Saturday, May 19, 2012

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times – Chapter 87

#87 – “Never put your knives in the dishwater. You’ll cut yourself.”

Most of the 100 things mom taught me again and again are very practical, like #87. When I was young and she told me not to put knives in the dishwater I would be so incensed! I was smart and agile. Only graceless Dilberts would cut themselves on a simple kitchen knife! That was approximately 30 or so knife cuts ago, none of which required stitches, but all of which required the eating of crow.

Being the curious gal I am, as soon as I typed the term eating crow I wondered where and how it originated. As it turns out, the topic of eating crow is pretty interesting. Eating crow is defined as a colloquial idiom, two words I adore when written together. Yes, I know that is weird.

Of course eating crow is about admitting wrongness, (i.e., I was wrong in thinking I was too smart and agile to avoid cutting myself on a knife dropped into the dishwater). Anyway, apparently crow is a particularly foul-tasting fowl, to wit eating crow, admitting wrong, is distasteful. The British idiom, eating humble pie, has the same connotation, but the association goes even deeper as “umbies,” the intestines, offal and other less valued meat of deer, were made into pies to serve to those of lesser class who didn’t eat at the table of the king/lord/governor. CLICK ON READ MORE BELOW. 

At the risk of diminishing mom’s valuable, individual lessons, I think I’ll lump #88, “don’t put your glassware into the dishwater because you’ll break them and cut yourself,” in with #87.  Honestly, who would think that a sink full of dishes could be so dangerous!

Mom also said to wash the glasses individually and first, while the dishwater was fresh and soapy. Being a stickler for spot free glasses, and having a preference for drinking from crystal, mom was particularly particular about how her crystal glasses were washed. I too am fussy about spots on glasses and have been known to walk out of restaurants that had spotty glasses.

And yes, I learned the hard way not to put more than one glass at a time in the dishwater, breaking some of my favorite Champaign flutes, and cutting some of my favorite flesh.

So mom was right. Never put your knives or glasses into the dishwater because you’ll cut yourself, and you may have to eat some of that awful offal!


  1. Dish washing lessons? She also warned me about sharp dishes and glasses, that lurked beyond the surface of dish soap suds. Since you bring up glasses, I remember the time she stashed a glass--from a restaurant in France-- in her purse, and took it home. Glasses and sand (from the countries she visited) showed up in her dining room. So funny, I continued to practice this myself. Now, I know my thieving behavior is genetically based. Jane

  2. Jane - that is so funny because I totally remember mother embarrassing the hell out of me as she stole menus from dozens of restaurants all across Europe! I still have all those menus, and at one point, when I was living in an apartment, hung them on my dinning room wall. I may dig them out and turn them into wallpaper again some day. Do you remember the restaurant we went to in, I believe, Barcelona, called La Cravache (the cave)?