16 October 2010

Grandmother taught me...

I'm again reminded of some advice my Grandmother imparted when I was young. This also from the pix from my sister's blog @ www.tildentalks.com

Grandmother had lots of advice. For instance, she washed dishes by hand, because we didn't have automatic dishwashers back then, and I was learning how to be 'the dishwasher' in our household. She said, 'do the pots and pans first. That gets them out of the way.' Then she said to wash the plates, bowls, saucers, etc. I wondered why she had left the silverware and utensils for last, so I asked. She said to change the wash water in the sink and replace it with the hottest water to be found. She went on to explain that doing this would get the gook and grime off the silver and utensils faster and at the same time kill any germs on them. In essence sanatizing them. She said a light scrubbing after the water cooled down would see them shinney clean and after rinsing in hot water they would be ready to use again.

In this case, she had heated water on the stove to boiling. She poured the hot water over the silver and utensils and squirted a tiny bit of dish soap into the mix. Then to my amazement she dried her hands, walked away and poured herself another cup of tea. She had to explain (I was really young about five or six at the time) the water was too hot to put her hands into, she would wait a little for the water to cool down before she finished. Made sense, I wouldn't want my hands burned either.

It was much later in life when I was reminded of another piece of advice she'd given me. When she prepared Sunday dinner or holiday meals such as Thanksgiving, she used to spend much of her time in the kitchen. She always seemed to be a the sink, too. Once I asked why she didn't come and sit down with the rest of us. She explained that as she prepared meals and used utensils and things she would wash them and put them away to keep the kitchen more orderly. After she put a roast in to roast, she would get out serving dishes that had not been used in a long time and wash them for the table setting. She said after the meal was over there wouldn't be so much clean up especially when everyones belly's were full. The clean up would take less time. It made sense, and today I still use her method when I'm preparing a festive meal.

I think we all had grandmother's who tried to teach us things when we were growing up. Today those lessons are probably a lost art. Many of us have dishwashers in our kitchens that are used religiously. I've always hated doing dishes and I have a dishwasher. I have to admit, my dishwasher is used to store stuff I don't use often. I wash dishes by hand as my grandmother did. I do this because I live alone and leaving dishes in the dishwasher unwashed for a week isn't healthy. I don't care how well they may have been rinsed. It's just not healthy. Besides if you're going to rinse them profusely, you might as well wash them and get it over with. Running a half load of dishes in a dishwasher is costly in hot water and electricity. Yep I'm penny conscious. Sage advice from long ago.