Quantcast
MaryEllen, Author at Imperfect Homemaker - Page 119 of 120

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!

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!

5 Steps to Follow When You’re Overwhelmed with the Housework

5 Steps to follow when you're overwhelmed with the housework @mbream

Are you overwhelmed by a messy house?  Sometimes it seems like no matter how hard you've tried, things have somehow gotten out of hand.  It's all so overwhelming that you don't know where to start – so you don't do anything.  You know that's not a great way to handle it, don't you?  I've been there many, many times.  But I've learned a little secret and I'll share it with you.

Here are 5 simple steps to follow when you're overwhelmed with the housework:

1. Put one thing away.

2. Put another thing away.

3. Put another thing away.

4. Put another thing away.

5. Put another thing away.

 

Profound, huh? Yet this is what I do when I feel like the house is getting out of control. By putting just 5 things away, I am amazed at how much better that kitchen counter looks, and I'm then ready to “just finish cleaning this one counter”. But then that counter looks so good, I want the opposite counter to match, and it only takes a few minutes. I start getting on a roll, and before I know it, quite a bit has gotten done. It doesn't take long for me to realize things weren't as bad as I thought.

Try it next time you think the house is hopelessly messy!

 

10 Reasons Every Homemaker Can Rejoice

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

These are the words of which the Lord kept reminding me.

He reminded me in the middle of the night as my fussy newborn refused to sleep.
He reminded as I cleaned up a {lovely} mess including a perfectly clean diaper and a not-so-clean bed after my toddler's nap.
He reminded me as my tired body ached for a nap and the phone kept ringing.
He reminded me as I finally drifted off to sleep and I heard a little boy's voice calling to me “Mommy, come wipe me!”
He reminded me as my husband came home from work (late again) and informed me that he'll be working 6 days a week for at least the next month. (“No! I'm so tired, and I need your help! I don't want you to be away! I don't want you to be tired because then I don't feel like I can ask you to help me!”)

It's okay. “Rejoice in the Lord!”

WHY should a worn-out homemaker rejoice in the Lord???

Well, there are at least a hundred reasons, but I'll keep it brief and just list 10:
(And can I encourage you to actually read all the words of the verses instead of just skimming over them (cough.  like I know I sometimes do.)  I promise they will be a blessing to you!

1. I'm saved!
Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

2. God is molding me to be more like Christ (Whom I shall see someday soon!)
1 Peter 1:6-9 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:  Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

3. I don't have to worry about my problems – I can take them to the Lord in prayer.
 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 Rejoice evermore.  Pray without ceasing.

4. I have peace with God and complete access to Him through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

5. I have the complete Word of God to guide me, rebuke me, and comfort me.
Psalm 119:162 I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.

6. God knows all that my day will hold, and he will give me the grace for each moment.
Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

7. My God is holy and he will never allow anything unjust to happen.
Psalm 97:12 Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

8. God is in control of the universe (including my life!)
Psalm 97:1 The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.

9. The God of the universe is MY helper!
Psalm 63:7 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

10. Rejoicing is a result of being filled with the Spirit – a state in which I need to be all the time!
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Are there little things piling up that are threatening to steal your joy? Think on the positive, and find reasons to rejoice!

You may also like:

Why the Bad Days are Really the Best Days | Christian Motherhood

For the Homemaker Who Never Has Enough Time

Letting Go of Homemaker's Guilt | Christian Homemaking

Sick Mommy With Toddlers

 

Helpful hints for when mom is sick and the kids are running around
What do you do when you're sick but your ever-so-active toddlers are doing just dandy?! Here are some things that I do to make a sick day go as smoothly as possible.

1. Set simple goals.
I don't kick myself if I don't do any laundry. Depending on how sick I am, I don't even let myself feel guilty if I don't cook supper. That's what peanut butter sandwiches and cereal are for.

2.Focus only on basic needs.
Feed the kids and change their diapers. Don't feel like you have to do any more than that.

3. Try to think of simple things to feed the kids that are easy to clean up.
Peanut butter sandwiches aren't bad; all you need to do is put away the peanut butter, jelly, and bread and put the plates in the dishwasher when they're done. No mess created; not too terribly difficult for momma.  You may also want to have some stuff on hand that they can get out completely independently.  We like GoGo Squeez fruit at our house.

4. Keep the kids in one room as much as possible.
I put the kids in one of their bedrooms where they can play with toys. I sit in the chair or lay on my son's bed while they play. If I try to go to sleep in my own bedroom, they'll be all over the house doing who-knows-what. If I keep them in one room, they aren't able to be (terribly) destructive.

5. Keep special activities on hand that they only get to play with when you really need them to stay occupied. 

By doing these things, I am able to keep the kids from creating horrible messes that my husband will have to clean up when he comes home. It also helps keep me from getting depressed about having a messy house on top of being physically sick.

What are some things you would suggest to mothers of toddlers when they're sick?

(You may also like the post “How to Survive When You're in Survival Mode“)