Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Kill Zone

In my kitchen, I have what I call the "Kill Zone".  I have taught the kids this term.  Killer already knew about it.

Me: Ok everybody front and center! I want you to repeat after me, "Kill Zone."
Wild Monkeys:  Kill Zone!
Me: This is the Kill Zone.  Stay out of the Kill Zone.  Ok, say it with me,  "I will stay out of the Kill Zone."
WMs:  I will stay out of the Kill  Zone!
Me:  Do we go in the Kill Zone?
WMs: NO!
Me:  You may go now.
WMs: Yeah!
Then they all 3 proceeded to run circles around the island, including running in the Kill Zone.

My kitchen has the fridge, the stove/oven with some counter on either side of the stove all in a line.  The sink with the trashcan underneath is perpendicular to the line of the fridge and stove.  Exactly opposite from the stove is one edge of my wood block island.  This is the Kill Zone.   If I am cooking, do not stand in the Kill Zone.  Do not enter the Kill Zone.  It's a fast moving area and I don't like slowing down making it a dangerous area to be in if you're not the one prepping and cooking.  Even the dog knows not to enter the Kill Zone, having been stepped on several times while attempting to lay down directly behind my feet.   The kids have all been bumped on the head with the refrigerator door at least once.  Killer has been close to the pointy end of a large knife because he entered the Kill Zone while I was about to put it in the sink and didn't see him. At the time, I was watching something on the stove while stirring with my other hand.  Now, they all know to say something before entering the Kill Zone so I can slow down.  I should put motion sensors to a door bell whenever anyone enters the kitchen at all, whether they're close to the Kill Zone or not.  I'd put up gates but all the humans in the house know how to operate them.

Now, normally I'd be at church right now, but Chuckles (one of the WMs) has a yuck cold.  We thought we'd spare everyone our germs and stay home.   Instead of sitting around doing nothing (I am a hyper person with a slacker's heart), I am going to start baking and roasting butternut squash, delicata squash, tomatillos, and tomatoes.  Today I'll go ahead and make apple sauce, apple butter (starts with good apple sauce), butternut squash soup, and tomatillo sauce.  Tomorrow I'll do a double batch of black bean and butternut squash chili, marinara, pizza sauce, and tomato soup, unless I'm feeling incredibly industrious which I might since I don't really want to do it tomorrow.  Tuesday I'll make some stuffed delicata squash.

It sounds like it'll take all day and it will.  But I have a 7 qrt. slow cooker and a smaller 4qrt slow cooker that will do all the cooking for me.  The butternut squash soup doesn't take long so I can just do that on the stove.  I have an oven with what I like to call the "pie drawer" because it is just exactly the right size to put two pies in it side by side.   For many ovens, it's just a warming drawer but mine is an actual oven.  It's super handy when you're doing a lot of baking and roasting.  This way it I don't have to stand there watching everything (impossible with 3 wild monkeys in the house).  The oven with the drawer at the bottom is just big enough to roast the butternut, the delicata, tomatillos and tomatoes all at once.

Now, I could just do all the steps in the slow cookers and just skip the oven altogether but that actually take more time unless you have 6 slow cookers in your kitchen; and especially in the case of the tomatoes and tomatillos, roasting makes the flavor just that much better.

Have yummy and blessed Sunday Y,all.


  1. I love the idea of a "kill zone" marked out in the kitchen, more often than not if I'm cooking (and invariably stressing) the family leave the room as soon as my scowl is noted. If they don't leave it's at their own peril!

  2. Ah, I do love the power of a good scowl.