My daughter (the authour of the mostly food-centric blog Marzipan Bees) is experiencing the joys of sharing a house with other university students. She and another room-mate recently posted this informative and entertaining kitchen manifesto for the education of their less than tidy housemates:
by the Dish Jockey and Dance Master Sass
The Kitchen is an important part of the house. There are various gods for kitchens in many cultures, including Fornax (Roman), Annapurna (Hindu), Daikokuten (Japanese), and Chantico (Aztec). Do not incite their divine wraths.
HOW TO DO DISHES
Dishes go in a magical device called the dishwasher. Once the dishwasher is full, put a tablet in it and turn it on. If there is food on the dishes, they need to be rinsed. This keeps food from drying on, and is important because the dishwasher elves cannot clean off dried on food. If the dishwasher is full of clean dishes, it requires emptying. This involves removing clean dishes from the racks and putting them in their proper places. Check dishes as they are removed from the dishwasher to ensure that the elves were able to fully clean off the food. If they were not, please finish their job and clean the dish by hand. Elf magic only works the first time.
Remember that only dishes that are put in the dishwasher get cleaned by the elves.
When you use baking dishes, please clean them promptly. This often involves removing baked goods that were not eaten immediately. These can be placed in a plastic container to keep fresh and un-mouldy.
Please return dishes to the kitchen after they have been used. While the elves recognize that dishes can be used in bedrooms (we don’t need to know for what) they get worried if dishes are missing for too long.
What goes in the Dishwasher
Some things cannot be cleaned in the dishwasher. These include:
- Sharp knives
- Baking tools such as cupcake trays, glass square pans, and cookie sheets
- Dishes that have been left for weeks with food cemented on, or that have gone mouldy
- Anything that says “not dishwasher safe”
- Some things can be cleaned in the dishwasher, but it is asked that you don’t. These include sex toys. That’s just nasty, bro.
Things that do not go into the dishwasher need to be washed by hand. This is done by running a sink full of hot water, adding soap as it fills. The dishes are then scrubbed, using a sponge, dishcloth, or, in extreme cases, steel wool. Do not use steel wool on things with a nonstick coating. This releases Teflon into food, which just tastes nasty. Also, it may cause cancer, and you will die.
HOW TO CARE FOR SHARP KNIVES
Sharp knives are useful only when they are sharp, and like robots, knives like to be useful. When they go dull, they tend to look for ways to sharpen themselves on your bones. They are rarely successful, but the attempts can have dire consequences.
Knives are dulled through everyday use, but by avoiding some things it is possible to extend their useful lifetime. Knives that are left in the dish rack will go dull. Knives that are left in the sink will go rusty. This makes them very sad, and they may take revenge. Knives that are left dirty will grow legs and hunt you in your sleep.
Knives can be sharpened using the knife sharpener.
HOW TO CARE FOR COUNTER SPACE
When you use the kitchen, you make crumbs. This is natural, and nothing to be ashamed of. You can, however clean this up very easily: simply take a dishcloth or paper towel and drag it along the surface to collect crumbs. These can then be swept into your hand to be deposited in the green bin. Some things dry on to the counter, or stick to the counter. These can be removed by the simple expedient of scrubbing using the aforementioned tools.
When this is not done, the food left on the counter tends to attract gremlins. The most common in North America is the Purple Winged Gremlin, with a wingspan that ranges from 2 to 14 cm. Gremlins are social creatures, and when a good food source is found they will often celebrate by inviting other vermin friends to party. Like frat boys, they will quickly leave an area if the food source disappears.
HOW TO NOT LEAVE STUFF ON THE DINING ROOM TABLE
There’s a trick to it: don’t do it. It is that simple.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR MICROWAVE
Microwaves are sensitive beings, and resent being neglected. They like to be cared for, and will love the owner that grooms them. Grooming a microwave is a simple task, and should be done frequently. One must wipe the inside of the microwave using a dishcloth or paper towel, removing any food that has splattered on the inside walls and door.
