I had thought it would be fun, a nice change of scenery. Owning Box Bistro means that most days and evenings, we get to feast on delicious food that is already prepped for us. It’s been years since I have been stuck in the kitchen, behind the stove, listening with envy to the sound of the kids relaxing and playing in the next room. But weeks into quarantine, with a little more time at home, I had the idea to make a meal that was a bit more labor intensive, but I thought, "Why not, I have the time?" At 12:30pm I set up my work station. It looked a bit like a hazmat area with all the precautions and protective coverings on the counter, but thats how I get when I have to work with raw meat. After 30 minutes of cleaning, trimming and filleting the huge family pack of organic chicken breast, I put the prepared fillets into a glass pan and began the tedious project of sanitizing every surface in the kitchen.
5:00 pm rolled around, the kids were getting hungry but I had been planning to get my workout in at 4pm then start dinner, and yet at 5:01 I hadn’t yet begun either. I told them that I would prep the chicken, get it in the oven, then come downstairs while it was cooking. I’d get my workout done in between timers going off. At 5:30, after breading the chicken with the help of my middle child, and yet again, sanitizing everything again, washing dishes as I went, I realized that between the oven timer, the salad I needed to prep and the broccoli steaming on the stovetop that there was no way I could leave now to workout. I shouted down to James and my other kids playing in the basement, making a slightly self pitying statement of “James, you go ahead, workout without me, I can’t leave I’m still cooking” tied my apron back on and continued.
Everyone enjoyed dinner, in fact, too much, I was really banking on all that work leading to more leftovers. And as James and I sat at the table, the messy scene of the kitchen stove and sink as a backdrop I said, “I can’t believe some people still do this all the time. I feel like my day was wasted prepping, cooking, cleaning, and cleaning some more.” I continued on in disbelief that despite cleaning as I went, somehow there still remained those pesky pans, covered in baked on residue that I would be tackling shortly.
Most of us are spending more time at home and personally, I don't want to feel chained to the kitchen most of the day. With Box Bistro, I can enjoy meals without the sacrifice. I can get dinner on the table without the hours prepping, without being stuck in the kitchen, without missing my workout, without the mess, but with the ability to enjoy a delicious plate of nourishing food with my family.
Cheers to time well spent!