Taking the load

With a family of four adults to feed, the time spent in my kitchen takes up many hours of the day. I don’t begrudge this time, as I find the preparation and cooking of most dishes to be a time when I can be alone in my palace and allow my thoughts to wander between many pleasant daydreams, interrupted only by the need to consult the recipe when working on a new dish or something that requires a little more precision. With the holidays upon us, there are sometimes three meals a day, and after each one comes the cleaning up to make space for the next preparation. While I am a strong advocate of the ‘clean as you go’ method, my reliance on the most indispensable tool for the kitchen borders is such that I go into a decline if it breaks down. I refer to the fabulous dishwasher!

The calling of an electrician takes top priority with no dithering over how long we can put it off, and I have used a wonderful service for over 40 years now, the gentleman calling within hours and never replacing a part that cannot be fixed with a bit of wiring and a soldering iron. In one instance, it was found that a gecko had met an unfortunate end between the copper wires of the coil, causing the motor to short. A little rewiring and deferential disposal of the frazzled gecko and we were good to go again. Cost: callout fee. Over the years, I have had three dishwashers, all of which have done sterling duty, releasing me from at least 3 hours a day of dishwashing (I have timed it). Each has worked tirelessly until the last spin of its arms, and been replaced within days of expiration. Not the least of the advantages is that you can be sure of sterilisation of everything that goes into it, and I like to think that this has played a great part in the generally good health of the family.

My mother always had a dishwasher – she had no domestic help nor required it. So for us, a dishwasher was a minimum requirement of the well-equipped kitchen. The first, bought in the 60s, had no insulation and each wash cycle would be accompanied by the sudden roar of the motor rotating the arms, so loud that we needed to close the kitchen door to be able to have a conversation in another room. But such inconvenience has long been attended to by the manufacturers, and today’s model cannot be heard even when standing next to it. A far cry from those days of sudden startlement!

My appreciation of my dishwasher has increased to heights unknown with a Covid festive season – nothing to do but cook and lounge on the couch. It is no exaggeration to say that a fully loaded dishwasher has been switched on three times a day here! Life would have been unbearable without it. Those who eschew the services of this uncomplaining kitchen assistant don’t know what they are missing.

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