To keep from dirtying your microwave, simply place a paper towel over food that is likely to splatter. This includes soups, stews, jellos, and other liquids/semi-liquids. It is also possible to turn the power settings on the microwave down by hitting “powerlevel” after the microwave has started, and selecting a number from one to nine. This turns down the heat, preventing splattering.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR FRIDGE
While biological experiments can be very interesting, there is a time and a place for them. They do not belong in the fridge with food that will be ingested. Investigate the food in the fridge regularly, looking for signs of life such as fuzz, blue or green fur, red fur (if this is seen, remove immediately. Do not expose to air or open the bag; take it straight outside to the garbage can), or sentience. If your food shows any of these signs, remove from the fridge and dispose of it in the outside green bin. Do not open containment fields around such life in the kitchen, as this allows it to spread.
If something spills or goes horribly bad in the fridge, wipe the shelf it was sitting on. Every three months or so, it’s a good idea to wipe down the entire fridge. Dry the shelves before returning them to the fridge.
HOW TO CARE FOR KITCHEN LINENS
This category covers dishcloths, dishtowels, and sponges. These should not be allowed to go sour. Do not leave them in a heap. Do not leave them at the bottom of the sink. Rinse them after use, removing such substances as dough and sauce. Do not leave them wet – ring them out. They should be washed regularly, especially if there are visible stains or detectable odours. This is easily maintained if you simply throw them in whenever you do a load of laundry.
Tablecloths also require care. When they grow stained, they need to be washed. If you spill something on a tablecloth, a good first step is to blot it out using a dishcloth. If this does not remove the stain, the cloth must be washed in the washing machine, possibly with spot remover.
Tablecloths do not protect the table from everything. If a glass is left on the table, it will create a ring on the table, which is difficult or impossible to remove. Hot things can scorch the tablecloth and damage the table underneath. The easiest way to avoid damaging the table is to clear dishes promptly.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR GREENBIN
[my daughter's city has a curb-side composting program using green bis to go along with the blue recycle bins]
Green bins are weapons left by aliens to take over Ontario. In order to prevent the invasion, certain precautions must be taken. The green will only be able to fulfill its assignment under certain conditions. By emptying it regularly and cleaning it after emptying, humans may maintain control for a bit longer. Signs that the green bin is nearing activation are
- It is full of food
- It is growing biological weapons, often in the form of colourful moulds
- It is spawning small spies. These often take the form of fruitflies
- It is sending olfactory signals to the aliens. Empty it before it can be smelled from space
Certain things make the green bin’s job easier. It should not be given access to meat scraps for longer than a week. It should be emptied regularly, preferably before experiments in bio-warfare yield results. It must be rinsed after being emptied, to wipe gathered data from its memory banks. Rinsing should be done outside, but without a hose this is impossible and it must therefore be done in the sink. Do not rinse the green bin on top of dishes. Clean the sink thoroughly afterwards, removing buildup of organics in the drain. Scrub the sink using very hot water, either from the tap or boiled in the kettle.
Bananas are very interesting creatures. When neglected on the counter, they will sulk, turn brown and ooze. This will attract vermin such as gremlins, fruitflies and giant flying spiders.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR GARBAGE
This must be removed from the receptacle under the sink regularly, particularly on the nights before pick up. When the bag has grown large enough to keep the door from closing, it is a sign that it should be moved to the outdoor bin. The recycling should not get piled on the end of the counter, as the bins are directly outside the door. Simply open the door and toss the item into the appropriate bin (a list of acceptable materials can be found on the fridge).
The outdoor bins will not be emptied if they remain in the backyard. They must be brought to the curb before the garbage truck picks them up (usually, this happens Wednesday mornings). A schedule of garbage pickup can be found on the fridge.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR BBQ
Raccoons love barbecues. Raccoons are agents of chaos, and are ruled by the Trickster. In short, they are not creatures that you want around. Their love fades when the barbecue is cleaned. This can be done by scrubbing with a wire brush and burning off the residual fat after each use. The implements used in barbecuing must also be cleaned after each use to prevent attracting rodents and growing bacteria.
Thanks and Further Suggestions
Thank you for reading this short guide, and following the behaviours outlined therein. Please add any further things requiring attention below.
brought to you by:
The Biohazards Commission
The Ministry for Domestic Harmony
The Pantheon of Kitchen Gods