Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to put cookie and cake decorations away? As a young girl, my brothers and I loved to decorate our cookies with as many toppings as our arms could carry. Our two daughters are no different. Heck. I still love to keep an unnecessarily large assortment of decorations on hand; after all, you never know when a burning desire to top something (anything) with google eyes will pop up! The problem with all this acquiring and gathering of decorations, is the putting away part. Ever notice that! I have red, green, pink, blue, violet, gold, silver and multi-colored sugars. I have silver dragees and opaque ones too. I have candy toppings shaped like flowers, seashells, google eyes and musical notes (to name only a few.) I have edible papers and pens and every manner of decorating tip (of which I only use a choice few, of course.) See, Dear Readers, that's a LOT of decorations to put away! It's SO far to the pantry, cabinet, or, in our case, the basement to where the little lovely decorations go, that it takes a process.
Okay. What is my process? What is the solution to the fact the "putting away part" of decorating is the most difficult? First, it's realizing the putting away part is the most difficult because:
1. It is NOT fun.
2. It is SO far!
My solution? Avoidance of course! Dah! Here is the process I follow:
First, I move the decorations from Place "A," our kitchen, to Place "B," the cabinet that sits by the stairs leading to our basement. Now, it takes a day or two of staring at the decorations before I even consider moving them from the kitchen to the cabinet. It also takes a certain amount of collecting for the big move to happen. Once I finally work up the interest to move the decorations to Place "B," I come to the second step of my process. The second step is, I must pass by the decorations and feel bad about myself for being such a lazy slob, that I could not just swoop up the decorations and put them away in the first place. A certain amount of self deprecation must occur before I reach the "putting away phase" of the decorating process. Once I have reached a certain level, I feel super proud of myself when I finally do reach phase three of my process and put the decorations away.
Of course, there is another possibility to the whole "putting away" of the decorations process/ scenario; that is, assign the putting away to someone else. Yes! This is good! The benefits to this scenario are many.
1. I am empowering myself to assign the putting away of the decorations to someone else, after all, they were part of the decorating fun or at least they are eating the decorated treats, so it's only fair they put the decorations away. Right? (Remember, no judging here at Mary's Kitchen. It's my logic...)
2. I no longer have to be so hard on myself for being the lazy slob of the family but instead, get to teach a lesson to the child I assign to clean up after me. (I bet you're thinking, 'Huh? What lesson?' The lesson of "finish what you start" of course! The lesson of "clean up after yourself" of course! Even if that means delegating. See? Lesson taught and lesson learned. Yay me!)
3. I still get to feel proud when the child (or sometimes husband) puts the decorations away because that means they learned from a lesson I taught. Yay me again! What a great day!
Do you have a multi-step method for putting away treat decorations? Please share in the comments sections.
Avid home cook and passionate instructor