Sunday, March 24, 2013

Draining subject

The tiny kitchen in the condo is equipped with that wonder of modern technology - a dishwasher. Yet I find myself a bit stymied at the fact that a portion of the oh-so-valuable-and-limited counter space is continually taken up by the dish drainer.

A couple of quotes from Margaret Kim Peterson's book, Keeping House: the Litany of Everyday Life jumped out at me this afternoon:

But a kitchen is meant to be dynamic rather than static; you equip a kitchen so you can work in it, not so you can look at it or bypass it on the way to the microwave. This is why a kitchen that is truly equipped for cooking always has a dish drainer in it.

Experienced cooks clean as they go, scraping dishes and utensils and stacking them in the sink and taking a moment here or there to wash a pot and put it in the dish rack to utensils are tools, and tools are meant to be used - and washed and put away to be used again.

Keeping the dish drainer out is a matter of necessity around here. With limited storage, I've winnowed the cooking tools down to a versatile minimum. Often, especially if I'm having guests, I find myself having to do a quick wash of something before I can start work on another component of the meal.

Ms. Peterson has more to say, on the social aspects of dish washing, particularly as it relates to home building, that is, creating a space where relationships flourish. She has a valid point. When I was in college, it was over a pan of soapy water that a roommate finally shared the story of her mother's early death. There's just something about the routine of wiping, rinsing and drying that makes it easier to open up the heart.

Things to think on. Add your thoughts in the comments...I need to go put away some dishes.

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