Aug 13, 2010

Clean Desk Mission: Day 21

I'm probably going to jinx myself here (it is Friday the 13th after all), but the clean desk thing seems to be getting easier over time.  I discovered one of my biggest sources of desk-clogging detritus is the mail.  So if I sort through it immediately and ruthlessly, and deal with the one or two pieces that are keepers, it's pretty easy.  (Yeah, I know, that's no big revelation; organization experts have been saying that for years.  Sometimes you gotta discover things for yourself.)

What else takes over and clogs my desk?


That's right. UFOs.  Unidentified Found Objects.  You know, little bits and pieces of things that no one knows where they came from, where they go, what they belong to, or what to do with them.

What do you do with those things?  Give them to mom.  She'll know.  She knows everything. She knows where the extra jar of mayonnaise is (pantry, third shelf, to the left.)  She knows if your blue tshirt got washed this week.  (Yes; it's folded and stacked with your shorts.)  And she knows what every particle in this house IS and what it belongs to.

I submit to you a piece of evidence.  This little doohickey has been lying on my desk for a week now.  I have no idea what it is, besides the obvious - it's a plastic button from something. We own nothing this shade of green; at least nothing that I am aware of.  It appeared on my desk one day; unclaimed, here it sets. No one knows what it is, where it came from, or who put it here.

I would dust for fingerprints, but I've handled it, so the crime scene has been contaminated.  It's safe as long as it remains solitary, but if it is joined by any other trinket, they will begin to multiply, and then overnight my desk will have a half-dozen baby doodads scattered around.  But as sure as I throw it away, someone will ask me if I've seen a little green plastic button.

Last night we had Chicken Cordon Bleu. I had chicken thighs on the menu, but a) I could not find the recipe I planned to use and b) I had lots of breasts and no thighs on hand.  Of course I test drove some of my new pans.  I was a little nervous about the chicken, but I heated and oiled the saute pan just like the cooking video said...and it worked - the chicken did not stick and the brown bits came up as soon as I hit them with chicken stock.  Having a 3-quart saucepan to boil pasta is simply marvelous.  I have no idea how I got by without it for so many years.

I would have to say the chicken recipe fell a little short of my expectations:  the sauce was too thick and the chicken got dried out after the recommended 25 minutes in the oven.  Live and learn:  next time we'll make more sauce (using a creamier, melt-ier cheese in the sauce, saving the Gruyere to lay on top of the ham) and stick the whole thing under the broiler just long enough to brown and bubble the sauce and cheese.