I’m starting to think that a little bit of hot water and a little bit of suds does more than just get egg off a frypan. In fact, the waters of your kitchen sink hold deeper truths than a Dalai Lama quote on facebook. As dirty dishes are immersed and sparkling clean ones are raised up, they reveal much more than simply what you had for dinner. It’s WHO had what for dinner, and HOW. A microcosm of life at this particular instant in time.
Take my sink for example. Your standard one-large-one-small-plus-drainage-area kitchen sink, in your standard early-1990s-light-peach-with-cream-lino colour palette. Each day it gets filled with small, brightly coloured plastic bowls, of which I clearly don’t own enough because I am forever washing the same ones. Floating under those are several small, multi-coloured plastic spoons, some with rabbits on the handles and others with heat-sensing rubber technology. Into the murky broth goes the stick part of the Bamix, some Tupperware containers, and I like to finish it off with a nice cheese grater or potato masher.
If I’m feeling celebratory, I might chuck in some wine glasses (exaggeration, of course I wouldn’t actually chuck them), but that’s a rare occasion. There is the odd tea or coffee pot, but even these don’t get to feature as much as they probably would like. Let’s not even mention the juicer, which has not made it near the water’s edge ever since I ran out of time to contemplate drinking fruit and vegetables instead of eating them.
Yep, I currently live at the Mini Meals capital of the world. On any given day there will be various flavoured soups and stews making their way between the stages of stove top, blender, ice cube tray, freezer, tiny bowl, microwave, tiny spoon and tiny mouth that make up the kitchen circuit. Sometimes we add extra stages, called hands, hair, ears and floor, which I try to avoid but my little munchkin quite enjoys.
I can recall a time when my drainage rack displayed a vastly different lifestyle. There were fancy cocktail glasses and espresso cups, steak knives and sushi mats. And these probably sat there for several days on either side of the clean/dirty divide because who has time to hang out in the kitchen when you’re working full time and socialising every other moment.
If I look hard enough I can also see into the future through my sink. I can see school lunch boxes, sports bottles and endless cereal bowls. I wonder how many Weetbixes my boy will do? I’m smiling right now just thinking about it.