Being able to cook good food makes you a good cook. Quite obviously.
But cooking, serving and then eating a meal, while leaving the kitchen still a wreck, in still having a kitchen full of all the pots and pans and utensils you used, doesn't just show how you know how to use all that stuff, that is not the badge of honor.
It also shows that you don't know how to manage a kitchen. It may say that you have good (or great) cooking skills. But it also says you have terrible kitchen skills.
A chef in a professional kitchen has a staff who cleans up. Or if they don't, they clean up themselves. Typically after the night is over, or throughout a shift in order to have the clean tools to cook with.
Though more typically they will have a dishwasher to help them keep up. Otherwise, they'd need way too many utensils and dishes to cook with and serve on. Besides they are cooking dish after dish, meal after meal for person or group after group, for hours on end. While cooking at home is one meal at a time.
A cook in a home kitchen who leaves a mess to clean up later, after the meal, simply shows how inexperienced and amateurish they are. After all, cleaning up as you go really isn't that difficult. It just takes practice and some organizing.
Nor is saying "the dishwasher is full" an excuse for leaving a kitchen mess and certainly not leaving a mess overnight to wake up to. Certainly not for someone who was uninvolved in the previous night's revelry.
So keep up as you use utensils, pots, pans, dishes and so on. Then when you finish the meal and it's ready to eat and serve, you will walk out of a kitchen that is truly ready to be ignored until the next meal and you can eat in peace and relaxation.
If there are any dishes left over it should be from the meal itself and not from the cooking of it. But even that should be taken care of and not left overnight.
Surely there are good times here and there that come up wherein it simply detracts from the event to be cleaning when you should be socializing. That is true enough. But how often should that be considered reasonable to happen throughout a year? A few perhaps, to be sure, but not a lot of them and not on a regular or certainly not on a daily basis.
Because in that case, you are just lazy. Admit it, then you're just a slob.
It takes organizing skills to cook a sophisticated meal. It takes true organizing skills to finish cooking a meal and leaving things so that it looks like no one has even touched the kitchen.
That is the sign of a true master. And a thoroughly achievable one at that.
This isn't just about cooking dinner, however. You may have guessed by now this is about so much more.
America has become very good at quick fixes. Fixes that simply don't work but sound really great. At first. Those "fixes" then continue to remain in place even long after it's common knowledge they failed. Which as we've seen, leads to some very angry communities. Some very damaged communities.
We're not the only ones in the world doing this kind of thing.
Many other countries have picked up some of our bad habits. We have been world leaders in so many areas and that has led to some mimicking our good as well as our bad behaviors.
It's far easier to say for instance, "I'm tough on crime." Then to say, "We have to address the reasons for the crime we're seeing."
As in much of western medicine, we choose to fix the symptom rather than the cause.
This leads us to end up doing things like lowering taxes until we can't afford real maintenance of our country and citizens. When really we need to fix the middle class so we don't have to lower taxes in the first place so we can continue to afford to fund and fix things. As we should be doing.
This twisted thinking leads us to fall into believing some very odd things indeed. Things like we must push all the money up to those who least need it in order to fix things that are wrong with our country. Things that got to be needing to be fixed because of wrong thinking to begin with.
This leaves those at that other lower end to have to be "creative" simply in order to exist, many of whom end up in a biased and broken judicial system. While those committing crimes in acquiring more money at the uppe other end of things, in being people who don't need more money just want it, seem to get off completely free when they get caught. If they ever do get caught. If their crimes are even brought out to the light of day. In fact, many times they are rewarded for their illicit behaviors, even if they are ever fired.
There was a time when common wisdom was to choose the hard road because in that way you learn the most and you end up fixing more.
Anymore however that is considered insane by too many. We have gotten lazy, rationalizing we have to produce more and more rather than better and better. After all, when there is an easy way to accomplish something, the easy fix becomes the priority in order for you to move on as quickly and cheaply as possible.
This is not human thought, this is "corporate thought". A disease seemingly invisible to so many people now a days. But it has become insidious and ubiquitous.
It is however fixable. It is all fixable. With effort. Learn to love effort. Learn to love fixing and not masking symptoms. Learn to be aware of results, of the facts, of cause and effect.
Try the longer road. Try the harder road. Try the better road.
Try to fix things. Not just make them unnoticeable.
Clean the kitchen as you go along. It seems like a lot of work a the time but once you get used to it you begin to realize, it really is the better way. And it will also lead to other things in your life increasing in their quality, and decreasing in their perceived effort.
Life can be good. Life can be better. It's all up to... us.