)

Vanilla and Earl Grey Tea Cookies (Butter and Brioche)

Veggie, Tofu and Shrimp Pad Thai (Foodess)

Yogurt Scones (Chocolate & Zucchini)


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