Making do

“Make do, do without, use it up, and wear it out.”

My mother was fond of that old saying, and she put it into practice on a daily basis. No scrap of fabric, not one bite of food, no article of clothing or shoes was ever thrown into the trash. Mom even washed the aluminum foil and reused it over and over again, smoothing out each crease and folding it carefully for the next use. Our plates were so clean when we finished eating that I often wondered at the necessity of washing them. I tried voicing that philosophy to her once, and after receiving “the look”, I vowed to keep that particular opinion to myself from then on as I slaved over the sinkful of dishes.

I am my mother’s daughter, and I hold onto things, and reuse things that other people wouldn’t bother washing. There’s always more where that came from seems to be their philosophy. I do have to admit that when things get crazy in the kitchen, especially when I’m cooking a big holiday meal, I tend to not be quite as careful and toss for convenience sake. And I don’t save every butter and yogurt container the way I used to. I do save a few to put used oil and meat drippings for the trash. I have a hard enough time keeping my purchased plastic containers in order. I surely don’t need to add to the chaos.

There are two large containers of cast-off clothing in the basement to be used as rags for cleaning. If I ever cleaned that much, I would be worn to a frazzle. David just cleaned out his t-shirt supply after I told him I was no longer washing the ones with frayed necks. Well, they make great dust cloths. Ummm, I don’t do much of that either. It’s my least favorite housecleaning chore. I enjoy having a clean house. I just don’t enjoy the path that I have to take to get there.

I’m baking bread today. The aroma is wafting over to the island where I’m sitting at the laptop. We had to buy all new appliances for the new house. I thought we would be able to get by with the old oven for a couple of years, but last month it died. The door would no longer close, so it wouldn’t heat properly. It was a double oven—microwave on top, regular oven on bottom. I really wanted a double oven with two baking units like I had in my remodeled kitchen on Bear Swamp, but that kind wouldn’t fit in the space, plus I didn’t want a microwave taking up valuable counter space. I went with the same type, but with a convection oven on the bottom. I was leery of this move, because the one I had installed in the other house didn’t perform the way I had hoped it would. Pizza crusts didn’t brown on the bottom, trays of cookies didn’t bake evenly, etc. It was a GE Profile. I researched, mostly to read reviews, because all of the brands are so similar that one could easily say eeny-meeny-miney-mo, or play pin the tail on the appliance. The oven I chose is a Whirlpool Gold series. The convection feature works perfectly as far as I can tell, at least a lot better than the GE oven did. I especially love the convection roast feature. It beautifully crisps the skin on chicken, but leaves the meat tender and juicy. I can’t wait to try it on my Thanksgiving turkey.

I realize that I didn’t quite have a point here, but I was thinking about my mom and that started a little reminiscing. Hope you don’t mind.

See you soon.

Susan