The Canvas of a Meal

Frankly, I rarely wash dishes. Some days I pretend I don’t even know how…

If it wasn’t for my husband, Mark, I would most likely be eating peanut butter toast for every meal.

Often, division of labor in a household can be a taboo subject. We’ve been living this out for about seven years, so we’re growing in confidence with one another as we navigate the feasibility questions of daily life.

The following is from Mark – who ‘prepares the ground’ for all things table. I am profoundly grateful for his incessant partnership.

With as much cooking as I’ve seen on this blog, you can imagine the dish load!

That’s where I [Mark] come in. With trusty dish wand in hand, and a faithful dishwasher as my steed, I use the forces of suds against the kitchen carnage!

Truth be told, it’s a great partnership I have with Katrina. In the kitchen, “she cooks, I clean.” This gives both of us the energy to work at making the kitchen both a place of delicious creativity, and a “clean canvas” all over again.

This division of labor is centered around a meal, after Katrina’s fierce brewing, stewing, cooking and baking reach their fulfillment, we sit down to eat. We enjoy time together at the table; beginning from a posture of appreciation. I usually mention something I simply can’t keep silent about regarding the tastes rolling around in my mouth, and Katrina reflects on the day and the cooking experience. Then comes “the 3rd Act” – I take up the task of setting things right again.

Washing and cleaning is a meditative experience. I think about how many times a specific fork I’m covering with suds has been used over the years. I consider the hundreds of delicious breads a baking stone has held. I push and scrub and inspect, rinse and repeat. Sometimes it calms me down after a day of wondering if I accomplished anything at all. This is a staple diet in my day – and it brings my artist-wife great joy to see a “blank canvas” waiting for her almost immediately after our meal.

Tools I use:

1- a dish wand – its great because it holds the dish soap inside the wand, releasing only a little bit with each dish. I use it sparingly, as I don’t want to scratch up glass unnecessarily.

2 – a dish scraper – Oh the humanity! This is a non-negotiable. I once spent an hour online looking for them when our local store would not appease our scraper lust.

3 – A drying rack – great for those big items, or anything else that doesn’t go in the washer

4 – A decent dish washing detergent – these days, detergents cannot use phosphates – it cleans our dishes lickety-split but also kills aquatic life. The best detergent I’ve found is from Shaklee, or if you’re buying your goods from the market, 7th Generation.

There is little creativity involved in washing a dish. I leave the beauty and design to my better half. Just hang around this blog for a little while and you’ll see what I mean.

And when she proudly displays her latest Art&Table creation through her mouth-watering photography, take a second look…that clean plate holding the prize-winning pasta?

You guessed it – that’s my little labor of love.

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