07 February 2011


When I wrote this post a few weeks ago about getting organized, I had no idea the kind of response I'd get. I fully expected some harassment from my close friends who visit my home regularly. And I knew that only my mother-in-law would truly understand the kind of Type A organizational efforts my husband puts out. But the one that really surprised me came in a bar on campus in Norman, Okla.

I was back visiting family and met up with two friends from college. They, along with a handful of other girls and myself, made up what we called Friday Night Social Club. We'd meet at my college house, a place I rented from my dad along with an absentee roommate. We'd drink, talk, laugh, snack, smoke. We were typical journalism students who thought we knew more than most or at least how to write better than most.

It was my friend Sarah who said that in college I was the wacky one, what with matching plates and silverware. She and our friend Heather commented that even back then, my house was decorated with framed art, matching furniture and wreaths. Then, Heather asked a question that was hilarious: She wanted to know if the photo on the blog post was really my pantry or just some stock photo I ripped off the Internet. That's pretty much when it hit me: I'm the nerd.

So here's the confession. I am not always organized. And here's the proof. I showed you the clean, tidy spot of my kitchen in that previous post. Here's the rest:

My bottom-freezer drawer. Packed. Stuffed. No room for Eggo Waffles. I'm seriously rethinking my CostCo membership because I have no room for more frozen things. There's a ripened banana, unbaked biscuits, pie crust, pork chops, frozen peas and that's just what I can see. I have to put Seth's frozen beer mugs on the top. If he has to dig for them, there's no telling what he'll throw out.

This is my coffee, tea, medicine, water bottle, crayon, craft paper, stickers, stamps and cookie cutter cabinet. Don't you have one of those?

And here is my beloved food processor, which always gets shoved into this cabinet. There's just no great way to store all of those pieces. Maybe this is why some people let it get lost in the back of the cabinets. Although a pain in the rear to store, a food processor is the miracle worker of the kitchen.

The last confession of the day is one near and dear to my heart. Back in those college days, I worked at a Chili's where the number one appetizer was, without a doubt, their chips and queso. It came in a tiny, hot, cast-iron skillet, studded with sausage and served alongside a mountain of tortilla chips. Not once, in all my nights working there did anyone ever ask me what queso was. Nor did anyone ever ask if there was a vegetarian version of it. I probably would have had to get my manager if anyone had asked if it were gluten free.

I made it for our Super Bowl party last night and was shocked that it wasn't all eaten. Oh, the Northwest is full of great things, but queso isn't one of them. Some of them didn't even know what it was.

Queso, of course, means cheese in Spanish. But in the middle part of this country, it means a gooey, warm dip made of Velveeta and Rotel brand tomatoes and chilies. It is served with tortilla chips, and is a staple on any Tex-Mex restaurant menu. It is completely unnatural, totally unhealthy and out-of-this-world delicious.

Just because I write about food, does not mean we have gourmet meals around here. Anytime you start to get that impression, you just ask my husband about the time I served him a hot dog wrapped in a tortilla (in my defense I was exhausted and very pregnant). We had Pigs in a Blanket last week. And my mom's Tuna Casserole appears on my table weekly, and I do love an Eggo waffle.

If this whole queso thing is new to you, here's how you make it. If it's not new, don't judge, they'll come around once they try it.

Rotel Queso: Cube a brick of Velveeta and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Add a can of Rotel. Microwave on high, stopping every couple of minutes to stir, until cheese is completely melted. Serve immediately.


Anonymous said...

Funny about the show and tell of your disorganization. Girl, even your disorganized sections look more organized than mine. Love it!

Anonymous said...

I have always enjoyed your writing style and love "The Dinner Hour" page.

A smile seems to appear on my face each time I see a photo all of you ladies together. What a special network of friends. The love and support that you all have for Dina and her family is incredible. You are a remarkable group of women, which I truly admire.

Blessing to you and your family,
Denise Sandvig

PS -Congratulations on baby Carter.
PSS – I made the Ginger Lemon rolls – delicious!

The cook in her kitchen said...

Denise! The Ginger Lemon Rolls are reason enough to celebrate. They need to be back on my own menu soon. So glad to see you here.