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Find order and beauty in the kitchen with this delightfully elegant primer on washing the dishes that elevates and illuminates a seemingly routine chore.
Washing the dishes is an ordinary, everyday task--but with examination and care, it can become much more. In this reverent guide to the household chore, Peter Miller shows us how washing dishes can become a joy, a delight, a meditative exercise, and an act of grace and rhythm.
We pay so much attention to recipes but little attention to maintenance and cleanup. Washing the dishes is as much a part of making a meal as prepping the vegetables, making the sauces, or seasoning the meats. At times it is quite routine, sometimes raucous, other times complex. It is never convenient. Despite its din and clatter, and despite its reputation, washing the dishes is the coda to the meal. It is a bustling musical of water and soap, of flow and surface, and done well, the fragile shall sit as proudly as the cast-iron.
There are some who do the dishes for the clarity and privacy of it, and there are some who relish the quiet isolation of putting things in order where they belong. There are some who feel the time and movement is a kind of digestive. In the evening in particular, there is a silence when it is all done. How to Wash the Dishes brings elegance, art, and a bit of mindfulness to the sink. It is the perfect gift for those who love to clean and equally as apt for those we wish would clean a bit more.
About the Author
Peter Miller has meticulously curated an eponymous architecture and design bookshop in Seattle for thirty-five years. In spring of 2014, his first book Lunch at the Shop was published by Abrams Books. This was followed by his book Five Ways to Cook Asparagus (and Other Recipes): The Art and Practice of Making Dinner in the spring of 2017. Peter is also a contributor to Food52.com. Peter has been a member of the Seattle Design Commission and an honorary member of the AIA.
“I read Peter Miller's joyful meditation on washing dishes, went out and bought a new dish rack, and am serenely scrubbing away. How to Wash the Dishes is a tiny, perfect book.”—Mara Liasson, NPR
“The most delightful book we’ve seen all year.”—Evan Kleiman, host of KCRW’s Good Food
“A cheeky little book you’ll want to take a look at. . . . Peter Miller flips the drag of washing dishes on its head: [he] promises that with just a little more knowledge, washing the dishes hardly has to be a dreaded chore.”—Chowhound
“Author Peter Miller says it best in How to Wash the Dishes, his sweet little ode to the daily kitchen activity so many of us tend to gloss over: ‘Find a dish towel that you love the look and feel of. It is, in a way, both a scarf and a tool for a working kitchen, bringing pattern and color but also working as hard as any sauté pan.’ I think that’s what Marie Kondo means about sparking joy.”—Christina Chaey, Bon Appetit
“A jewel-box of a book. . . . Who doesn't love a writer who can take the prosaic and turn it into poetry? . . . That’s exactly what Peter Miller does with How to Wash the Dishes. . . . [The book] is smart, funny, and packed with idiosyncratic observations. There’s also more than a touch of the romantic. . . . And if you have no interest whatsoever in dishwashing, there are also three recipes included—including one for a very good omelet.”—Arati Menon, Food52
“How is it that reading a book on washing the dishes could offer such pleasure? How to Wash the Dishes, by Seattle design and architectural bookstore owner Peter Miller, is a tiny, perfect book that offers just what its title proclaims, with a side dish of calm. In serene and measured prose, Miller reminds us that. . . . great satisfaction can come from. . . . focusing on the task at hand, not rushing, not thinking too much of other things.”—BookPage
“Peter Miller’s carefully laid-out dish-washing strategy will help you find the joy (seriously!) in dish-washing. It also makes a great gift (i.e. hint) for your messy roommate/partner/teenage child.”—Bon Appetit
“Much of my ‘system’—which works in our small apartment, and whether I’ve cooked for eight or, much more often, just for two—is inspired by Peter Miller’s charming and excellent new book How to Wash the Dishes. It saves time, soap, and water and makes me feel like a grand strategist. The dirty dishes are the puzzle—and I’m going to solve it.”—Sarah Jampel, Bon Appetit
“[How to Wash the Dishes] begins with [Peter Miller’s] preferred method of washing: a warm, soapy bowl of water in the sink that only rinsed dishes get dipped in. . . . Miller’s writing, and the way he talks, is a combination of utilitarian information and a poetic way of finding pleasure in life’s most mundane tasks.”—Rachel Belle, KIRO Radio News Seattle