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I’ve mentioned before that David and I take turns doing dishes. One week it’s my job, the next week it’s his. The arrangement isn’t for everyone, but for us it has prevented a lot of resentment. We like the system so well, in fact, that we’ve been doing it for years now. We call it “passing the torch.” Every Sunday night, one of us gets the kitchen in spotless condition, then tells the other, “Torch passed.” When the “torch” is accepted, the other person’s week of dish duty begins.
Fortunately for me, when I made southwest sweet potato hash last week, it was David’s turn to deal with the dishes.
Fortunately for him, he didn’t have to pick melted cheese off plates with his fingernails this time around, because I went to Target and picked up some Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloths to make things a little easier for him.
One side is soft fiber and the other side has scrubbing dots–that scrub but don’t scratch–to help get off the extra challenging food messes. (I’m looking at you, dried avocado.) While I’m not exactly looking forward to my turn this week, I am looking forward to seeing how shiny these things will get the hard-to-clean draining grooves on my sink.
You know you’re old when cleaning stuff is exciting.
When I saw the coral, I HAD to grab some. There are also mint, grey, and navy ones, but the coral was perfect. See, since they come in 2-packs, I gave one to David to get down to kitchen cleaning business, and I took the other and did this:
BAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I made us an actual dish washing torch!
It was super easy and took literally five minutes…which is why it’s a little on the ghetto side. Crafty I am not. But if you find yourself needing a dish washing torch, here’s how I made it:
1 Scotch-Brite Scrubbing Dish Cloth in coral
1 empty paper towel roll
tape (I used packing tape but duct or masking tape would also work)
Cut a slit about 2/3 of the length of the paper towel roll. Roll the cut end tighter, with one side overlapping the other, and tape. Wrap tape all the way around and up the cardboard tube until it is covered and secure. Spread the Scotch-Brite Scrubbing Dish Cloth out on a flat surface, and pinch a spot in the middle. Shake it out (like you might with tissue paper for a gift bag) and stuff the pinched bit into the cardboard tube. Fluff until you are happy with the shape of your “flame.”
I’m sorry, guys, but it’s just too funny to me. Bless that man for putting up with my shenanigans.
Back to the southwest sweet potato hash. It’s one of my favorite vegetarian dishes to make. For one, it’s versatile. We like it with rice in a bowl (as shown) or burrito, packed into a quesadilla with some melty jack cheese, or even with some eggs for breakfast (my favorite way to use the leftovers). For another, it’s easy to make. Chop stuff, mix it up, bake it, stir in some extras, and voila. Dinner in just over half an hour. If you chop stuff ahead of time, it comes together even faster.
Yes, it means dealing with a baking dish covered in crusty remains afterward. Onions are awful like that. And don’t get me started on dried-on spinach.
It’s worth it, though. Few things are more delicious than roasted vegetables, and I can never get enough of south-of-the-border-adjacent flavors. I’d make it again for a Meatless Monday meal, but 1) we just had it and 2) it’s my week for dishes. I’m thinking takeout.
Kidding. Maybe. Sort of. We’ll see.
Southwest Sweet Potato Hash
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
handful of baby spinach, roughly chopped (optional)
lime juice (optional)
Preheat oven to 400º. In a large baking dish, toss together sweet potato, pepper, onion, seasonings, and oil until evenly coated. Bake 25-30 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Remove from oven, add beans and spinach, and toss together. Drizzled with lime juice if desired and serve hot over rice, in a quesadilla, or however else sounds good!
New Scotch-Brite Scrubbing Dish Cloths are only $4.99 at Target, but from June 19th to the 25th you can get them for even less by using this Cartwheel discount. You can click here to find more great ideas for how scrubbing power makes cleaning easy! And I’d love to know how you deal with dishes at your house. Do you do them all yourself? Does everyone pitch in? I can’t wait to outsource to my kiddos but they’re not quite tall enough yet. Maybe by next year…