When it comes to sticky floors and dirty ovens, I’d admit it here: I have both. My brood of messy little eaters have a special knack of leaving the dining table floor looking like a tornado just ripped through:

Breakfast debris: breadcrumbs, raisins, flakey stuff
Lunch debris: more breadcrumbs (they never seem to go away do they?) rice grains, a stray salad leaf or two

Afternoon tea debris: cracker bits, some cheese goo, fruit drips and juices
Dinner debris: more rice grains, oily fingerprints, goopy drips of sauce (ewww), some boney bits, lots of hair and dubious-looking fluff.

Massive “rescue operations” in the past have never seemed to return my floor to pristine, grime-free conditions sans kids. Squeaky clean floors, at least for now, are a thing of the past. Life post-kids is a cacophony of random but beautiful messes. It is the wise mother that soaks in it, takes it all her stride and runs with the fun. This stage is fleeting. It is also awesome. There’s too little time to waste vexing over spilled food and the imperfect, disorderly surroundings around. It is the time to rest in the mess. This is the season which leaves a trail of laughter, giggles, goopy kitchen accidents, meal-time prayers, childhood squabbles in its wake — the signs of a family alive and in bloom.

Now you would understand why, I also have a dirty oven. I love that I can cook with it and have whatever oil, stain, splattering and debris contained within that tiny square foot of space, for when you decide that you feel like cleaning it all up. Operative word: FEEL(which doesn’t happen very often at all, I’m ashamed to say.)

There have to be other pressing priorities in life than rescuing a dirty oven, you think?

Such as going after messy eaters & sharing this dirty oven dish? *wink*

Fuss-free Roast Pork Chops with Roasted Dutch carrots

4-5 bone-in pork chops
2.5 tablespoons Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano/thyme
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion power
1/2 teaspoon sage/basil
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. Pat pork dry with paper towels. In a bowl, mix spices above, rub onto both sides of your chops. Arrange them on a baking sheet.Bake for 15minutes, and flip. Bake for another 15mins. Check for doneness.

Carrots: (adapted from simplyrecipes.com)
1 1/2 lbs of 5 inch long baby carrots, carefully washed, patted dry, greens cropped to 1 inch above top of carrot
1 medium red onion, peeled, cut lengthwise (root to top) into 8-12 wedges
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary, or 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
Garlic powder
Freshly ground black pepper

1 Preheat oven to 200°C. Gently toss together the carrots, red onion, rosemary to coat with the olive oil. Lay out on a rimmed baking pan, lined with aluminum foil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.