Saturday, November 14, 2009

Toss it now!

One thing I have noticed about living in a small apartment is that our living arrangements are not unique.  I would estimate that 90% of the world's home dwellers live in less than 1,000 square feet of space. Apartments in Brooklyn are teenie, Paris? Closet-size...and without closets!  Most urban apartments are small.  Our apartment consists of 600 square feet.  Within its walls live 2 adults, 2 very vocal cats, an abundance of books (mine), a flat screen tv (DH's) and various forms of domestic detritus, that if left to their own wanton ways,would breed like rabbits left alone in a Viagra (Cialis?) factory.  I am the ruthless bunny basher, constantly weeding and tossing throughout the day.  In honest truth, I don't weed and toss daily. Fits of absolute neatness are more likely subject to short spurts determined by when the mood strikes.  Cleaning and organizing--I mean, cleaning down to the floorboards-type of cleaning is akin to catching a virus.  I need to feel that slight itch in the back of my throat, the slight elevation in temperature, the narrowing of my field of vision, to the point where I break out the black trash bags, my leopard print rubber gloves and my Rubbermaid tote basket that contains my arsenal: sponges designated to room (neatly contained in their own Ziploc bag, thank you), a bottle  of Pine Sol and various cans and spray bottles of enough toxins to level a small town. (Why yes, I saw how to do this on the Martha Stewart show).  In sum, when this urge to clean hits, like the a serious head cold, you just have to yield to it.  Once in a while, I can wait it out, sit still on the sofa...and wait for it to pass and, trust me, it will pass.  But more often than not, a smudged fingerprint on the glass door to the balcony, or DH's dried drizzle of strawberry jam left on the kitchen counter will trigger the symptoms all over again.  More than likely, it occurs when I can't find the one eyeliner on the bathroom counter when I know damn well it was there a week ago.

Living in a small space requires an amazing degree of discipline in all facets of domestic bliss.  This is the paradox of human nature.  I mean, if most apartments, condos and mud huts are tighter than 1,000 square feet, there should be no such thing as war--though, I am amazed that the rate of homicide isn't higher than it is. Sometimes, I am utterly amazed that husbands aren't protected by Green Peace...I keep looking to see if DH has an ear tag before I point out that socks left out in the living room is punishable by death in some third world countries.

The most difficult thing about weeding and tossing is the unbelievable, I mean, really daunting critical thinking skills that are required.  For example, my last bout of weeding and tossing took place in my closet (our apartment is weird, short on actual living space such as actual rooms, but we have a preponderance of closets).  In my defense, my closet also contains a bank 5 large deep shelves, that should hold all of my handbags, but alas, serve as a linen closet.

I pulled out all of the crayon-colored bath towels I bought soon after I got married.  Our world was going to be bright and forever cheerful!!  In reality, most had become stained with hair color -- damn those roots! or faded from excess washing.  Alas, they look as if they belonged to a clown ready for retirement. Or a clown who committed a murder and is trying to hide the evidence--auburn hair color can look gruesome.

So, I replaced everything with a pristine white set that I had purchased when I was single and going through my minimalist phase.  Oooh...everything is new and tidy.

But what to do with the old stuff?  If DH has his way, we'd keep them in his closet for cleaning rags  How does weeding and organizing equate to shifting contents of one closet to another?  I can't believe we actually argued over this.  "We need towels for when I wash the  car!"  Ah,good wife skills are called for with reasoning like that.  I mean, do I point out that he goes through a drive-thru car wash and that by city ordinance, washing one's car at home, where one might indeed use old, faded towels is banned to say nothing of being eco-uncool?   Or do I concede and compromise?  I let DH keep 2 faded purple bath towels.

I figured I'd use them when my roots needed touching up.

Oh for lunch today, I made a pizza.

I used the dough in a tube by Pillsbury--the extra thin crust--hey, hey, hey, it was pretty decent.

Here's what I did:

1 can of tomato paste
1 tube of Pillsbury thin crust pizza dough
olive oil
1 Tbl oregano
1minced clove of garlic
red pepper flakes
3 medium tomatoes sliced --heirloom if ya got 'em.
sliced provolone cheese or mozzarella
crumbled feta
sliced soprasetta or salami

  • Unfurl the pizza dough onto a baking sheet--to keep it from puffing, randomly prick the surface with a fork
  • spread the dough with a thin coat of olive oil--use a pastry brush
  • spread the tomato paste on top of the oiled surface
  • sprinkle with oregano and red pepper flakes and garlic
  • cover surface with the sliced tomatoes
  • cover surface with the sliced provolone or mozzarella
  • add the sliced sopresseta or salami
  • sprinkle with the Feta
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan
Bake according to directions, pour a glass of Shiraz and enjoy!

No comments: