Kosher Salt On the Counter

Kosher Salt on the Counter | Freckled Italian

A thing I only recently learned how to do is keep my house mostly clean--most of the time. I have a little calendar on the fridge with one thing to do per day: on Monday I tidy up the office and dinner table that we never sit at, on Tuesday I deep clean the kitchen, Wednesdays are for cleaning the bathrooms, Thursday all the trash goes out and I restock diapers and toilet paper and soap, and on Friday I vacuum and sweep the whole house. On Saturdays I dust everything and on Sunday we change the sheets and catch up on laundry. I was never much good at keeping my house in order before I had a baby, so I'm not sure why I thought it'd come naturally once she arrived--I guess when imagining the majority of my time being spent at home, I hoped at least some of it would be focused on cleaning and organizing.

My mom, however, is so good at keeping the space around her clean and organized that sometimes I don't even realize she's doing it until it's done. Our house is never cleaner than when she comes to visit, and on top of cleaning the kitchen as soon as we're done cooking, she always manages to find a certain corner or closet that needs work and completely reorganize it in a way that makes more sense and usually sticks for at least a few months. So the last time she left California, our house was sparkly from the ceiling to the floor and I decided that dammit, I was going to keep it that way.

All of this is to say that last Tuesday I was wiping down the counters and running the dishwasher and I noticed that our salt was running low. As I refilled it, I had one of those moments where you wonder who else does this? I keep kosher salt on the counter in a ramekin because that's what my mom does, and I remember growing up and going to other people's houses and being in their kitchens and not always noticing the salt like that--in a ceramic dish, by the stove, easily accessible no matter what you're cooking.

Of course it's not really about salt, is it--it's about parenting, deciding what your family will and won't do and which traditions or habits to keep and which ones to leave behind. It’s about creating a family of your own. I love it.

My mom and brother and I always used to drink mate from Argentina every morning out of a traditional gourd, but over the years we stopped and now in my own house, Rob and I make a latte every morning pretty much no matter what. As I stood in my kitchen on that sunny day with the spring breeze coming in through the windows, I couldn't help but think of Sophie all grown up--maybe refilling her own ramekin of kosher salt--smelling freshly ground coffee wherever she may be and thinking of her mom in that California kitchen, turning on the espresso machine in the corner by the window.

Wishing you a happy Mother's Day weekend, wherever you may be. Feeling overwhelmingly grateful to be part of the club this year.