Tuesday, May 05, 2009

This evening I got the chance to do some things in the kitchen. I made a lasagne which is now in the fridge ready to be baked for tomorrow's dinner. I made rhubarb crumble (Nigella's recipe from Feast) with some early rhubarb from Yorkshire I got for cheap. The crumble is is cooling on the stove now. I also had time to put away the clean dishes and wash all of the newly dirty ones I created tonight.

Being able to do household tasks, particularly food-related ones, really gives me contentment. I feel confident that I am coping with life well when the flat is reasonably tidy and the food situation is not completely erratic. I do find it very difficult to keep up with domestic tasks when I work full time. Weekday evenings are notoriously bad for being able to cook a dinner as well as tidy and still feel like Joel and I get some time to talk to each other. So often, things are not as tidy or organised as I would like. However, those things are less important than building up our marriage and ensuring we are on the same page and don't feel neglected by each other. Often, we leave the housework (but probably not as often as Joel would like :-).

I was able to do so much this evening because -we had leftovers for dinner -Joel went over to Michael's this evening to get advice on fixing his bass -my evening event was cancelled.
So you can see this is not generally possible to get to accomplish so much on a weekday evening.

I consider this evening an energising break. Does that sound strange, when I spent it doing tidying, cleaning, and cooking? That is what I enjoy doing. Mostly the cooking part, although I do really enjoy washing dishes when I am not rushed and overwhelmed by lots to do.

I came across this article that I had read a couple of months ago, and thought it was worth sharing with you. It is about the value of homemaking/householding. Another excellent read is this article from Rhonda at Down to Earth (which incidentally would be my most recommended blog).

In the last couple years Joel and I have become more and more wanting to be responsibly domestically. This includes eating food we make ourselves, so we can avoid additives and get more natural flavour and nutrition; cleaning with natural ingredients like baking soda and lemon juice to we don't use unnecessary chemicals in the home; and making it recreational to cook. Incidentally, all of these things not only ensure we are healthier, but they also save money. There are loads of areas we have to improve in, mostly because we don't have time to do all the things we would like, like baking all our own bread (although that was working well for a monthish in the late winter).

The challenge we have at the moment is that both of us are 'working' in some form or another, and thus we do not have a homemaker. We hope that in the future I will be able to stay at home, and this will be a priority for us. I look forward to being able to focus more on making wise household decisions and building my skills in areas that are often forgotten these days.

I know many of you who read (women and men) are very skilled at various aspects of homemaking. Do you find contentment in it? Fulfillment? Joy?
Of course if you have any tips of easy ways to make our lives simpler and more homemade, do share!

Okay I suppose I better get started on the rhubarb crumble, seeing as Joel doesn't like rhubarb!

Update: Mm that rhubarb crumble is delicious, with custard (storebought, not homemade!) over it. I think Joel may even like this one (though he will never admit it!).

PS Grandma B, I would have used your rhubarb crisp recipe but somehow have lost it. :-)


Daniel and Natalie said...

Wow Heather. I'm impressed! I'm often struck by the truth that so many people see homemaking as something that should be done after career and social life and many other things have been done. In reality, there are few things that bring as much happiness as the togetherness of taking care of hearth and home. When the kiddos come along, that joy (and challenge) is magnified even more. I am always so impressed by those individuals who strive for the healthiest lifestyles possible. (I, unfortunately, am not one of them :) But I agree wholeheartedly that there's something about a shiny faucet or goodies fresh from the oven that is totally revitalizing!

Jessie said...

Hurrah! (1) I love Nigella. (2) I also love homemaking, too! Besides laundry in our current apartment. Robb and I really enjoy our homemade treats. This summer we are going to make strawberry jam. And I am even going to try Nigella's recipes for ice cream (which doesn't require an ice cream maker). I think we might be kindred kitchen spirits.

Also, we made rocket pesto the other week -- yum! Thank you for that suggestion ... now almost a year ago!

DaviMack said...

Yep - cooking definitely is a happy thing. Just wish we could do it more often, really - not that we don't ... but that we're not so creative any more, because of school sucking the creativity out of us. Sigh.

Lisa said...

What - Joel the ex-house manager isn't all about cleanly maintainance??

I love cooking too - but you probably knew that :) My boss was talking about planning a ski trip this year and I said "Oo- I'll cook for everyone!"

Unfortunately, I don't love cleaning... but I love things to be clean :) I've found that by 1) cleaning first - Saturday morning, or early evening it actually gets done and 2) if I'm doing something pleasurable like talking on the phone, listening to music or watching TV shows online while 1cleaning it goes much more quickly. It also makes Ben and I much happier when I don't nag him to join me, but it makes me even happier when he does without being asked.

I enjoyed having more time to homemake when I was without a job... but I also missed working in architecture. I want both, but to everything its season :)

Heather said...

Thanks for all your comments and encouragement, and your tips! Love hearing from you guys!