Labor Saving Devices with Celery and Garlic

I'm getting used to Internet Explorer 7.0 and the other automatic Windows updates beamed into my computer this week. It took time to readjust my toolbars and settings, and I'm still clicking in the wrong place for my favorites. Of course, I still look for spoons in the drawer where they were in the old condo. We moved into the nearly identical new condo in July of 2000, and swapped the silverware drawer with the placemat drawer to make it more logical and efficient!

With the condo full of sniffling and coughing people, it was time to make soup. Mid-morning I started sauteeing celery and garlic. Divided that into two pots for two kinds of soup. In the first pot, I added chopped mushrooms and broccoli, then a can of Swanson Low Sodium chicken broth. Into the second pot went chopped green pepper, carrots, parsley, leftover turkey, yellow squash, peas, a can of broth, and a can of crushed tomatoes in puree. The steam was making me feel better already. The empty cans went into the recycling basket, and the dishes filled up the dishwasher.

On a roll now in the X-Soup championship of the world, the leftover mashed spuds went into Pot One, along with boiling water. Dill and cayenne were next. Over in Pot Two, oregano, thyme, basil, cumin, Worchestershire sauce, and a bay leaf. Oh, the savory steaminess of it all! My sinuses were happy enough to realphabetize the spice rack.

Just about the time the mashed potatoes were blended delumpily into the broth, and I started stirring in milk, my socks got wet. Huh? The dishwasher was leaking. I'm braver with annoying appliances than with certain computer applications or soup recipes. I am woman with True Value 4-in-1 screwdriver, quarter-inch six-point nut driver, and needlenose pliers, hear me roar! Checked the float, the gasket, cleaned the drain screen, and removed the front access panel to peer into soggy darkness. My How To Fix Everything book was helpful, but offered no guidance for standing on my head or curling myself into the dishwasher without getting wet. I needed a miner's headlamp, a dentist's mirror, and clown car experience! My respect for repair-persons was growing the more I contorted.

When the professionals arrived, they quickly determined that the part and repair of my dishwasher would cost more than a new one. I hated spending the $54 for the service call, so I pumped them for recommendations for reliable dishwashers. Keep it simple, they said. Get a dishwasher with a dial, not a control panel. They must have known about my spoon drawer and the Windows toolbars!

Home Depot will deliver my new, very basic, GE dishwasher in a few days. By then the fans will have dried out underneath the cabinets. We've enjoyed the soup, but I'll have to handwash Pot One and Pot Two.

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