A Rueben Sandwich and for the love of all things German


For ten months we kicked it. Not gentle nudges with our toes but BAM, BAM, BAM. Horse kicks they were, kind of like The Fonz from Happy Days getting his juke box started but in a far more threatening manner. It was the only way. The Macine wouldn’t start otherwise and we still needed to do washing. So that’s how each load of washing would start. A firm kick (or twenty) to the door and we were away.

I knew we were doing things a little differently when playing out in the courtyard one afternoon, a little baby leg swung towards our washing machine as she went passed. It’s what she had always seen, that’s what you did to washing machines. We kept kicking at it until finally the day came and The Machine wouldn’t cough up my clothing. I tried, I yanked, I pretended I didn’t care. I pressed all the buttons, and left it until the next day. The next day The Machine decided to start again, but not before it had washed the same load for about 3 hours. Given that I could now see what looked like chocolate milk water in there, I seriously doubted whether my machine still held a committment to cleaning my clothes. Finally he coughed open the door, in an over the top Italian soccer player dramatic manner. Pahh! Have your clothes lady!

I silently picked the filthy clothes up, took them back inside and closed the door. Half an hour later I had bought a new machine online, with it being delivered the next day, (benefits of living in a big city).

Now, I had already done all my washing machine research last year when the kicking had begun, I knew what I wanted. I had read all the reviews and had thoroughly crossed my computer eyes, making Mr Chocolate’s ears bleed at the continued conversation over what machine to get. I’d done all of that. I had just been biding my time until The Machine ย finally died.

9.10am the next day and The German* arrived. Delivered all bright and shiny, and with this would be living inside. Inside! I can’t tell you how exciting that is after 13 years of shared outside laundries. Sure. I don’t have great access to my cooking pots now, BUT I do have a washing machine inside, and if you don’t mind I think I’ll go take my German inspired lunch** and go watch another load go round.


** Ok, so the Rueben Sandwich has got nothing to do with Germany, but it does have sauerkraut in it, and there will be more on that in another post soon.


Vegetarian Reuben Sandwich




fried egg

swiss cheese



31 thoughts on “A Rueben Sandwich and for the love of all things German

  1. congratulations on your new purchase brydie..i can relate really well to your story..my washing machine started playing up while i was renovating so i resolved to put up with it until the new laundry was ready and i could buy a new one..it was outside under cover and because it wouldn’t fill i used a hose and i had to manually turn the knob otherwise it would wash and wash and heat and heat until it boiled the clothes..it didn’t last til the laundry renovations were completed though so i used the laundromat for several months..it’s quite funny looking back but at the time it was a real pain in the proverbial..x


  2. Congrats on the new purchase and it does sound like you got every last bit of life out of your old machine. I do wonder how it is that old machines respond so well to a good strong kick. The sandwich looks very good! xx


  3. I wonder if, in the planned obsolescence, manufacturers plan a washing machine’s death? My last one died in a similar way, my new(er) one is the current love of my life.


  4. The sandwich does look very good.
    WAshing machines should live inside and only wash one families clothes, imo.
    After some years of laundromat and shared washers, I have become quite exclusive- and notice also that the clothes are much cleaner.
    Glad you got a new one and the baby doesn’t have to kick it!


  5. The death of a washer can be a very complex matter when one has small children. I remember one of mine abdicating all responsibility for clean clothes after the birth of my second child (who vomited all over his clothes several times a day) sending me into something akin to a minor existential crisis when I was unable to hover expectantly at the laundry door several times a day. Fortunately the white goods store was prompt with my new laundry partner or things could have gotten very ugly ….


  6. It is funny how confident the German manufacturers are of the capabilities of their appliances. We had a Miele dishwasher fitted, it short circuited the wiring in our newly built house, we rang them and they were so dumbfounded (“this never happens”, says the Miele man, shaking his head and scratching his scalp) that they sent it to Germany for testing. They replaced it with a new one and I anticipate there will be no kicking for 20 years…or so they say ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. Your story made me laugh as my washing machine is currently in its final throws of life. I don’t have to kick it, but it jumps about unnervingly and makes strange noise during the cycle. We have horribly hard water hear and I’m suspecting it is lime scaled up. I am trying a old school technique at the moment of a cap full of vinegar in every wash to try and clear it. No fancy water softening tablets for me…

    Mine is a Bosch too, but it has given nine years of service before becoming a little troublesome.


  8. What a relief to have a reliable machine Brydie- and no kicking! ๐Ÿ™‚ I really like sauerkraut but haven’t tried to make my own yet, I’d love to hear your recipe.


  9. Brydie, I can’t wait to read your sauerkraut post. I made corned beef last week and it was crying out for some! Our machine died too last year. We didn’t even get a kicking stage. It simply unceremoniously coughed, spluttered and died on a day when I had 5 loads of washing piled up down the hallway.
    In my student days I rented a house with ‘washing facilities’ which turned out to be a huge copper boiler and ridged clothes-rubbing board. Seriously! I love all things vintage, but the novelty of that ritual wore thin after about 2 days… Give me whitegoods any day. Hope you’re enjoying The German.


    • hehehe Saskia that’s hilarious. Washing facilities to wash your bonnets, starched linens and aprons?
      Sauerkraut I’m on to my second batch…oh sooo easy my dear. Your corned beef need not be tearful any more ๐Ÿ™‚


  10. That image of a baby leg going out to kick the washing machine is wonderful. Not as wonderful, though, as your new machine – and the knowledge that she can grow up realising that machines don’t need kicking after all! Have fun with your new, well behaved toy ๐Ÿ™‚


  11. we once had our washing machine in the courtyard – I have a feeling it was a hand-me-down but I don’t remember kicking it. it was probably more a useful addition to the courtyard for placing beer somewhere at parties (it was in those days!) Your preparedness for your machine kicking the bucket (ha ha) is impressive – nothing like a dodgy machine to make you appreciate a shiny new machine – enjoy!


  12. Congratulations and great choice! We did our own DIY service on my 10 year old machine last night and unblocked the pump, put it back together, put a load on, then it blew up! Hubby drove to Canberra today (2 hour drive each way) and brought a bigger eco efficient one home…it short circuited the house tonight. Your reuben looks delicious. I wish I could bake sourdough like you.


  13. Pingback: how to make sauerkraut | Cityhippyfarmgirl

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