Diminishing Dishwashing Drudgery

I’m the dishwasher in our household.  We have a mechanical dishwasher, but it’s about 50 years old.  It looks really neat–straight out of The Kitchen of Tomorrow, Yesterday!–but we’re afraid to use it because the rubber gasket around the door is hard as a rock, so probably the water would pour out onto the floor.  Someday we will make friends with a dishwasher geek, who will consider it great fun to rehabilitate this quaint old machine. [UPDATE: We bought a new mechanical dishwasher in 2011.]

Meanwhile, I don’t mind washing dishes by hand all that much.  I’ve figured out some dishwashing strategies that work for me! Read more…

Vending Box News

This is originally a tip from Daniel, but it works for me, too!

We still subscribe to our local newspaper, the actual paper kind, because I like to read it while eating and I don’t like to eat at the computer at home (since my lunch at work, and in fact my whole day at work, is typically in front of the computer). However, because I read nearly all of the newspaper, we have a Sunday-only subscription and it typically takes me until at least Tuesday to read the whole thing. Buying only one newspaper a week is thrifty and good for the environment.

The only problem is, sometimes important developments in the news happen in the middle of the week. I listen to a radio station that plays the NPR headline news several times a day, but it doesn’t include local news.

Daniel pointed out to me, several years ago, that in the walkable urban neighborhoods where we live and work, newspaper vending boxes are plentiful. Without buying a paper, you can see all the headlines on the top half of the front page and, if you like, crouch down and read the first part of an article. Read more…

American Beanwich

We rarely eat meat anymore, and I don’t miss it much, but once in a while I miss the particular flavor of a McDonald’s cheeseburger. The soyburgers that try to taste like ground beef succeed only (in my opinion) in tasting like my elementary school cafeteria’s hamburgers; I prefer the veggie burgers that don’t even attempt to imitate meat but just do their own thing. My last several experiments with using up leftover beans led to the development of this recipe that fulfills my McDonald’s craving.

I’m not giving any measurements because this is such an ideal way of using those random plain beans left over from some other meal. Just use what you have and season to taste! I guess it takes about 1/2 cup of beans to make a nice substantial sandwich. Read more…