My dear readers, I thought I totally understood how difficult the clean up was/is for any oil spill. I watched news reports and saw workers tirelessly bathing sea gulls and wild life with Dawn dishwashing liquid. I saw all that dark “gook” that was/is washing up on the white sandy beaches. I certainly do not mean to diminish any of those efforts in any way….BUT, I do believe I am understanding it more.
In my little corner of the world….my kitchen, I have been cleaning out cabinets, fridges and freezers and I came upon two earthen Emile Henry oil bottles stuck in the back of a cabinet shelf. A high cabinet shelf. When I purchased these bottles, (about 5 years ago)… I had the grand idea of storing my olive oil, vegetable oil, and grape seed oil…well, just about any oil in these nifty bottles. I had a red, green and yellow bottle.
I don’t know how it happened, but two of these bottles became “lost” in the deep abyss of my cabinet shelf. Yes, I could stand back and look up and see the tops of these bottles, but I thought they were empty. I mean, I know I would never store them with oil in them! How goofy would that be?
Wrong! So I drained what little thick oil was in them into a plastic milk bottle (I knew I didn’t want that smelly oil going down the drain) and then filled my sink with Dawn sudsy hot water and plunked the bottles in the white suds.
Now, there are times I do not use my dishwasher, especially for clean up after making a recipe for this Blog…I simply wash by hand. Today, was no different…I made the Minestrone Soup (recipe below) early in the morning, to let it simmer for a couple hours…and placed a few dishes and silver ware into the hot water in the sink.
At some point, I decided to wash the dishes…so I reached into the suds and my fingers felt something that felt like jelly pooled in the bottom of my sink. I lifted the ooey, gooey clump of oozing oil to the surface as it dripped between my fingers back into the water. I grabbed for the paper towel and was able to remove most from my hand. BUT, the oil had already begun to work its sticky number on the dishes in the sink. Apparently, there was still oil in both bottles.
No worries, I thought. I reached for the cabinet handle to retrieve the full bottle of Dawn dishwashing liquid…(I remembered the stories and advertisements of this miraculous cure for removing oil) and my fingers left a sticky residue on the cabinet and anything and everything I touched. It was almost like super glue. And, washing the dishes residing in this gooey mess was almost impossible.
Long story short…I washed those dishes and silverware over and over and over again…using the Dawn full strength and the oil residue remained stubbornly, resistant to my scrubbing. Each time I thought a dish was free of residue…I found that it was not.
I kept thinking of how difficult it is working with oil in a cold ocean….because the hot water in my hot water heater was beginning to diminish….I could only imagine their anguish.
The good news is the soup recipe below! The recipe was given to me by an Italian Chef friend of ours and I modified it a bit by using ground beef per his suggestion. It is really delicious. It has given me the strength to dive back into that grime and re wash the dishes and silverware again. After, I clean my sink for the umpteenth time.
Have you my dear readers tried to clean sticky, oily residue off anything? I would be interested to know if you have a better solution. (Oh, and I tried vinegar and alcohol) The next time I might try the alcohol on the dishes and silverware. 🙂
Have a great week-end!
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 3 celery stalks, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large turnip, diced
- 1 large potato, diced
- 1 pound fresh Swiss chard, chopped with stem removed
- 1 large can of crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
- 2 cans of cannelloni beans (15 ounce), drained
- 1-32 oz carton beef stock + 2 cans of beef broth
- 1 inch chunk of Parmesan cheese
- 2/3 cup cooked pasta, your choice
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- Brown the ground beef (use1 tablespoon of oil, if needed) in large heavy skilllet (I use my cast iron skillet) Season with salt and pepper and cook until meat is no longer pink, break apart the ground beef with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Add the onions to the meat and continue stiring until the onions start to soften and set aside
- Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to large dutch oven or soup pot. Add the carrots and celery, cooking for about 10 minutes. Lastly, add the garlic, Swiss chard, turnip and the potato and cook stirring occasionally for about 4 minutes or until the Swiss chard begins to wilt. Next add the crushed tomatoes, 1 can of drained cannelloni beans, all the beef broth (reserving 1 can) and the hamburger mixture to the soup pot. Mix the ingredients together while bringing to a simmer.
- Using a blender, combine the remaining can of drained cannelloni beans and the remaining can of beef broth, blending until smooth then add to the soup pot.
- Add the chunk of Parmesan cheese and simmer the soup for about 20-25 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
- While the soup is simmering, cook the pasta according to package directions (do not over cook) drain and add to the soup pot.
- Be sure to taste for seasonings.
- Just before serving, stir in the pasta and fresh parsley and top with 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan
- You can use the grated Parmesan from Kraft (the green can) if you like, but I prefer the freshly grated Parmesan on the top of the Minestrone Soup.
Ah Kari.. a familiar story when my girls were small and it took ages to track down the trail… However after one eventful guide camp episode when everything came back icky including my Samantha, my grandad had the answer… Swafega.. It is a green gunk that mechanics use and always sat on the surface just by the garage door..
Now I’ve no one to blame when I find oil residue on the cupboard handles and other odd places… and I am very thankful that the dishwasher has a hot setting to dispel the grease… but this blog has reminded me to dig out the Swafega.
I hope you remembered elf and safety when you balanced on a chair to get the oil bottles down.. but what have you done with the real Kari.. “pre-grated Parmesan”… noooooooooooooooo!
Hugs from across the pond…
Thanks for the Swarfega tip….if only we could get it here in the U.S. I checked the handy dandy Amazon which has everything….the fine print said only UK…:( ! Perhaps if I research more, I might find something similar here in the states.
Oh yes…I shall never forget Boeing’s safety tips. haha. thanks for the memories on that one.
Alas, I shall take my 20 lashes with a wet noodle for the permission to use pre-grated Parm. Thank you for holding me accountable…it really is NOT the same as freshly grated Parmesan. 😉
Have a great and wonderful day my good friend.
Oh, Kari, what a mess. I have no solution, and I hope it never happens to me. Those poor people in Louisiana and along the coast where the oil drifted will probably be cleaning up forever.
It is so sad isn’t it…..such a waste. I am hoping I have finally seen the last of my oily mess….but not so sure. ;( thanks for stopping by.
I think there is a story there Donna…:) thanks for stopping by.
Donna Childs says
All I can say is I know what you mean.