Food, Kitchen

Okra

Yesterday I decided to make some fried okra in the air fryer for my lunch, since I had some cut okra in the freezer.

I found a recipe on the Southern Living website here. I altered the recipe and just used cornmeal without flour, and no paprika, and garlic salt instead of garlic powder. I used garlic salt because I had no onion salt, which is what I usually use with pepper when frying okra. I mainly wanted a recipe so I would know at what temperature and for how long to cook the okra in the air fryer.

The okra turned out pretty well, but I couldn’t taste the garlic salt. It was fairly peppery though. I was all set to take a photo of the okra in the air fryer before I cooked it, except The Hubs needed my help outside and when I got back in the house I forgot about taking photos. Here is a photo of the okra after I ate most of it:

It was pretty good.

Next time I might do the recipe like it’s written and see how that tastes!

Cool Stuff, Home, Home Care, Kitchen, Success!

New Machines

We received our new air fryer yesterday. We have never had one before and wanted to try it out, so we put some two-day-old apple cider donuts in it at 350 degrees for 4 minutes.

New air fryer.

The donuts turned out quite well. They were warm and the sugar on the outside of the donuts didn’t melt, but stayed nice and crunchy. Here is a photo of…well, part of a donut after it came out of the air fryer:

Erm…oops, I ate them.

I might put them in for only three minutes if we do it again.

We got the air fryer because someone brought one to The Hubs’s work, and after he cooked a piece of pizza in it he decided that it would be good to have one as the pizza came out crispy and delicious. I have looked at recipes for cooking frozen chicken breast and fried okra in the air fryer so far. I think we (well, I) will be having okra for lunch today. Yum-O!

I also bought myself a Roomba robot vacuum cleaner. I have been wanting one for quite awhile and found this nice one on the Kohl’s website, on sale with a 40% off the last sale price coupon.

Roomba.

It isn’t the fanciest one they make, but it does have the capacity to empty its dirt bin by itself if I bought the attachment for that, which I may. You can control it from your phone, and once I finally got that set up I let it out into the living room and it cleaned and cleaned, but then took itself back to its charging station because the dirt bin was full. I was overdue on vacuuming myself and decided that I had better vacuum the carpets thoroughly before letting the Roomba go, just so it wouldn’t fill up its bin so quickly and would keep on cleaning. It rolled around back and forth from my office to the living room, and certainly picked up a lot of dirt. I plan to have it go again today, and maybe set it to go every Monday or Tuesday!

Antiquing, Cool Stuff, Decor, Home, Kitchen, Success!, VIntage

Eggbeater!

I looked in some storage bins this last week in order to consolidate things, and found this vintage eggbeater I had bought awhile back. I completely forgot about it! I think I put it away because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it.

I like green-handled vintage kitchen implements because my kitchen color theme is green. The green theme came from this green secretary desk I bought at a second-hand store a few years ago.

Vintage Secretary Desk – chippy and shabby

I asked The Hubs to figure out how to hang the eggbeater on the wall with my other kitchen things, and he decided to make a hook:

Eggbeater hook.

Eggbeater on hook.

Here it is on the wall with some of the other vintage kitchen things. The ads for canned fruit and cookies came out of a 1922 Ladies Home Journal. All I need now is a vintage rolling pin with green handles and my wall will be complete! Well, maybe… 😃

DIY, Furniture, Home, Kitchen, Projects

Chair Project, Finally!

I used to see these chairs in the upstairs room at church when I would run the projection. When our church bought the building, it was bought with everything included down to the spatulas in the kitchen, and I think the upstairs room had just been used as storage. At the time I was using my grandparents’ 1950s colonial maple dining table and chairs, and those chairs were not very comfortable. I longed for sturdy kitchen chairs with flat seats, and I kept seeing these and thinking they would be perfect.

One day the assistant pastor let me know he needed to go through the stuff in the upstairs room and get rid of some things, and I asked him if I could buy the chairs. He said, “Five bucks each?” and I said, “Sold!” and so they came home with me. I’m pretty sure they still had the original fabric (probably from the 1920s or ’30s) on the seats, it was old and dirty and worn through around the edges. I’m not sure why, but I put the chairs in my kitchen and didn’t recover the seats for a couple of years, but finally I bought some cheap quilted muslin to cover them just to make them look better.

A little later on we bought this table for $20 to go with the chairs. Our kitchen doesn’t have a large space for dining and two chairs and a round table are just right.

Table and Cat

The plan for the table is to paint the bottom/legs the same color as the chairs, and strip and stain the top a dark walnut and then put some heavy-duty spar varnish on it to protect it from glass rings and spills. I think it is an antique oak table underneath the heavy brown paint, but I don’t want to go with the usual “orange” oak color. We have enough of that in the kitchen floors and countertop edging, as you can see. Hopefully that will change someday.

The chairs are too dinged up to refinish, so I plan to paint them a nice, clean off-white. The fabric store was having a good online sale and I was able to get a great deal on some stain-resistant outdoor fabric that goes with my kitchen’s green theme. It’s a little bright, but it should look good for years to come. The lighter-colored chairs and table legs will brighten up that side of the kitchen considerably.

I started this morning by removing the seats from the chairs and putting the screws in Ziploc bags. I numbered the chairs, the seats, and the bags of screws so I would know which seat and screws went to which chair. Sometimes it does matter which one goes to which!

You can see that the chair above has some veneer missing on the back. There are some other chunks missing around the edges here and there, so I got out the wood filler and filled the areas as best I could. I will go out and sand the chairs as soon as the wood filler has dried completely.

You can use a putty knife to apply wood filler.
But sometimes it just works better to use your fingers.

Stay tuned for the next episode in the chair saga!

