Thursday, January 5, 2012

A backlog of Thrifty Thursdays and Make-do Mondays

Even though I've been off the internet for the past two weeks and the housework has slid while we were on our staycation, I couldn't just completely sit still.

I think I have figured out my Gramma's fried apple pie recipe.  The magic is the filling.  The crusts are just biscuit dough, but I have a few kinks to work out before I post that recipe.

I made two rugs for the bathrooms.

I got 80 lbs of this olefin yarn for around $80 after shipping and handling.  Included in the box were also a few random spools of much higher quality yarn.  I got a 10 lb spool of merino lace ($10 for 10 lbs where normally I would pay $20 or so for less than a lb), there was a baby cake of white flannel, and another spool of sea green lace weight yarn that I don't know the fiber type.  It was a helluva deal.  The problem was I couldn't knit with most of it.  Olefin is the stuff carpet is made of.  It's a double thread with tufts of stuff between and twisted.  Knitting with it caused all kinds of bunching, breaks, and other pains in the rear that made it worthless as far as I was concerned.  I was not happy since the mystery box had been billed as a knitting selection.  The spools of lace yarn more than made up for the price, but I didn't have any idea what to do with these spools of crap.  I refused to throw them away.  

One day I decided to try crocheting with them, and viola!  It worked!  

They were both done similar to granny squares.  I am not an accomplished crocheter by any stretch, so they are asymmetrical and a bit lumpy around the edges, but for tromping on, they work just fine.  

B's birthday is coming up, and he likes to fish.  The problem is he doesn't like toting his backpack when he goes fishing, because he has to take it off to get to his tackle.  A regular tackle box would still have to be set down and picked up constantly, because he likes to walk the shore instead of picking a spot and sticking to it.    He mentioned he was going to go buy a satchel.  I jokingly refer to it as a man-purse.  I offered to make him one.  

I think it turned out pretty good.  It's got two lined interior compartments.  I used remnants of skeins I already had here at the house, so I didn't have to buy yarn.  I used scraps for the lining, and the strap is an old belt that the buckle was broken on.  :-)   I carved the fish toggle out of a scrap of cedar that was left over from when B made my desk. 

And yesterday while I was stomping around the kitchen in a horrible mood, I dropped an egg in the box of my Gramma's cast iron cookware.  I was planning to save the refinishing of the cast iron for summer, because I figured the super dry Texas heat would be almost as good as an oven for expanding the iron and allowing grease to soak in.  There wasn't enough room in my oven for all the pieces.  
But.... the egg changed my mind. 
Before scrubbing

The iron was really rusty.  I wasn't sure I was going to be able to save it or not.  It had been in storage for untold years, and Georgia is so damp everything rusts or rots eventually.  It was also super dusty.  The dust had stuck to the seasoned skillets, meaning I had to strip the top of the seasoning off at the very least.

I used straight vinegar and steel wool.  I could've used a solution of vinegar and water, then let them soak in it overnight.  But where was I going to soak them?  And that would've stripped off all the seasoning making me start from scratch on them.  That is not a prospect I was keen on.  I've tried to season fresh cast iron before, and it just sucked.

Before Scrubbing. 
After scrubbing

After Scrubbing

When they were completely dry, I rubbed them with crisco all over.  (inside, outside, bottoms, handles, everything)  Then I put them in the oven at 250 for three hours or so.  After that, I turned the oven off and let them cool slowly as the oven cooled.  

I think they made an amazing recovery.  I haven't cooked with them, yet, so I don't know how they'll taste or if the seasoning is thick enough.  I  may need to do a few more layers before they're as good as Gramma used to keep them, but I am so tickled that they are going to be usable again.  I was worried that they would be delegated to a nail on the wall and a sad tale of how Gramma used to cook in them.  

I made a teddy bear had for Fin's coming arrival.  He's got all kinds of silly cute clothes, but I wanted to give her something for the new baby, and the yarn was just sitting there staring out at me between the slats of my basket begging to be a teddy bear hat.  

And I thought that I would commemorate the amazing organization of my spice cabinet (temporary though it will assuredly be).  Top right = refills in back, bakings/sweets spices up front as well as baking needs (yeast, baking soda, baking powder).  Middle right = all my savory spices, and bottom is breakfast munchies (granola bars, poptart crisps), and the waffle iron that I was absolutely stoked to get off the counter.  Left top has some baking goodies overflow, and the rest of the left side is dedicated to warm drinks (coffee, tea, cocoa) and their fixin's.  I completely reorganized my pantry, too.  I didn't take pictures of that, but it is equally orderly and segmented.  I know this won't last past the end of January, but at least for a while I can find absolutely everything with ease and precision.  


  1. Busy busy...and this is what you do when you're not working huh? lol Reminds me of myself, only younger and cuter.

  2. I don't know about cuter, I bet Mr John would disagree ;-)

    The iron and organizing the cabinets was after vacation. The rest was to keep me from going nuts from boredom lol!


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