Follow up post from yesterday’s Debby Downer post about everything breaking and going wrong in my world.
Recently, I’ve noticed that I’m using a lot of “Old School” gadgets around the house (some because things have broken and some because of choice) and instead of feeling like I’m missing out on newfangled, modern technologies, I’m LOVING it. Let me show you some things I’m trying out.
Our vacuum cleaner broke the other day. Luckily it was just a belt so it was fixable for about $12. While I was complaining about my busted vacuum to my friend Beth, she mentioned that she uses a motor-less sweeper most of the time in her home. I thought it might be a good thing for me to try, since it takes up very little space, makes no noise (Jack runs from the big vacuum), is super light, and doesn’t require the added step of plugging in a cord (then trying not to vacuum over it).
This sweeper was only $30, and I have to say that I love it. Jack loves to sweep with it, so we left off one of the handle pieces to make it short for him. I’m really impressed with how well it picks up the dirt. Even the dusty dirt is picked up. I’ll still use my big sweeper every once in a while, but this is great for quick clean up jobs.
Shortly before our microwave busted, we decided to get some cast iron to use. I have one 8” (I think, maybe it’s 10”) skillet and it has become the ONLY skillet I use anymore. I love the *mostly* even heat –I think it’d be more even if my burner was more evenly heating. I also love that I can use ANY utensil on it and it won’t ruin it. I reheat everything in it, and it always stays on my stovetop, because I know it’s going to be used every day.
This skillet was only $19 and it came pre seasoned, so it was ready to go. The only part I had a problem with was the cleaning, and this was solved after a few searches on the WWW. I found the best way to clean cast iron is to scrape it out under hot water, then sprinkle salt and oil in the pan, scrub it out with a sponge, then rinse with hot water. It makes it amazingly clean. I’ve actually heard about the oil cleansing method for skin, and after seeing how well it cleans my pan, I believe it would work well.
By now, I can assume you all know I use cloth diapers. I LOVE them. When my mother-in-law (via my sister-in-law) taught me about using cornstarch for diaper rash, I fell even more in love with cloth diapers. They don’t leak if used correctly, I can count the number of blowouts we’ve had in 2 and a half years on one hand, and they are so darn adorable. Even the plain ones I use. I was nervous when I started, but I’m so glad I did, and I won’t ever go back to disposable if I can help it. I love the money we’ve saved.
Since we don’t have a microwave, I had to figure out a new way to make popcorn. After looking up some recipes (yes, I looked up “how to cook popcorn” recipes online), I found out how easy it is to cook popcorn on your stovetop. And, of course, it’s super cheap! I grew up with an electric popcorn popper, then we graduated to using the microwave, so I missed out on actually popping popcorn on the stove in our own pans. Rick laughed at me when I told him I finally learned how to make popcorn ‘from scratch’.
This is the best popcorn recipe I’ve found because it gives some techniques on how to make a really great, slightly salty popcorn. It works every time. I have also been trying to perfect a kettlecorn recipe, but so far I’m ending up with burned, sugary popcorn and a burned arm. I’ll get back to working on this later. Don’t be fooled though, I’m totally enjoying the mistake batches.
So, even though my world is breaking down around me, I’m enjoying some of the new “old school” ways of doing things these days. For everything that breaks, there’s a new learning experience to be had. See, I told you I’m a pretty optimistic person.