Friday, 24 February 2012
A dishwasher changed my life.
People who owned dishwashers predicted this and I didn’t believe them – until I moved into a house that had one. Until that day, I lived in modern new houses where the kitchen was barely large enough to swing a saucepan around.
When modern architects are looking at houses that can accommodate people with my salary, they think:
“Ah – they won’t need too much kitchen space – let’s make it just about big enough for a family of four cats.”
These people don’t live in the real world. How can you cook in a kitchen that’s so small you end up smashing your elbows on the walls and preparing the food on the floor?
But I digress.
Suffice it to say that until 1998 all of the houses that I lived in had tiny kitchens; there was quite literally no room for a dishwasher – let’s face it, there was barely enough room for one human being.
And then I moved into a house with a bigger kitchen – and a dishwasher.
And I have barely ever looked back.
These machines are magnificent and very easy to use.
Nevertheless, I think that some people have some strange ideas about exactly how to use them.
For example, I have never understood why people insist on washing dishes BEFORE they put them into the dishwasher. In fact, guests in my house have actually said to me:
“What are you doing? You need to rinse the plates before you put them in the dishwasher.”
Correct me if I’m wrong dear reader, but I think that is stupid. If you are going to rinse everything you pop into a dishwasher, you may as well wash them up and not bother having one.
The dishwasher cleans plates with detergent and water blasted at them at temperatures of up to 75 °C. How is rinsing going to make a difference? My dishwasher has removed all the paint from several mugs and pint pots over the years so I know that it is quite capable of removing the dried remnants of food from plates.
The problem is that people have weird ideas about dishwasher etiquette.
For example, I’ve been to a house where the owners have allowed their pets to climb into the dishwasher and lick the plates.
Apologies if you do this, dear reader; but it just doesn’t seem right to me. I know the dishwasher will blast all traces of dog and cat saliva from the crockery but there are some places that animals aren’t meant to go - and inside a dishwasher is one of them.
Other people insist on loading the cutlery in a certain position with knives sticking out dangerously. I just dump them in, in the safest position. The dishwasher will clean them just as well.
I have had some problems though – some due to my own stupidity.
The twirly water blasters can be a source of frustration if, for some reason, something slips when you close the dishwasher and blocks the motion of the rotation.
On the model I have, the little tablet container, that is supposed to release the dishwasher tablet when the water blasters are at their highest velocity, sometimes gets stuck and the dishes aren’t cleaned properly.
I do take risks as well. I close the door and push the start button only to spot a fork or plate that I missed. I have a few seconds when I know that I can open the door and the dishwasher will stop – but if I mistime it (as I often do), I open the door and get a face full of water.
Has that ever happened to you or have I just humiliated myself again?
One source of contention amongst dishwasher owners is:
Who's turn is it to load and unload the dishwasher?
Mrs PM and I have an agreement when it comes to loading and unloading the dishwasher, Well, when I say “Mrs PM and I have an agreement” I really mean that Mrs PM has come up with a plan that I have to follow – or her fury will know no bounds.
I’m kidding of course.
Mrs PM’s orders are:
Whoever cooks dinner doesn’t have to load and unload the dishwasher.
I have a problem with this because I hate cooking – and I hate loading and unloading the dishwasher.
If I had my way, Mrs PM would cook AND be the dishwasher handler.
Sadly, she threatens to set Liqourice the hellcat on me so I have to comply.
When it’s my turn to cook, I tidy up as much as I can so that my dearest lady only has to unload and reload the dishwasher. I even take the saucepans over to the sink so that she doesn’t have to carry them.
Sadly, she doesn’t follow my example.
When Mrs PM has cooked, the kitchen looks like an explosion in a food factory. There are vegetable peelings all over the place, the saucepans are scattered to the four winds and I spend the first five minutes staring in disbelief, amazed at how she could of made such a mess in such a small amount of time.
When I return, having spent approximately four hours cleaning up the mess in the kitchen, she asks
“What took you so long?”
I am so enraged, I get the yips:
“The k…k..k..kitch…kitchen looked as if a nuclear war…war…warhead had been det…det…detonated in there. WHAT ON EARTH WERE YOU DOING IN THERE? COOKING THE FOOD WITH NAPALM???? WHY DID YOU LEAVE SUCH A MESS????”
“I cook – you wash up,” she says as if I am a gibbering imbecile.
“But nothing! That’s the agreement. Liquorice – FETCH!!”
And at that point I give in and sit down stewing in my own juice, watching the hellcat who is looking for any excuse to rip my face off.
Actually, that is a bit of an exaggeration – Mrs PM doesn’t set the hellcat on me really.
I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this, if she did.