Home, Home Care, Kitchen

It Has To Be Done

Image from herway.net

Greetings, young adults! Is washing dishes your favorite chore? Of course not! But is it important for your health, the maintenance of your kitchenware, and the tidiness of your home? I’m pretty sure you’d say it is. These instructions will show you what you need and how to quickly wash your dishes and kitchenware to keep it all clean and germ-free. (That is, if you don’t have an automatic dishwasher. If you have a dishwasher, you should use it. It works much better than washing dishes by hand.)

First, gather your supplies. Start with a sturdy dish brush with a scraper on it. Buy some rubber gloves if you have sensitive skin. Then you will need a dish drainer, a clean dishcloth, clean dish towels, some dish soap (like Dawn), and bleach. If you have a one-basin sink you will want a clean dishpan. Since you will put bleach in the water you use to wash your dishes, you will also want an apron or old sweater to wear in case you splash. Have two scrubby sponges on hand, one blue and one pink (or at least two different colors of some sort), so you can tell which one is for dishes and which one is for the sink. Have some disinfecting cleanser (like Soft Scrub with bleach) to scrub your sink, and keep some paper towels and disinfecting spray cleaner around to get your counters all spiffied up after you’re done with the dishes. Your broom and dustpan will also come in handy.

Before washing the dishes, use your dish brush to scrape bits of food off the dishes/pots/et cetera and into the garbage disposal or trash can.  If you scrape stuff into the garbage disposal, run the disposal for a minute with hot water to grind everything up and wash it down. Do not put eggshells or things that would be hard to grind up in the garbage disposal. (Eggshells will clog your drains. Trust me, they will.) Rinse the dishes well before stacking them on the counter to get ready to wash. Never stack dishes with chunks of food on them. You do not want bits of food and other debris in your wash water when you are washing your dishes!

Prepare your sink using your blue scrubby sponge and disinfecting cleanser. You wouldn’t take a bath in a dirty bathtub, because that would be gross. So would washing your dishes in a dirty sink! Sprinkle or squirt a generous amount of cleanser in the sink and give it a good scouring all around (both basins, if you have two). Don’t forget the sides and corners. Rinse out your sink, then rinse off and squeeze out your sponge and put it away where it can dry quickly.

Survey your rinsed dirty dishes and kitchenware. Find the dirtiest items – probably a pot, or a pan that used to be full of lasagna, or anything that might have hard-to-remove gunk left on it after scraping with your brush. Get out your pink scrubby sponge and use it to scrub as many food scraps off your dirtiest dishes as possible. Anything especially icky (like a cutting board or knife that had raw meat on it) should be scrubbed with your dish brush and a little bit of dish soap, and then rinsed before putting it in the wash water. If you need to scrub out a stainless-steel pot, a cleanser called Cameo works well. Rinse your scrubbed dishes and set them aside. Then rinse your pink sponge out and put it away near the blue sponge.

Now put some dish soap in your sink basin or dishpan and fill it with water as hot as you can stand. Add a dollop of bleach to the clean water to help sanitize your dishes. Whirl the water around until there are plenty of suds. Get out your dishcloth and put it in the soapy water. Note that you are using a clean dishcloth, not one that has been sitting around on your sink collecting germs and who-knows-what.  Neither are you using a dirty old sponge, or the dish brush. The dish brush is for scraping only.  We’re using a sponge for scrubbing, and a clean, germ-free cloth for washing.

Survey your dirty dishes once again. Pick out the least-dirty dishes this time, probably the glasses. Wash these in your suds with your dishcloth. Run hot water from the faucet into your other sink basin (or next to your dishpan) to rinse, and put the glasses in the dish drainer. Next, do the plates and bowls. Remember to wash all sides of each dish, because the backs get dirty too. Wash and rinse your plates and bowls and put them in the dish drainer.

If you are washing sharp knives, place them in the sink or dishpan with the blades all facing away from you. This way you know where the handles are so you can pick them up safely out of the suds to wash them. When washing a knife, ball the dishcloth up for safety so you have some more cloth between your hand and the knife blade while you are washing it. After you have washed the knives, put them in the dish drainer, points down.

 Next, tackle the silverware. Pay special attention to each piece of silverware so you won’t find something yucky between the tines when you take a fork out of the drawer later. Wash, rinse, and place the silverware in the dish drainer. Finally, you’re going to come to the dirty dishes you scrubbed earlier. Scrub them even more thoroughly with your dishcloth until they are shiny. You’ve probably run out of room in the dish drainer by now, so place your washed and rinsed pot and lasagna dish on a dishtowel on your counter.

It’s now time to dry the dishes. Get your dish towel and start with the glasses and cups. If any cups or bowls nest together, make sure they are completely dry before nesting or germs might grow in the dampness between them. Then dry the plates and other dishes, silverware, knives, and pots and pans. Put everything away in its place in your kitchen.

Finish your dishwashing task by drying and putting away the dish drainer (unless you are a person who keeps it on the counter beside the sink all the time, that’s okay too), and hanging up your dish towel(s). Wring out your dishcloth and hang it somewhere in the laundry area to dry before putting it into the hamper. Wipe all your kitchen counters and your stovetop with your disinfecting spray and paper towels. Mop up all the water from the back of the sink, wipe off the backsplash, and wipe down the faucet. Wipe up any spills from the floor with a paper towel or rag. After your counters are clean and your floor is wiped, get your broom and dustpan and sweep the whole kitchen floor.  Don’t forget the dining area floor if you have one.

That is the end. This simple task should preferably be done every day, or at least whenever there is a jumble of dishes on your counter.

Wasn’t that easier than you thought it would be? Now your parents are proud of you, your roommates are happy with you, and you can be proud and happy too, knowing everything in your kitchen is clean, tidy, and well-maintained!