Special Project: The Kid Gets in on The Kitchn Cure

Liveblogging The Kitchn Cure Fall 2013

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Day 7 Task: Special project

I didn't mean for it to happen. I was feeling guilty, because my special project wasn't all that special, or difficult. I needed to deal with the cookbook situation. I have a thing for random cookbooks and that thing is getting ugly. And the spaces behind the cookbooks were getting really ugly, so it had to be done. But then something amazing happened: My youngest son got totally into the Cure, and I don't mean the band.

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I didn't even know the kids were paying attention.They started to notice details, like the fact that the junk piled under our metal kitchen island disappeared. All that was left were cookbooks for kids and a couple of lunch boxes.

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They love the lights in the pantry, and they're pretty impressed with the pristine fridge. But the ever so slightly pared down gadgets? Meh.

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They really didn't notice how shiny the bookshelves were, or that my cookbooks were organized into categories like, "Weekly Use," "I wish I was a better person," "Thai," "French," "Vintage Junior League," "Eastern European" and "This one is so chic, I just can't give it up."

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They only gave a passing glance to my giveaway pile. See anything you want? Just let me know.

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They did not care that I was finally getting rid of Eat Well, Lose Weight While Breastfeeding, a judgey, complicated book with one decent recipe for salmon croquettes. If you want that book, you may have it, but I tore out the recipe for salmon croquettes. I bought it for 25 cents in a library sale 15 years ago, so ripping out one page shouldn't make it worth much less, right? No shame!

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The children didn't notice when I found this vintage, unused cookbook index, which includes pages to record party details and menus. I want to be the kind of person who uses this book. The Kitchn Cure might just get me there, so I'm keeping it!

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I don't know if I will ever be a gardener, much less one who records details about my efforts, but I am getting better about composting.

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Behind my cookbooks, amidst the grease and dust, I found a forgotten double sided cookbook weight, printed with a convenient conversion chart. That was pretty great, but the kids didn't care.

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They also were not interested in the recipe file book my mother gave me on my 19th birthday. As she hoped, I am a better cook. I am not, however, as organized as she was. There were magazine pages, sheets printed from the internet and handwritten scrawls in my book. I sifted through them, trashed the useless ones and organized the good stuff.

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But my youngest. He may save us all. He decided to clean and organize the cabinet that contains plastic cups, plates and bowls, as well as water bottles, random koozies and, inexplicably, an unopened bag of inflatable punch balls. After he had removed everything, matched water bottles with tops, inflated and played with one of the punch balls, sprayed and wiped clean the shelves and walls, he needed my help. He really wanted me to line the cabinet with the contact paper I had used under the sink a few days before. How could I refuse? And the big kids? When they saw what he had done, the oldest shrugged, "Kitchn Cure? Cool."

So, my cookbooks are organized, and that's pretty great. But I'm even happier that my kids have noticed my efforts and jumped into the fray. We had a nice conversation about how one of the shelves in the plastic cup cabinet is empty now, and we are going to leave it that way, rather than obtaining something random to fill the space. Maybe we'll attack their rooms next.

What was your special project? And have you gotten the rest of your household involved with the Kitchn Cure?

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(Images: Anne Postic)