Things My Mother (Never) Told Me

My husband and I recently bought a new dishwasher. The one we had was only about six years old, but the thing never actually cleaned the dishes. Sometimes there were even bits of dried-on food stuck to the plates after the cycle ended.

It was a pain in the neck to have to WASH the dishes before the dishwasher washed the dishes. Even my mother thought it was insane.

So imagine my shock recently when I invited my mom over to see my shiny new dishwasher, showing off its three tiers, its dedicated cutlery rack, and demonstrating how to start it up. It wasn’t until my finger was poised over the 'start' button that my mom screeched, “Wait!!”

I looked at her in surprise.

“Aren’t you going to run the water in your kitchen faucet until it gets hot enough to clean those dishes in the dishwasher?” she asked.

What? Is this true?? Who on earth knew that I had to run the hot water in my kitchen sink in order to get hot water to the dishwasher?? And why the heck didn’t my mom tell me this years ago? Could that have been the reason Dishwasher #1 never worked right?

As you can imagine, I was a little upset. Mom tried to defend herself by saying this was "common sense." Well, I guess it's not so common if I didn't know about it. So I asked mom if there was anything else she hadn’t told me.

Turns out there was.

Did you know that if you buy bananas by the bunch you should separate them from each other so that they’ll get brown/ripen less quickly?

Did you know there are little tabs at the ends of a roll of saran/plastic wrap that you're supposed to push in to hold the roll in place so you don't get frustrated trying to pull out the cling wrap?

Did you know that the best color bra to wear under a white shirt is not white (which I always thought would blend in with the shirt) but actually beige or brown (to blend in with your skin tone)?

Did you know about the… unfortunate… after-effect of eating asparagus? I literally considered consulting a urologist before mom told me I was normal!
Sheesh. I’m old enough to be a mom myself, but obviously I still have a lot to learn. How about you? Were there things your mom didn't tell you but just assumed you knew? And are any of those important tidbits things you'd like to share with the rest of us?


Cameo Brown said...

Loved this. I found out about the asparagus after nomming on it for an anniversary dinner. Thought about panicking, but decided to wait and all was well. A little disconcerting, though. :)

Janie Emaus said...

I've never heard that one about the dishwasher. But yes, my mom is 88, and she's still teaching me things.

Kathy Bennett said...

I don't eat asparagus, so whatever happens when you eat it will always be a mystery to me.

I knew about the bra, but not about the hot water for the dishwasher. I've always rinsed (read that washed) the dishes before they go in the washer.

As for things my mom is still teaching me...hmm...her memory isn't what it once was, but she's a fabulous example of how to age with good humor.

Alyssa Kress said...

Those are some great tips. I hadn't known any of them. Guess my mom is extremely remiss. I won't tell her that, though.

Unknown said...

I knew about all those things except the banana one. Gotta try that. The dishwasher thing relates to the temp. the detergent dissolves at. It won't dissolve in cold water as clothes washing detergent will, so getting hot water in there is crucial. I lived in a house in CA where the plumbing had all been redone and I swear the hot water made it from the heater to the kitchen with a stop in New York along the way. Priming the pump, so to speak, was the only way to get hot water into the dishwasher.
Hint - the people who manufacture dishwasher and washing machine detergent are in the biz of selling their product. Your machines will last longer and clean just as well, if not better if you use less than the amount recommended on the packaging.

Live and learn!

Veronica Scott said...

Enjoyed the post, can't think of any deathless tidbits my mother gave me right offhand...!

Natasha Moore said...

I've never run the hot water first, I thought dishwashers had their own heaters to get the water super hot.

I found out about the little tabs on the ends of the cling wrap only a few years ago and was amazed no one ever told me about that!

Terry Spear said...

I'll have to try the hot water with mine. I thought about replacing it, though it's about 17 years old and I thought a newer one would be more energy efficient. As it is, I only clean half a load or it won't make it, and sometimes not even then.

Cling wrap, didn't know.

Beets will make you think you have a major medical problem. I learned that from my folks when we were eating fresh red beets from the garden. :)

From my daughter, I learned that if you slip a paper towel in a bag of shredded lettuce, it will soak up some of the moisture to keep the lettuce from going bad so quickly.

Also, if you have tomatoes in a package, remove the top to let them breathe. They'll last longer.

Christine Ashworth said...

Love these! What I learned from my mom, is never put a tomato in the refrigerator. Of course, she, city girl that she is, learned it from her mother in law (my grandma Hazel), a farm woman who knew her tomatoes, lol!

Sam Beck said...

I never knew the dishwasher thing, (and I complain bitterly every evening when I pre-wash the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher). This info. could seriously change my life!!!

My mom told me to keep a pair of tweezers in my glove compartment. For the longest time I had no idea why, but if anybody got a splinter, I was ready. Then I got older, and the hormones went all wacky as they do...and now I know why you keep tweezers in the glove compartment.

Leigh Court said...

I LOVE these comments! Thanks to everyone for sharing your mother's words of wisdom for us all to share, and for commiserating with me on the lack of knowledge we all sometimes have.

Keep the tips coming!