Sink Soldiers

By on June 9, 2019

Remember when the last chore of the day was drying the dishes?  And putting them away?  The task left to the most durable,  trustworthy householder, regardless of what other chores lay in front of him or her.

I had a conversation with friends yesterday about this evergreen topic.  How do you wash the dishes?  What goes into the dishwasher?  What does not?  When do you run the machine?  How often do you run it?  What’s your plan for cleaning the kitchen.

You would be surprised what a rich and verdant conversational field this is.  Some people never put pots and pans into the dishwasher.  Others never put sterling silver flatware into the dishwasher.  Like the ad on television with the cute kid asking “what does the dishwasher do?” after watching mom rinse the dishes thoroughly before putting them into the dish washer.

Who knew this was such a fertile field for discussion?

As for me,  I figure I have a top of the line Kitchenaid Dishwasher, and I expect it to do yeoman’s service.  This means I knock off particulate matter from the dishes then load ’em up.  Everything in. Pots, pans, dishes, you name it.  In it goes.  Run the machine and voila.  Clean dishes.

I don’t unload and put away until the next morning.  My dishwasher is quiet and strong.  I find it comforting to turn out the light in the kitchen to the hum of that powerful machine working in the background.

This illustrates how times have changed in one simple generation.  When I was a kid,  my grandmother taught me to embroider by decorating the dish towels.  These freshly decorated towels were stored in the cedar chest and only used for drying dishes once they had been chosen by my mother for service.

One of my fondest memories of childhood was hearing my parents in the kitchen doing the dishes.  My mom would wash,  my dad would dry and every inch of the work was done while they had long and pleasant conversations. Of course, this was one advantage of having your best friend for your partner.

Maybe we should bring hand washing dishes back.  Just think of the prime time for visiting?  Sounds like a plan.


About Linda Eckhardt

Linda West Eckhardt, is an award winning journalist, food writer, and nutritionist. Her more than 20 cookbooks have garnered prizes including the James Beard prize for the best cookbook for a text she wrote with her daughter, Katherine West DeFoyd, entitled Entertaining 101, Doubleday. Their follow-up book, Stylish One Dish Dinners, Doubleday, was also nominated for a James Beard prize. Their next book, The High Protein Cookbook, Clarkson Potter, remains a best seller after 12 years. That book was designed to accompany low carb diet plans. Her ground-breaking book, Bread in Half The Time, Broadway Books, was named the Best Cookbook in America by the prestigious IACP, The Julia Child award. Her award winning radio work with Jennifer English, for a national show on the Food and Wine radio network, was nominated for a James Beard Prize for a show called, “I Know What You Ate Last Summer.”