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New year's pot scrubbing

January 02, 2013|By S. Irene Virbila
  • Ready to roll up your sleeves and scrub pots for the new year? Get out some steel wool, stiff brushes and Bar Keepers Friend
Ready to roll up your sleeves and scrub pots for the new year? Get out some… (S. Irene Virbila\Los Angeles…)

I am not known for my dish washing skills, which I have to admit is somewhat deliberate. When I was a kid, my mother used to turn dishwashing into a military operation. My sister and I had to don thick blue rubber gloves in order to deal with the boiling hot water. And, of course, being sisters, we’d bicker over who would do what.

It was nothing like those scenes in movies — or in the TV dramaBlue Bloods,” for that matter, in which siblings peaceably do the dishes together, one washing, one drying, having a chat.

Actually, I don’t mind hand washing plates and other dishes too fragile to go into the dishwasher. But I hate scrubbing pots — and especially roasting pans. Once you get the inside clean, you’re confronted with that buildup of char and discoloration on the outside. Usually I give them just a quick once over. And then a couple of times a year, I get down to business and the odious scrubbing.

It involves putting on old clothes and getting supplies together — steel wool, stiff brushes, etc. My secret weapon? Bar Keepers Friend (available at most supermarkets and produced since 1882). I put some pounding rock on the stereo and spend a morning scrubbing away. Gradually, that baked-on dark layer loosens and the gleam of aluminum or stainless steel or copper emerges once again.

It makes me happy.


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