Monday, March 22, 2010

How does she do it all? She doesn't.

A while back a woman in a grocery store asked me if I knew anything about meat. She was looking for pork to make pulled pork.

"I'm going to put it in the slow cooker," she said. I knew telling her she should smoke her pork rather than crock pot it was going to go right over her head. Instead I smiled, and steered her out of the beef section. I showed her that they only had pork chops and pork tenderloin.

"You need pork butt, er that's the shoulder cut," I said, adding that she could get pork shoulder down the street at Cash and Carry. She said, "Maybe I'll just buy this sliced brisket and pass it off as pulled pork." I told her brisket was beef.

"Oh," she said, kind of sadly. She wandered off and I saw her reach for the nasty pre-mixed meat and sauce stuff that comes in a plastic tub.

What I should have done was give her directions to Smokin' Pete's to buy some pulled pork buy the pound, and told her she could have my book FREE, if she'd read it. But I was in a rush. I was working on this blog post about lamb, and while running around buying ingredients for it, baby girl fell asleep in the car. I'd rushed back to Smokin' Pete's, nabbed one of my employees to come with me to wait in the car with the sleeping babe, and had to get him back to finish opening the restaurant. I wish I'd had a moment to chat with the confused meat gal.

It gets complicated trying to raise two kids, run a restaurant, promote a book, and blog about it all. Sometimes people ask me, how do you manage it all?

I will first answer that question photographically. This is my laundry room:
Seriously and it's not that bad right now.

My second answer is quite simply that I don't. I don't make fabulous meals every night. I don't pickle or make jam. It is rare that my socks match or that my shirt is clean. Lately there have been some comments that you like to see my vunerability, my failures, my unbloggable meals. True, at least one of those comments was from my mom, who, by the way, takes bags of laundry from my house and returns them clean and folded. She's going for sainthood. Metta: Patron Saint of Laundry Piles and Pie.

So I'm in a bit of a quandry (which incidentally rhymes with laundry). I need some advice. I have a very special guest coming to cook and photograph with me on Thursday. She's a rock-star blogger, but also a mom and writer and all around busy gal.

How real do I keep my house? My first instinct is to stay up all night the next two nights and scrub the begeebles out of it, plant annuals, and re-caulk the kitchen sink.

But we have a catering every day this week except Thursday, I have to get the February books to the accountant before the excise tax is due, and I'm really stinkin' tired. Even if I wanted to put on a Martha Stewart face, I'm not sure I have the time to pull it off.

My house is very, very real, people. Should I call in professional help? Stop blogging and start cleaning? Or just hope she is fine with taking only close-ups of the food. Really tight close ups.

Sigh. At least most of the cooking will be outside.


  1. That's why we have closets! I'm a big believer in hiding the mess, even from myself. :D

    And I can't wait for the special guest! Or the pulled pork...mmm...

  2. Hire a maid to do the cleaning. It frees you up to do things that are more important to you and takes care of what the house looks like when the guest shows up.

    And yes, I've discovered that people actually like to see the cooking disasters as well as the successes. We don't always get it right, why bother with the facade?

  3. Ah, but you are assuming that one can open the closets without danger of piles falling on one's head, Holly. My mom always drapes a cloth over her messy spots. I'm going to a) hire some help if I cant find someone- it is as much for me as anyone, b) stuff things in closets and c) drape sheets over the laundry pile.

  4. I'm still learning how to keep house, and I don't have a full-time job, several part-time jobs, or more than one child... I say make sure the bathroom and kitchen are clean and call it good! :D

  5. OMG -- LOL (sorry for webspeak) -- Are you kidding me -- hire, hire and hire some more. That is the only way working women can survive. Sounds like twice monthly cleaning would be good then once house is up to speed you could try monthly. And thank the lord for St. Metta! You are amazing -- don't feel bad about subbing out some of the cleaning, household stuff! Been there! xo sara w

  6. Hahaha. I am so the woman who was meat-naive. You are so nice, Julie. I say make your house as presentable as you need to in order to feel at ease. Stuff clutter in a room if your closets are already crammed. Hire out the cleaning if that'll help.

  7. I think your guests will feel right at home as long as there is a place to sit without moving piles and the kitchen feels presentable / workable. Always keep your mis clean and the rest can go to h.