Sunday, July 09, 2006

music for dish-washing

There are so many cooking blogs - and so many really good ones! - and I find it a bit strange that I don't see anyone bitching about what a pain it is to have to wash all these dishes. Maybe this reflects my New York-iness; I haven't got a dishwasher but my apartment is rent-controlled, so I am not going to be moving to a dishwasher-equipped place anytime soon. I cook a lot and thus I have a lot of dirty dishes, and I hate to wash them.

I have three coping mechanisms to deal with this issue:

  1. Do the dishes really early in the morning, before I'm really awake. Best to have coffee brewing in the meantime, as an incentive to hurry up and finish. Best of all is to brew some of this Lebanese espresso with cardamom in it. I have a stove-top espresso pot but I brew this in the regular coffee machine. The smell and the taste will make you pleased with yourself for getting out of bed. If you live downtown you can get it at Dowel on 1st Ave. between 5th and 6th Streets; otherwise it looks like you can get it from Kalustyan's.

  2. Fancy-pants dish soap. It's a bit expensive but I would much rather smell lavender dish soap than the trashy stuff from the grocery store. They put it on sale every once in a while and it lasts forever anyhow.

  3. The right dish-washing music. I like to think that my taste in music defies categorization, but for some reason my dish-washing and apartment-cleaning music is thoroughly entrenched in the glamorous-batty-1950's-hopped-up-housewife genre. Feel free to break down the gender and generational issues in the comments. On the playlist below: Blossom Dearie, "The Riviera," from the album Give Him the Ooh-la-la; Jack Ary, "Les Tomates," from the compilation album Dou da Dou - the unlimited French lost catalogue; and Blue Stars of France, "Les Lavandieres du Portugal (The Portuguese Washerwoman)," from the album Lullaby of Birdland and Other Hits. Click on the little heart to play; I think it's about eight minutes in all -

1 comment:

  1. Thats' funny - from discussions I've followed on Chowhound, it seems almost everyone assumes everyone who cooks has a dishwasher. I don't have one either, and my coping mechanisms are the same as yours, right down to the expensive dish soap. (I prefer the pear or almond scented ones). I also like a good pair of long, bright pink dishwashing gloves.

    The most important thing in keeping the dishes under control is washing as you go along, and it took me years to get into the habit. It helps a lot, but there are always still pans and plates and glasses left at the end of the meal, unavoidably.