There I was, staying at the idyllic Bramblewick Cottage in Yorkshire, and I found that not only is the countryside around it idyllic, but also the kitchen within it was too.
Yes, the kitchen. With its Aga, its Lake District slate, its Fisher and Paykel larder fridge-freezer…. and its plate dryer aka washing up rack.
Sad enthusiasm about a plate rack
Now, I never expected to get excited about a plate dryer (I know, I need to get a life), and I HATE WASHING UP, but this one got me full of enthusiasm.
Why the Joseph Joseph Extend is so good
Because of the way it’s designed you can put anything, any shape into it. And if you don’t want it to take up too much room on your draining board you keep it small, if you need more drying space, you can extend it.
Just how revolutionary is it?
A major discovery! “I’m a pioneer”, I thought fondly to myself. And then I watched an episode … or three… well, yes, a box set binge, of Grace and Frankie. And there it was, what I then, after a couple of days of happy use, considered to be MY plate dryer, in the kitchen of Grace, the perfect woman. Was I, I wondered, in fact the last person in the world to find out the best equipment for drying my washing up? I lapsed into petulance…. “why are the Americans always the first to get to anything? If it’s not the moon, then it’s plate racks…”.
To reassure myself I hit Google Images. Slowly hundreds of images of traditional plate drainers, dish dryers or whatever they called, revealed themselves. Not too late then.
In depth research on plate racks…. by others
And then I found a couple of bloggers who had done a really serious, thorough study on plate racks. Their report was based on 70 hours of research, interviews with two industrial designers, a process of winnowing a field of 96 dish racks across four categories, and carrying out the equivalent of 39 loads of dishes in the process of revising for a further 2016. It can’t have been a labour of love….whatever it was, it was certainly above and beyond the call of duty. Here is the link to their, lengthy, report. No point reinventing the wheel!
The interesting thing, though, is that their top pick is another, traditional-style rack. They mention the Joseph Joseph expandable (my ‘discovery’)… and say:
“We wanted to love the Joseph Joseph Extend…..You can also choose to let water run out the spout or cover the opening with the included drain cap if you’d rather just let it air-dry or the orientation doesn’t work for your counter. Unfortunately, that option means the drainage area is full of small nooks and crannies that look like they’re just begging for a new mold colony, which knocked this out of the potential first-runner-up spot. There aren’t many reviews yet to see whether anyone has had this issue, but we’ll be long-term testing this model to see if we want to change our minds.”
So I contacted Joseph Joseph, and this is what their very helpful product technologist had to say in response:
Unfortunately mould will grow on items that are kept in a damp environment and this is something that cannot be overcome by manufacturing processes. We recommend that the Extend is washed once a week (dismantled) with an antibacterial spray to prevent a build up of mould spores.
“Some kitchens are more prone to mould than others, but we’ve had very little feedback in relation to mouldy Extends!”
Experience of Saucy Dressings
Nothing daunted, I was so impressed with the Bramblewick black version, that I bought the white version for myself. A few months on now and I can confirm no more mould has appeared on this rack than on any other I’ve ever had to grapple with. But I still find the advantages considerable.
Where to get this plate rack
Anyone interested in renting Bramblewick Cottage should go to the Unique Home Stays website.
Music to wash up to
Below is the title music to Grace and Frankie.