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Everything in the kitchen sink

September 28, 2008

Part of the charm of The Project, our 1930s cottage, is its old age and small scale. Of course, that’s also part of the problem. Take our kitchen, for example: when we bought the place, it contained a cast-iron wood cook stove, an (appropriately) apartment-sized electric range, and no refrigerator. In fact, there wasn’t room for two large appliances, even without the wood-burning stove, which went to my mother as thanks for her help in buying the place (we were living out of state at the time, and you’ll remember that she lives next door).

So we took out a couple of walls, and in doing so, our pantry, to make room for our favorite amenities — a full-sized stove and refrigerator.

Fortunately, those modern marvels put us in business for daily home-cooked breakfasts and dinners. Less fortunately, we have a healthy daily dose of dishes, to be done the good old-fashioned way.

Admitting this is embarrassing, having grown up in a dishwasher-free house full of seven frequent eaters and a sink that was usually empty by bedtime, but on weekdays we struggle to keep our kitchen for three under control.

When we add to the house (fingers crossed, that should be next year), we’ll have a bigger kitchen with room for a dishwasher. Until then, I like to think that the white enameled sink and stainless steel dish drainer lend a vintage charm, and that washing and rinsing my own dishes keeps me grounded.

Having some cups and bowls in the sink never hurt anyone. But we draw the line when it comes to the counter and stove-top. The days aren’t getting any longer, and we need to curb the pileup.  But as our list of “need-to” chores is longer than the day, I think we might have to admit a little defeat.

With a few more one-pot and two-plate meals, however, and a renewed commitment to doing the after-dinner dishes (at least the big stuff), I think we can keep the sink and dish drainer half-full (funny, but in this case wouldn’t the optimist view them as half-empty?).


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