Friday, September 02, 2011

The dishes that go along with the food

From my couch in the lounge, I can see a looming mountain of dishes on the counter next to the sink just waiting to be washed.

I'm in avoidance.

I was reading a post on one pot cooking this morning, and made a comment on the benefits to cleaning-up this allowed for. Which got me to thinking about dishes.

Perhaps it 's the universe sending me a message, but the very next blog link I clicked on was about washing dishes (avoidance, get thee hence...)

My initial comment on the post turned into a mini essay of memories related to dishes - you know, those things that go along with all this delicious cooking food bloggers do (always two sides to a coin, right...)

In my past, as a chef-in-training, the nights I got stuck washing the post-dinner-rush restaurant pots/pans/cooking utensils used to drive me nuts. That was until one evening when I realised that after the insanity of the dinner frenzy, washing the dishes was actually quite zen. My mind could wander and I could think about the events of the evening, or my plans for the next day. And slowly (very, very slowly), I began to get something out of the experience...not enjoyment (I wouldn't go as far as that), but definitely a mindfulness for the task at hand.

Not owning a dishwasher at home, I would sometimes grumble at having to do the dishes in addition to having cooked the meal, until I realised that my grumbling destroyed the spirit of the event...a meal shared and enjoyed with people I love. So I changed my attitude to see the dishes as a way to pay homage to the blessings of: having the funds to buy food and share it, the good times and laughter, the warmth infused into our home.

I believe I have my Mom to thank for this perspective on life. As a teenager, when I walked into the kitchen and saw a ton of dishes on every surface after a day of meals for people, I would always sigh loudly, and she would always remind me: "They tell a good story!"

Please do yourselves a favour and go and read Pam's beautiful post over at Sticks Forks Fingers entitled:
Cleaning Up: My Postprandial Grace.
It's a very special piece of writing.

Have a great Friday and a brilliant weekend everyone.

Kitchen sink, here I come...