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MaryEllen, Author at Imperfect Homemaker | Page 117 of 119

All Posts by MaryEllen

How to Grind Venison in the Food Processor

My husband got two deer this year, his first since we've been married.  That means I got my first experience at helping butcher.  Not exactly what I would call fun, but I'm thankful for the meat.  There are, of course, certain portions of the meat which are only suitable for grinding.  When I was growing up, my dad always had a big meat grinder that he would use.  Since I did not have one, I thought I would just try it in the food processor.  It works!  Quite well, I might add.

After a little trial and error, here is how it worked best:

  • Use the S-shaped steel blade.
  • Only grind a small amount at a time.  Turn the food processor on the highest setting, but be ready to turn it off quickly if the meat is too tough.  If it seems like the machine is struggling, turn it off right away, otherwise you will burn up your motor.  If you are having trouble getting your machine to cut through the meat, you will have to work at cutting away some of the sinew.  See all the white streaks in that piece of meat?  That's what you have to get rid of.  I found that it was actually easier to grind the meat first, and then pick out the white strands, but every once in a while there is some that is too tough and it has to be cut off before you can grind it.
  • It took about 10 seconds to fully grind each small piece.  Bigger pieces took more like 30 seconds.

This is a piece that has already been ground.  Now you need to pick out as much of those white streaks as you reasonably can without spending forever or wasting too much meat.  I wore disposable gloves for this part.

It will look like it has been crushed to smitherines, but once you cook it, it is the perfect consistency.  See?

Now you can use it for spaghetti, chili, or anything else for which you would use regular burger!

I apologize if that was a little gross for you, but I hope it will help someone like me who had no earthly idea how to go about grinding venison.

How to Remove Crayon from Clothing

Preschool Boy + Pockets + Crayons + Washer + Dryer =

Yes, that is one of my daughter's good dresses that is absolutely covered in yellow crayon.  I washed and dried an entire load of kids clothes with a yellow crayon.  Every article of clothing had lovely yellow splotches on it.  Rather than cry, I did a little searching until I came up with what I thought should be the least pain-free way of removing said yellow crayon splotches.
In case you ever find yourself in the same predicament, here are step-by-step instructions for removing crayon from clothing.
  1.  Spray each crayon splotch with WD-40.

2. After you have sprayed the spots, place the clothing into the bathtub with the hottest water you can get.  (It is very important to have your water very hot or you will end up with grease spots on the clothes.)

3.  Let the clothing sit for a few minutes and scrape each spot with your fingernail.  The crayon should come right off, along with some oil from the WD-40.

4. If you have tough spots, re-spray them and scrub them some more with your fingernail.  When you have removed all or most of the spots, put the clothes into the washing machine on the hottest water setting.  Use good laundry detergent like Tide if you can.

5.  You may have to send the load through a couple times and use some good-smelling fabric softener to get rid of the oily smell from the WD-40.

6.  Do not dry any of the clothes until you are sure the crayon marks are gone.  If you have any clothing that still has crayon marks, start over at step 1 and repeat until the crayon marks are gone.

7. NEVER wash a little boy's clothes in the future without checking the pockets!

How to Clean a Burnt Pan

I have been horrible about burning supper lately!  Between trying to nurse the baby, welcome home hubby, take care of a potty-training 2 year old, and who knows what else, my scatter-brain forgets sometimes that dinner is burning away on the stove!  But I've become a professional at cleaning seemingly hopeless pots and pans!  Take for instance the pot in the picture below.  I seriously thought it was done for.  But as you can see in the “after” picture, it's as good as new.

Want to see my secret weapon?

It's called Bar Keeper's Friend, and it be found in the cleaning supplies aisle at Walmart or the grocery store. In my experience it has cleaned anything and everything no matter how hopeless it looks.  Some things require a little more elbow grease than others, but it will still clean things I would otherwise have to throw away.  It costs around $3.99, and it is well worth the money for the headache it saves me.

What's your secret weapon?

