Andrea's column: A household dilemmaWhile looking for something on the Internet earlier this week, I accidentally hit one of those links that are off to the side.
While looking for something on the Internet earlier this week, I accidentally hit one of those links that are off to the side. Instead of the online newspaper I had searched for, an article about things you can do with your dishwasher — besides washing plates and glasses — appeared on my screen.
Did you know you can steam salmon in the dishwasher? Well, you can. Lasagna, too. All you have to do is wrap the entrée tightly in aluminum foil, place it on the top shelf and run the machine as if it was full of dishes. Without adding detergent, of course.
This brings me to the fact that my husband and I need a new dishwasher. The “normal wash” button on ours has been pushed in so many times in the last 11 years that the protective plastic over it came off.
We replaced the machine’s bottom rack a few years ago but now, the top one needs to be changed, too. It’s so frail that if it isn’t slid into place perfectly, it comes off the track and lands on the dishes below. Sad to say, we have lost many a fine wine glass.
The cost to replace the rack is nearly as much as buying a new machine so that is what we decided to do. The only thing stopping us is my indecision about whether it should be white or stainless. Everything in my kitchen is white and I have always liked the clean look of it.
If we ever try to sell our home, though, the dishwasher, stove, refrigerator and microwave oven should be shiny and silver according to the decorating channel on TV. That means we should replace everything at the same time with stainless. I’m up for that but I know the minute we spend the money, buyers will do an about-face and want white.
My hubby and I go round and round on this. The more we do, the harder it is to decide. This is not the only dishwasher-related debate in our house, though. The other is about loading the thing. A process I learned as a child that my spouse can not get the hang of no matter how many tutorials I give him.
You’re thinking I’m lucky, right? I should be happy he wants to do the dishes and let him do it his way even if his way is to put things any old place until nothing more will fit and then, run it. So what if there are still a dozen items sitting on the counter that could easily fit with some minor adjustments.
“I’ll just run another load before I go to bed,” he says, unconcerned that bowls and silverware sitting around until bedtime make me crazy.
Just think how crazy I would be if he found the article about using the dishwasher to cook fish and pasta. If he did, he would learn about other uses for the versatile machine. Washing baseball caps. Sneakers, too. I can’t let him in on this.
A counter full of dishes is bad enough. But one covered with shoes and another with ball caps piled up and waiting their turn to get clean? Even trendy stainless steel appliances couldn’t make that look good.