Dishwashing Grandma’s Way

If you wash dishes by hand and, like me, use a metal dish pan (mine is an antique enamel tub), place a folded dish towel in the bottom of the dish pan to keep your glassware and dinnerware from possible damage by the contact with metal.

When it comes to hand washing dishes, rinsing off that soapy residue can use quite a lot of water. Since we don’t have running water I use three containers of water.

The first is the dish pan with warm, soapy water. Begin by washing the cleanest things first.

Also, before washing, clean off the cookware and dinnerware first by wiping away any food debris and disposing of it. A hot pan or skillet is much easier to clean than a cold one. While the pan is still hot, drain off any liquid, then wipe away anything that remains. You can easily completely clean a skillet this way.

Glassware first, then flatware, cups, plates and bowls, last cookware. Just as each is washed separately, remove the washed articles to the first rinse water container which holds warm water and vinegar. Then from there move them to the final rinse bath to remove possible hint of the vinegar or soap. By the time the second load of dishes is washed and rinsed, the first load is air-dried and ready to be put away.

I have tested this method against my “former” automated dishwasher, and I had all the dishes washed, dried and put away in less time than it took the DW to start its wash cycle. Just think of all the water and electricity that DW used compared to the 2-3 gallons I used doing them by hand.

After the dishes are finished I can continue using the same water for other cleaning, such as washing down the counters, cupboard doors, and stove. Or use it to wash the floor.

Food Waste: Our Country’s Disgrace

This morning as I was looking at the what remained of my seedlings after the dog explored the garden my first thoughts were of the waste.  The lettuce and beets seedlings had been thriving until Sophie decided to chase bugs by digging into the garden bed.  There was no rescue for those that had been removed…. but there is still time to replant.

Nonetheless I wasn’t experiencing the best start to my pay and I thought a cup of tea, a quick check of my email, and read through my blogs and forum would provide a fresh start while it was still early morning.

Usually I play a You-Tube video in the background while I work and this morning I selected a John Oliver episode about Food Waste, just the topic for this day.  While I am upset over the waste of a few head of lettuce and what would have been at least a peck of beets John Oliver was telling me about how this country sends 40% of its perfectly fresh produce directly to landfills straight from the farms!

This is appalling!  Farmers were actually saying that it isn’t even cost-effective for them to donate the produce to food kitchens, etc.

image from PBS, Google images.

In sharp contrast, in France it is illegal to throw away good food, whether it be a restaurant, or a market.

Sorry folks, it just doesn’t make sense to me.

click on image for more information

The farmer described how it would involve the cost of planning where the food would go, arranging for trucks to deliver the food, etc.

Perhaps if he spent a couple of hours one day phoning area churches who hold soup kitchens, or safe houses, or other local organizations who feed the poor and the homeless he would find that “they” would be more than happy to come to him and collect the free food.

Maybe I am being harsh in believing that there is no reason thousands of tons of fresh, edible food should be going to the garbage dumps instead of the thousands of hungry families struggling each day to put food on their tables.

I vow, if my garden ever gets to produce a sufficient harvest to feed both my family, and another, I will be sharing the excess with those less fortunate.

For more information on Food Waste and what you can do follow these links:

Huffington Post: Farm to Landfill

EPA.gov

gracelinks.org