How to have a clean kitchen even if you’re a tremendous lazyass

By Mir
December 11, 2004

Again, I share because I love. If it worked for me it can work for you! And it’s guaranteed to work or I will point at you and laugh really hard. Just kidding. But really not.

It’s foolproof; I promise! Only 27 simple steps!

1) Invite friends over for a Hanukkah party. Having been raised Jewish is useful but not necessary.

2) Peel a whole mess of potatoes.

3) Realize you haven’t used your Cuisinart since this time last year. Assemble it after some difficulty. Grate potatoes. Note that it’s possible to remove the lid while the wheel is still spinning, thus sending potato slivers all over the wall.

4) Squeeze the potato shreds between paper towels to remove excess liquid. Transfer potato shreds to large bowl, dropping generous amounts on the floor.

5) Start heating oil in large electric skillet procured from the Still Good Shed at the dump.

6) Chop one small onion, scattering liberally. Add to potato bowl.

7) Sprinkle flour and salt all over the counter, er, in the bowl.

8) Add a couple of beaten eggs. Drip some on the counter. Mix it all up. (Not the counter, the stuff in the bowl!)

9) Test oil temperature by flicking a few drops of water in. If the oil jumps out and burns the crap out of your arm, it’s ready!

10) Drop potato mixture by heaping spoonfuls into the hot oil.

11) Latkes will be ready to flip after about 5 minutes.

12) Unless it turns out that someone else’s definition of “still good” actually means “has a wonky, unreliable thermostat and heats unevenly.”

13) Finish cooking first batch of latkes approximately 500 hours later while your friend berates you for assuming that an appliance from the dump would actually work.

14) Heat conventional skillet on the stove.

15) Pour remaining oil from electric skillet into the conventional skillet. Remember, it’s hot, so be sure to slop a bunch of it all over the stove.

16) Cook all eight thousand remaining latkes in the time it took to cook the first four.

17) Light candles, say blessing, eat latkes until you feel physically ill.

18) Watch three small children smear latkes all over the table, their chairs, and eventually trail little greasy bits behind them all over the floor after they’re excused.

19) You’re full now, so only have three or four more latkes.

20) Seriously, put down your fork and back away from the table. Christ.

21) Exchange presents and play dreidel.

22) Bid friends farewell; shower children, put them to bed.

23) Come back downstairs and check email.

24) Wander into the kitchen for a glass of water because you can feel grease oozing out of your every pore.

25) Realize that every single inch of the kitchen is covered with splattered oil, potato starch, congealed applesauce, and/or little bits of potatoes and onions.

26) Start scrubbing, on the theory that perhaps you can burn off a fraction of the calories you just consumed. Also because you are afraid of what might happen if you leave this sort of mess to harden overnight.

27) Vow to have the Hanukkah party at your friend’s house, next year.

See how easy that was?


  1. Jules

    At first I was all jealous and wanted your electric skillet from the dump…then of course I realized I wasn’t jealous at all :)
    I only wanted some latkes :)

  2. Jenny

    Yes, I’ll have some latkes too.

    I think you’ve earned some gelt.

  3. alektra


    Were you raised Jewish? I always wondered because of your first name, but that’s just me.


  4. Michele

    Michele’s ONE step to a sparkling kitchen.

    Invite mother-in-law over and ask “can YOU show me how to clean the kitchen in the same wonderful way that you do.”

    Please note: this tends not to work as well AFTER you divorce her son.

  5. Suzanne

    Clean up would have been easier if you had a dog or two around. Useful critters for slurping up kitchen splatters, dogs are, yes indeed.

    I’m suddenly craving a latke although I’ve never once tasted one before.

  6. annette

    Heh! So true.

  7. elswhere

    Suzanne, you’ve never had a latke?? Come on ‘a my house, I’m making 8,000 or so myself tomorrow! (Seriously, I’d mail you some if they travelled well.)

    Oops, wait, this is Mir’s blog… Mir, I think you have captured the quintissential Hanukkah Experience in one simple post. Astonishing.

  8. udge

    Suzanne: good idea, but you forgot to mention that one of the dogs should be small enough that you can hold it up to lick the walls clean.

  9. Betsy

    Oh, this was pretty damned close to my experience.

    Only I didn’t quite get around to de-sludgifying the kitchen, and then had to make hanukkah cookies for decorating for a first grade class yesterday.

    I am hiding out here instead of venturing into my kitchen. I am scared.

  10. honestyrain

    wouldn’t it be easier to hire a maid? for that matter a chef? i think that’s what i’ll do. but i do like that idea of inviting MIL over and asking her to show you how she does it. that’s brilliant. she can come before i pick my maid service.

  11. Mamacita

    Can I come next year?

    Oh, and thank you so very much for the nomination.

    I shall return.

    (You’ve been warned.)

  12. Amber

    Thanks for the recipe im gonna try it. Come check me out i updated!

  13. Karen

    The only thing you forgot to mention is that your house will smell of latkes until about a week before NEXT Hanukah.

  14. dad

    You never cease to amaze me. I’m sitting at my desk, tears running down my cheeks from laughing so hard and craving potato pancakes.

    I hope your house still smells of latkes next week. Did you freeze any for our visit or am I going to ask you to repeat the performance so I can lick your walls clean?

  15. Ben

    OMG, I’m still laughing at #20. Was there more after that?

    And Udge? You can come clean my kitchen anytime. Bring your dog (mine is definitely too big for the job)

  16. Shiz

    YUMMY! Can I come next year???

    If I could get an extravagent gift for all of my friends and family and fun blog friends, it would be 20 hours of cleaning from Molly Maid. You’d be included.

    If I win the lottery and forget I said this, remind me.

  17. susan

    My favorite line: 20) Seriously, put down your fork and back away from the table. Christ.

    Get away from the latkes Jesus. :)

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