Thursday, July 28, 2011

Random Domestic Things That Probably Only I Find Interesting

Not quite sure this is worthy of a blog post. Sorry in advance if this is a waste of your time. But the 'domestic wife of the house' part of me is dying to know...

1.) Dishwasher. We have one. (Thank God.) But, the way I grew up was that you wash the dish with a scrub brush, THEN put it in the dishwasher for its second washing. So naturally, this is how I wash my dishes as an adult.

This past weekend we were at my in-law's house, and they are a put-the-dishes-in-dirty type of family. At first, this appalled me, really. I almost gagged watching those dirty dishes go into the dishwasher. I mean, the dishwasher doesn't actually wash dishes, right? It just... rinses them in detergent? :P But it seems to work for them, so maybe it's not so bad after all... or so I thought.

So fast forward to this week, I bravely (with one eye shut, the other eye skeptically keeping watch) put in some (shudder... gag) dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Fast forward 90 minutes (good lord why does it take so long?) and what do you know.... DIRTY DISHES.  The damn dishwasher DOES NOT WASH DISHES.

To rebut the comments that are surely flying through your head, dear reader... no, this is not some POS old piece of archaic machinery. It was purchased brand new less than 6 months ago. Furthermore, no, I did not let skanky dishes sit with a pile of food on them and then directly place in said dish-not-washer. They were practically clean, we're talking, a few smudges of food tops. And apparently this thing can't haaaandle the truth the food. Big fat whatever.

So my question for you is: are you a dirty-dishes putter-in'er? or a clean-dishes-putter-in'er?

2. My second domestic quandary: WHY IN THE HELL DO MY NEIGHBORS NOT RECYCLE?! Okay, I'll admit, it took me several (I'm talking.... 4) months for me to actually get around to buying a recycling bin when we first bought our house. I hang my head in shame when I think of all of the plastic I threw out with the garbage. But I'll have you know... that I saved every piece of cardboard/paper/cereal boxes for those months, and piled it in my back hall. It may have caused a bicker sesh (or two)... maybe. I admit, the pile was out of control; but once I started saving it to eventually recycle it, I couldn't throw it away.

So I finally got my butt over to the village office (literally, a mile from where I live... it's just hard to park at! was my excuse) and bought a couple of bins. Now we recycle everything, and this week we had a full recycle bin and one garbage bag from the entire house, including shitty diapers.

Like I said, the domestic part of me is wondering why on earth people in my neighborhood don't recycle. We live in an association so we automatically pay for garbage/recycle pick-up (as opposed to my in-laws, who have to procure their own garbage services... never heard of such a thing til I met them!) - so people! All you have to do is segregate it! SOO EASY. WHAT THE H-E-L-L?

My rhetorical question on the subject: if all of your garbage that your family created throughout the week was dumped in a landfill that was in your city/village/township borders, would you change your behaviors when it comes to consuming and/or recycling? 

If I had to drive by a landfill of my own waste, I sure as heck would be thinking about how to NOT keeping adding more stuff to it. Out of sight is NOT out of mind, people! I want to (lightly) throttle them.

3. Lastly, dear friends. I'd like to know what on earth you make your family for dinner. I feel like I have the same 5 things I make over and over. I am so g.d. bored with my cooking repertoire. And my goal is to get my kid back in the swing of healthy eating habits, as I fear my sweet tooth is genetic and probably not the best trait I've passed down to the poor wee one. Also, family members practically hand her a bottle of corn syrup, so there's that, too. Need to get that kid to eat more veggies, like yesterday.

Anyway, those are my domestic thoughts for the night. Time to go re-wash my dishes (by hand, obvy) -- no... I'm not bitter...


Jeff said...

1) Dishes in dirty. Our dishwasher can handle it (most of the time), though it still leaves traces sometimes. I saw a commercial once (ten years ago) of someone putting a full, uneaten cake on a plate and into the dishwasher. MFer came out sparkling clean. Ads are real, right? Think how far the tech has come 10 years later!
2) About half of Chicago just doesn't have recycling, which boggles my mind. I don't pay enough attention to what my neighbors do to know if they recycle...I should lurk.
3) I feel like we have 5-8 things we make, so not far behind. Both our kids like veggies (don't try to eat corn in my house. Both kids will bite off your hands if you touch their corn.) I think we've scared the grandparents into doing what we want in terms of feeding the kids.

Meg said...

1) Dishes mostly dirty. I don't put chunks of food in there - I don't expect my dishwasher to be a garbage disposal but I don't scrub them clean either. I read up on this subject rather extensively to convince my husband. There is a science to it though - solid pieces of food = chunks on everything. Saucy plates, a little peanut butter on knife = no big deal.

2) I'm kind of obsessed with our recycle bins - we get the big rolling ones like the trash can (and it's free!) so I put everrrryyyything I can in them. I love your comment though about if you had to drive by a landfill. I bet that would change behaviors.

3) I meal plan on Sat or Sun for the week - first I write out our schedule to figure out if each night is "cook", "heat" or "pick up" night. The last is self explanatory, the heat is usually things in the freezer (I drive to Trader Joe's abt 1x/ every 2 months and stock up) or I just heat up a piece of chicken and put it on top of a salad, and cook is something more time consuming. I do a ton of stir fry (protein + bag of frozen veggie + rice) or fajitas (protein + tortilla + veggies) cos they're easy, homemade pizza at least 2x/mo (easy), or else some basic combo of a baked or grilled protein, veggies & a bag salad. I probably try 2 new recipes a month - I love cooking and would happily do more but I've learned I often don't have time and planning a complicated meal means I'm less likely to follow through on it. For me, the writing it down Sunday is key - if I don't do that, it's a total free for all all week.

Oh look, I just wrote a freaking blog post in your comment section. Sorry about that.

Meg said...

Also, it makes me love you that you stashed your recycle until you got your bins. Too funny. My husband would have had some heated words over that, too!

Lindsay Collins said...

Jeff - next time I'm at your house, I'm definitely touching the corn to see if I keep my hands or not.

Meg - I meal-planned and stuck to it for the first time ever last week. I'm good at writing a list of what to eat for the following week... less good at sticking with it. But I think you take it one step further which is brilliant!

Meg said...

BTW, I think the dishwasher gods wanted to laugh at me b/c the last 2 loads I've run had dishes that needed re-cleaning. I'm tempted to think it's b/c I tried to buy some "yay earth" 7th generation stuff... but I also can't help but think it's b/c I bragged on your blog about not washing dishes first. Darn it!