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
Do you worship the babe in the manger
But reject the Christ of the cross?
Your redemption comes not by the manger
But the death of Christ on the cross.
If you worship the babe in the manger
But ignore the blood of God's Son
To you Christ is only a stranger
Till you trust the work He has done.
Will you look past the babe in the manger
Will you look to Calvary
Oh my friend can you not see the danger
Of a lost eternity?
The Babe in the manger was God's only Son
Who came to the world to die
The Babe in the manger could never have done
The work of His God on High.
The Babe left the manger and went to the cross
To Pay the wages of sin
Your way of forgiveness is not by the Babe,
But the Christ Who died for your sin.
– W. S. and Mildred Dillon
          If you do not have the assurance of an eternity in Heaven, I urge you to settle it today!  Read this tract that tells you

    how to be 100% sure of Heaven

        . I can think of nothing better to do on Christmas day than to accept the gift that God sent to earth over 2000 years ago!

      2012: One Year of Anti-Procrastination

      Look out 2012! I am challenging myself, not to a day, a week, or even a month; but to a full year of Anti-Procrastination!

      I'd love to have you join me!

      Let me explain what I mean by Anti-Procrastination. You know those crumbs you see when you open the silverware drawer? The messy closet that needs a good straightening? That pair of pants that needs mending? Anything that bugs you every time you see it but that you just never “get around to” is a candidate for an Anti-Procrastination project.

      I really don't know why I procrastinate. I have million excuses that all seem valid, but really most of the time they aren't. “I'm in the middle of making dinner.” “We're getting ready to go out the door.” On and on I could go with the excuses, but they're getting a kick out the door this year. When I see something that needs doing, I'm going to do it right then and there!

      I'm not saying that I plan to start deep cleaning the oven 5 minutes before it's time to go out the door. But those crumbs in the silverware drawer? Ten seconds and they'll be gone!

      Here are my self-imposed rules for Anti-Procrastination Year. You can make up your own rules for how they will best suit your situation.

      1. I must do one thing every day of the entire year. On busy days I can choose a 10 second task like pulling that sock out from under the bed. On slower days I can plan ahead to do something that takes a little longer such as a craft project, deep cleaning, or organizing.
      2. If I start something that takes longer than one day, I must work on the same thing every day until it is completed.
      3. No task should ever take long enough to cause me to forgo my regular housework, cooking, mommy time with the kids, etc. If a task is taking too long it must be continued the next day.
      4. An Anti-Procrastination task is any task above and beyond my normal housework schedule. It can consist of cleaning, crafts, decorating, or anything else that I want. It can be something that really needs to be done or just something fun that I've been putting off until just the right time.

      I'm sure I'll think of more rules as I get into this. I've already been trying to do one thing every day even though it's not 2012 yet (I decided not to procrastinate starting on Anti-Procrastination Year!). So far I've changed out my fall wreaths for the Christmas wreaths, pulled a sock out from behind the bed, and got rid of a pair of shoes.

      I plan to post an update once a week of what I've been able to accomplish. I'm taking the plunge and publishing this so that I will be forced to be accountable for the entire year.

      Please cheer me on, and join me in the challenge if you're up to it!

      Mashed Potato Soup Recipe

      I really wasn't planning on posting this because I honestly just threw some stuff in the crockpot trying to use up leftovers. But it turned out so well that I have to post it so I can remember what I did. I thought some of my readers might like to have a recipe that uses up leftover mashed potatoes and tastes delicious!

      Here's what I did:

      Half a crockpot full of leftover mashed potatoes
      4 cups of chicken broth
      1 cup of chopped carrots
      1 large head of broccoli
      6 slices of bacon, cooked and cut into small pieces

      Mix it all together and cook on low for 4-5 hours.

      When it's all done the mashed potatoes just sort of melt into the liquid making an incredibly thick and creamy soup. This is honestly the best potato soup I've ever made!

      I'm linking this post to Real Food Wednesday.