Something just popped into my head the other day ; the Brillo pad. I am not sure if they even make them anymore. My home has all non-stick pots and pans and plastic, too, so sponges with a scouring pad and a brush with nylon bristles it is.
But, coming up in my family, we, (meaning me) were very familiar with and fond of the Brillo pad. It could save a fingernail or two on hard to clean messes. It could also save you soaking time.
My favorite was the first use of the Brillo pad. It had a lovely pink coating of what I could only imagine must be a cleaning agent. It looked like a giant frosted wheat square before it hits the milk.
I remember getting the brillo pad wet to get it ready for it’s shift with the pots and pans. I also remember getting a few metal slivers in my fingers from pressing it so hard to clean the mess of the day. And, if the Brillo pad was left at the edge of the stainless steel sink, undisturbed for a few days, a little pile of rust would be under it when it was disturbed again.
One time I left a metal mesh strainer used to strain spaghetti out after using it. The starch dried all over the entire surface. Well, this tough mess seemed like the perfect job for the Brillo pad. I scrubbed and scrubbed. Success. And into the dish drainer to dry.
I used the strainer a few days later while making macaroni and cheese, the boxed kind, for the family. As we sat down to eat, I could see little black specks all over the macaroni and cheese. I knew I hadn’t added any spices. I recall my father had gotten in a bite or two before he boomed “What the hell is in here!”. In the end, I figured out having used the Brillo pad on a wire mesh strainer was a very bad idea. The Brillo pad had broken apart while being scrubbed against the wire strainer, leaving it’s little metal pieces behind.
Yes, the Brillo pad. Funny what gets tied into our childhood memories.