‘Til it shines

Carrying on with the green thing…since when did the cleaners beneath the kitchen counter qualify as an EPA designated bio-hazard?  Take a look: but do they have clean homes?

Again,  it seems like I missed the train to the happy green valley of the Domestic Domain once again, not only am I gassing us with the fumes from my nonstick cook wear, I am killing us and the eco-sphere with our super white bleached kitchen floor.  I don’t know,but I like the smell of bleach–brings back childhood memories of my mother’s super clean home…that, and, yum, Pine Sol.   Actually, it was more like this:  Upon coming home from school, if I was met with the scent of Pine Sol, I knew my mom was utterly disgusted by the fact that she had spawned the sloppiest children on earth.  Oops! I forgot not to leave the open peanut butter jar in the livingroom–never mind that eating outside the kitchen was absolutely forbidden.  Damn!  I was entering the house of doom.  At least, it smelled  clean. 

I have tried the green cleaners.  I have even used household vinegar and baking soda.  No go, they don’t replicate, for me, the degree of cleanliness that I am targeting.  I mean, I hate housework, so, if I am going to clean, dammit, it’s going to get clean! There is something slightly passive aggressive here, I know.  But think about it, if you don’t need a pair of rubber gloves to use it, can it really clean tile grout?

Our kitchen and bathroom are floored with that wonderful cheap apartment vinyl floor covering that, I think is older than me.  This floor covering was designed by a man, for no woman would ever incorporate light gray streaks into its color scheme (or lack of color scheme–a beigy off-white doesn’t count as coloring).   Not only was the designer a man–he had issues with his mother.  Trust me.  She was probably horribly strict about clean floors.  He, no doubt, scuffed one of her floors, or dropped a glass of grape juice on her pristine WHITE kitchen floor. For which, he was not only spanked, but forced to drink his grape juice alone in the dark basement thereafter.

His revenge?  A floor that never looks clean.  Never.  When we first moved in, I scrubbed, I sprayed, nothing would remove those gray streaks–until I had that doh! moment level epiphany:  they’re part of the design!  Still, the floors need frequent cleaning or the gray streaks become more gray. So what to do?

Our kitchen is so small that I can touch both opposing walls without stretching–I am 5’2 so you see, it is small.  If you open the oven, there can’t be 2 people in the room.  Reminds me of my hotel room in Paris, where to open my suitcase, I had to open the door to the room or stand on the bed.  The kitchen is amazingly petite.  Thus, the floor is only about 6 ft by 2 ft.  The bathroom?  A little smaller.  It’s not a room for more than one person or cat at a time.

Cleaning these tiny patches of dingy vinyl is a logistic challenge.  A full mop is overkill.  Those new Swifter thingies are too big to get into corners.  So, here’s what I do–this is so retro–I don my hot pink rubber gloves, fill a bucket with very hot water and 1/2 a cup of good ol’ Clorox and get on all fours and have at the floor with a sponge and towel.   Not only is this a cool workout,  my floors are amazingly clean.  There is even the hint of a shine on a sunny day…just a hint.

This is  what we didn’t eat last night.    Actually, we had the leftover brown rice and kale.  I added tofu meatballs we picked up at the Farmers Market.  Don’t make that face. Tofu is wonderful–I am exploring recipes for MY OWN tofu meat nalls and will post when I find a good one.  ‘Til then…try this one, we had it about a month ago.  A definite staple in my repetoire:

Greek Hamburger and Garbanzo Pittas

2 large tbl olive oil
1/2 onion
1 lb hamburger
1 or 2 cans of garbanzo beans (drained)
1 cup or so of red wine
2 tbl tomato paste
2  tbl cumin
1 garlic clove
1 tsp oregano
1. Chop & saute the onion and garlic in the oil
2.  As the onions soften add the cumin–when you cook the cumin,  the flavor literally explodes–stir it around ’til you get a paste…add more if you like…yes! Add the oregano.
3. When you can smell the cumin, add the beef…break it up to cook
4. Add the beans
5.  Stir in the tomato paste, stirring to coat the beans and meat.
6.  Add the wine and cook until the sauce thickens–about 7-10 mins.

Serve on pita bread with plain yogurt (I like Greek yogurt–Trader Joes–add a chopped and seeded cucumber and some dill).

Published in: Uncategorized on November 17, 2009 at 11:12 PM  Leave a Comment  

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