Talking to my firstborn daughter one morning and she asked a pertinent question, “Daddy, can you cook?” Being an alert 6 year old, my dear daughter knew the answer, but was asking to give her mouth something to do already picking up the woman’s prerequisite of having something to talk about. Keeping with the theme of entertainment, I said “I don’t believe in me cooking.” For anyone who has had the pleasure of my company for longer than a day will discover among my favourite manmade innovations are the oven, microwave and ready-made food.
In the context of my family, I am a freak. My dad would more than contentedly rustle up a meal if called upon. My older sister is adept at putting together an enjoyable culinary experience. Even my younger brother can survive well with ingredients and methods to cook himself and his family a tasty meal. My Mum as you know is The Greatest Cook In The World – a bad day in the kitchen for her would still deliver better quality meals than most human beings are capable. So for muggins to have a tendency to be incompetent at cooking marks me out as abnormal.
Never fear, I more than make up for it by my contribution to domestic bliss – washing up.
When we were growing up, as soon as we were able, we had a rota for who would be doing the washing up, who would do the drying up and who would have a week off. Now these were onerous chores (except the week off, obviously, I could cope with that), there was as much desire to wash up/dry up as there was to poke yourself in the eyes. These were our responsibilities, however, so they had to be done. As they were chores, they also became bargaining chips. To exact a favour from a sibling we had to offer to do washing/drying. The more important the favour the more washing/drying would be offered. My older sister, being the Machiavellian genius she was, would manipulate events to accumulate weeks off, usually at my expense. So though I was no cooking whizz, I became very familiar with the kitchen with the weeks, months and years spent washing and drying.
It is with those years of experience that I developed an affinity with washing up liquid, which gives me the authority to speak on the great subject of washing up liquids.
If the liquid does not feel thick be wary. After all the point of the liquid is to defeat the evil forces of grime and muck on the kitchen utensils. Thin liquids do not inspire confidence that they can ward off the strong impression made on the plate by the remains of the well fried chicken you enjoyed. Check their GCSE results, if the liquid does not have all the grades below ‘D’ then it is obviously not thick enough.
Back in the day, there was no option withthe smell. It was industrial, it was clinical, it was another encouragement to get the washing up done quickly. Nowadays, thankfully, a bit more consideration is given to how the liquid gives off its odour. Sure some of them have confused washing up with air freshener and i am waiting for the pine with apricot flavour to come out. At the end of the washing up, if you must do it, you do not want to feel like you have just applied dettol to that gaping wound.
The Bubble Factor
You can talk all you want about the cleaning power of the liquid. Whatever. The only source of entertainment offered from washing up liquid that makes the washing up worthwhile is the bubbles. Now i am not talking about how soapy the water is in the sink with bubbles floating around. Oh no. Not me. What I am talking about which is the crucial factor to note in the liquid is how many bubbles will it produce in the air? you have poured or squeezed what you need, then you lean it back and squeeze again and up should come the bubbles, floating in the air, all different sizes, wafting gently before settling on me fist for me to pop ’em. If that’s not happening, this is a rubbish liquid.
So now you know, let it help. Quick word on using dishwasher – don’t.