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Originally published Friday, September 13, 2013 at 12:27 PM

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The kitchen sink is Nancy Leson’s stainless-steel dream

She can tick off all the new appliances that failed in one way or the other within two years of installation. But that workhorse of a sink and all its accouterments take alickin’ in the kitchen.

Seattle Times food writer

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THE FIRST TIME my pal Mark walked into my kitchen he put his hand over his heart, shielded his eyes and shouted, “No! No! Don’t do this to me!”

He’d been staring at my kitchen sink. And it brought back memories. Bad ones.

As a youth, Mark spent way too much time standing behind a sink just like it — stainless steel, dual compartments, pre-wash spray nozzle — at Ruby Chow’s, his parents’ iconic Seattle restaurant. “That sink gives me nightmares,” he said.

For me it’s a dream come true.

It’s been four years since my husband and I transformed our old galley kitchen into a dining area, and the small dining room adjacent to it into a compact kitchen styled after a restaurant. Ask us which among our heavy equipment we love the most and there’s no contest: it’s that sink.

I can tick off all the new appliances that failed in one way or the other within two years of installation, necessitating a visit from Mr. Appliance and his toolbox-toting brethren: the Bosch dishwasher (not draining properly, $170.59); the Amana refrigerator whose drawer freezer died on us (parts and labor $324.86); the Blue Star range with the faulty oven door (replaced for free after great delay).

But that workhorse of a sink and all its accouterments, purchased at Dick’s Restaurant Supply for a grand total of a grand? Takes a lickin’, keeps on tickin’.

Mac’s crazy for the Fisher spray-nozzle with its swiveling spring-action gooseneck. I like the footlong swing spout between the sturdy control valves — easily pushed aside when I fill my ginormous canning pot with water. Unlike our original faucet, replaced several times over several years, this one doesn’t leak.

Having lived for 15 years picking food scraps out of a perforated sink strainer and dreaming of the day I’d have a garbage disposal, I’ve got a soft spot for our industrial-strength Waste King. Yes, it’s eaten a few errant teaspoons. Who cares? It works like a charm. As does this Martha Stewart recipe for Everything But the Kitchen Sink Cookies.

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Cookies

Makes about 20

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats

¾ cup sweetened shredded coconut

¾ cup toffee bits

¾ cup roughly chopped dark chocolate

¾ cup dried cherries

¾ cup roughly chopped pecans

¾ cup roughly chopped salted pretzels

Nonstick cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and both sugars. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Stir in vanilla.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low, gradually add to the butter mixture; continue mixing until well combined. Add the oats, coconut, toffee, chocolate, cherries, pecans and pretzels and mix on low until just combined.

4. Using a 2-ounce ice-cream scoop, drop batter (about a golf-ball-sized scoop) onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Press tops down with the bottom of a glass, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, to flatten cookies evenly. Bake until golden, 12 to 14 minutes.

Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Nancy Leson is The Seattle Times’ food writer. Reach her at nleson@seattletimes.com. John Lok is a Times staff photographer.

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