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We have arrived at that time of year when the weather has once again made it safe, perhaps even obligatory, to leave our homes and embark upon the great outdoors. However, before we make our annual trek into the wilderness of our yards, we must pay civilization one final bit of homage.
I must admit, however, that I never ‘truly’ understood the phrase, or the concept. Does winter make things so particularly dirty that we must scrub and sanitize our way out from under the piles of its snowy grime? Or does winter serve as a sojourn from cleaning for so many that its departure warrants a special, named period of washing? Or does the onset of the longer days just make us take a longer, perhaps more clear-eyed look at our surroundings?
Whatever its origin may be, I partake of this half-silly half-necessary ritual as well. However, for me, the departure of winter and the introduction of Spring marks a refocusing of sorts as I begin breaking up my time between preparing recipes in the kitchen, and begin preparing a fair few of them outdoors on the grill. It’s a necessary shift, and one I must admit that I enjoy.
However, after the first few excursions into the realm of Early Summer grilling, and once my eyes are full of the fresh light of the warming weather, I can’t help but see my kitchen area for all of its untidy faults. It is only then that I realize it’s time for this year’s Spring Cleaning.
Of course, before taking on such a task, I made a precautionary run to Walmart, where I selected my cleaner of choice – Palmolive® Multi Surface. A multipurpose cleaner for both dishes and surfaces, means that there’s no need to switch between bottles as I switch between tasks. Since Palmolive® Multi Surface eliminates 99.9% of bacteria (*staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica and E. coli ((157:H7)) from dishes and hard non porous kitchen surfaces, I also don’t have to worry about using stronger detergents. On top of that, its liquid texture makes it easy to, and allows it to go further than most other cleaners.
While going through this cleaning, I admit that I gave into the temptation of rearranging, reorganizing, and generally moving objects from one end of the kitchen to the other. I was, at the time, absolutely convinced that their original setting was no longer sufficient, and that their roughly one yard journey from here to there would maximize my efficiency. No object was spared exile from one end of the kitchen to the other, spoons and spatulas swapped positions, my teas swapped their boxes for jars, and the coffee mugs at the back of my cabinets were rotated to the front. At the end of it all, even my heaviest pots and pans were emptied from their hideaways, only for me to realize that their bulk meant I had no alternate area into which I could exile them, and back into their darkened homes they went.
Now, you might think that after all of that cleaning, I would want to keep the kitchen pristine for at least a dozen or so hours. You would, my friend, be quite wrong. After all, what better way to celebrate a freshly polished kitchen than to prepare raw meats in it? Then again, there’s always more Palmolive® to put the shine back on things.
To round off a day devoted to seasonal cleaning and ‘imperative rearranging,’ I decided to prepare one final dish that isn’t strictly warm weather fare – a tray of oven baked drumsticks. Fresh dill and Italian parsley, set alongside oregano create a rustic blend of traditional Mediterranean flavors. Hints of paprika create a warm base for the addition of turmeric and subtle spice, while faint acidity from fresh lime juice binds the entire dish into a single, harmonious experience.
That was this year’s Spring Cleaning. What are some of your Spring Cleaning stories? Also, how do you prepare for Spring and Early Summer? I would absolutely love to hear from you.
Living the Gourmet
10 minPrep Time
50 minCook Time
1 hrTotal Time
- 10 chicken legs
- 1 large beefsteak tomato – diced
- Olive oil for drizzling
- 3 garlic cloves – chopped
- Juice of one lime
- 2 tbs. vinegar
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 3 – 4 tbs. fresh dill – chopped
- 3 – 4 tbs. fresh Italian parsley – chopped
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- Combine all of the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl; add the chicken legs and toss. Refrigerate the chicken in the marinade for at least one hour or more.
- Preheat the Oven 350 degrees.
- Place the chicken legs in a baking dish; cover with the diced tomato and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
- Bake for 50 – 55 minutes or until the juices run clear and the chicken legs are a beautiful golden color.
Recipe by Catherine Pappas | Written by Michael Pappas