Doing the dishes. That that's a subject that I don't believe I've ever come across in reading all of my cookbooks. Whether it's in a family kitchen, a restaurant or under the stars at a chuckwagon, it's a pretty important part of the process of getting people fed. To me it's a combination of service to others, and a form of meditation, and a royal pain in the tookus. It keeps me from getting to the barn to ride during the cool part of the day, or it ends near midnight with me "floorizontal” on the kitchen linoleum. But the part about knowing that you're food will be healthy, served on clean plates and cooked with sanitary utensils, now that gives me a warm fuzzy deep inside my little black chuckwagon cook’s heart! Some things get washed in warm soapy water, and rinsed with clean hot well water. That's like a balm to stiff arthritic knuckles! Cast-iron needs gentle scraping, possibly also in hot water, then a light dressing of oil. We have started using flax oil. Then when everything is dry, the knives get sharpened and everything is put back where, hopefully, I can find it the next day. As I hang the dish towel to dry, I look up at the stars, or out to the pasture and let my mind unreel. Now I can rest, sit on the porch, or on a bedroll, with a cup of Arbuckle's and breathe.
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