Izzy Eats: The art of raising a gourmand, one bite at a time
Stirring tales of eating, cooking and foraging in my never-ending quest to provide, great-tasting (local and organic whenever possible) EATS for me and my boy(s).
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Doing The Dishes: Life Without A Dishwasher
While living in a tiny apartment in New York City, there was never a question of whether or not to get a dishwasher, there was simply no room for one. And so I lived for ten years, washing dishes, pots and pans and whatever else fell into the kitchen sink. How did my hands look? Lovely because I always wore rubber gloves which were something my dear grandmother insisted upon.
Later on, when we found a house in Jersey City, I looked around the dilapidated kitchen, hoping there would be a spot for a spanking new Kitchen-Aid. Never mind that we were restoring this kitchen to its 19th century splendor, somehow, some way, it would have to fit. A. was opposed. It would ruin the period-look of the kitchen. How could we have a vintage sink, refrigerator and stove, along with a dishwasher? Perish the thought! Well not really.
My longing for the dishwasher prevailed and we had a spiffy stainless-steel Kitchen-Aid installed. Thankfully, it blended with our decor and I reveled in those first nights of cooking, dirtying extra dishes with the promise of a dishwasher available for clean-up.
After a time, the dishwasher began to fail me. Food was stuck to plates, silverware was greasy. And so began a series of repair calls, service visits and about two years of faulty dishwasher hell. I would throw big parties and the dishwasher would break, which it seemed to do on a regular basis. Weeks and months would go by and still the dishwasher did not function properly. The repairman insisted that there was nothing wrong with the dishwasher, only that it had been installed improperly. A. disagreed. And so the dishwasher sat. About a year ago, I threw in the towel and began to wash dishes again, pretending that I no longer had a dishwasher.
Then my friend S. came to visit. I explained the issue to her and she claimed to have the instant fix, in the form of a most UN-Eco-Friendly substance: Cascade Complete. These are toxic-looking squares of dish washing cleanser; not only will they scrape food from your plates but who knows what else the substance will do. I was torn...I use Seventh Generation dish washing liquid. How could I in good faith purchase a product laden with phosphates?
But it had been too long and I had washed too many dishes so I heeded the advice of S. and bought it. And it WORKED! Lo and behold, the dishes were clean and I discovered that I didn't need to use that toxic stuff every night, so I now I just sully the environment occasionally, trading off with Seventh Generation every few nights. Ah dish washing bliss..
Or so I thought, until tonight when, through, Facebook, I actually spoke to an old friend L. She asked what I was doing and I said, "Washing the dishes." (For even with a dishwasher, there are still pots and pans and other things that require washing so I still find myself in front of the sink)
She laughed and said, " I never wash dishes. I haven't in years. I hate washing dishes." I was perplexed. I couldn't fathom how she managed to consistently worm her way out of this odious chore. It was then she told of the ultimate dishwasher, a live-in maid, which is one type of dishwasher I surely will never have. At least I am still marveling over the fact that the one I do have is functioning.