Sunday, June 23, 2013

Good News, Readers!

Sorry I've been gone so long, readers.  I've been moving 2000+ miles across the country, back to my hometown of Kalamazoo.  If you think about it, that seems very houewifey, does it not?  Take Rex's grandma for example:  she grew up in Kalamazoo, had all her kids here, had all her grand kids here, and then died here.  Isn't that kind of the fifties ideal?  Family all around all the time?  So HA - my life choices reflect my blog morals.  Zap.  Rex and I will now be around both my family and his family as much as we want to (and very possibly more than we want I'm having visions of the mother-in-law on Everybody Loves Raymond.  You know, the one who pops in all the time and is totally nuts?  Ha ha...  My in-laws aren't like that.  Hopefully.  ;-)    Anyway, living zillions of miles from family (and in LAS VEGAS, no less) didn't seem very June Cleaver, but now I'm back.  You may breathe a sigh of relief.

I'm so happy that I'll be able to ask for cooking/cleaning help whenever I need it.  Already my mother-in-law taught me how to do dishes correctly.  Apparently there's a spinny thing in there that needs to be able to spin.  Who knew?  If it's not spinning, your dishes aren't getting cleaned right.  Now my dishes are sparkly every time.  Also, the good news for you is that I now have access to my mom-in-law's EXTENSIVE collection of fifties homemaking books.  That should yield many more blog posts.  Also, my mom bought me some awesome fifties books at the library book sale.  I already learned something from the first book:  "New brides often use too warm of water when baking bread.  The best temperature of water to activate the yeast is about 85 degrees.  Anything higher than 90 will scorch it."  THAT was my problem on my last batch of bread!  The yeast didn't rise properly, and I was so confused.  Little did I know that I had scorched it!  Poor yeast....  Sorry about that, little guy.  I didn't mean to kill you.  I'll do better next time.

One of my mother-in-law's books is from the department of Homeland Defense in 1960.  It's about how to make a bomb shelter in your back yard in the event that we were to get nuked by the "crazy commies."  It even says how much radiation your livestock can be exposed to without yielding poisonous meat!  Cool, huh?  Expect a post on that soon.  :-)

So anyway, it's good to be back.  I'm sure this blog will be far less neglected now that I have a constant stream of fodder for it.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Stovetop Shame

I did a lot of cooking this week, but I didn't do a lot of cleaning.  I finally decided to clean my kitchen today, and I was disgusted by what I saw on my stove top.  You're going to be disgusted too.  Only proceed to the pictures below if you have a strong stomach and are feeling non-judgmental:

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWW!!!  I KNOW, okay?  I KNOW.  It's gross.  I shouldn't have let it get that bad.  I deserve to have my wife card taken away.  I deserve to be the star of a new reality show called "The Health Department Condemned My Apartment."  I know.   I'm sorry.  My range has always been kind of stained and yucky looking, but never this bad.  It needed an extreme makeover - range edition.

The bright side of this all is that I figured I could get a good blog post out of it.  I decided to clean my stove top fifties style.  After all, my fifties foremothers were the queens of clean - surely they could reform a hopeless slob such as myself?  I'd already tried sticking those silver thingies in the dishwasher, but that didn't really do anything.  I tried scrubbing with soap and water, but the stains were stubborn.  It was time to call in the big guns: my fifties housewife books.

I looked in the index and found an entry called "range; how to clean."  Page 71.  Perfect.  I turned to page 71, and here's what it said:

"Two ounces plus of prevention: Learn how to keep foods from boiling over and burning.  Here are some how-to-cook suggestions that will help keep your pans gleaming and your range clean."

Thanks a lot, book.  Clearly since I'm looking up how to clean my range, I've already failed at all of your preventative techniques.  I skipped ahead a few paragraphs to get to the next part.

"Cool range before cleaning."

No DUH.  I'm pretty domestically defunct, but even I knew that.

"Wipe with cloth rung out of suds; dry.  For stubborn spots, sprinkle on a little household cleaner; rub lightly with damp cloth.  Rinse.  To clean and wax, pour a little kitchen wax onto damp cloth; wipe cloth over surface of the range."

I'm sorry........wax my range?  What?!  I called over to Rex, "Hey, this book says I'm supposed to wax the stove top.  Have you heard of that before?"  He responded, "Is that sort of like waxing your legs?  You put on the wax and it pulls up all of the dirt?"  I replied, "No...I think it's more like waxing a car.  You know, to make it shiny."

Clearly we don't know about the waxing thing.  I skipped it. (Side note:  if you know what this means, please comment.  I'm curious).

The paragraph before was the one that intrigued me.  It said that for stubborn stains, I needed to rub a little bit of "household cleaner" on it.  What kind of cleaner, exactly, am I supposed to use?  Did they not have multiple types cleaners in the fifties?  Was there just a catch-all "this cleans everything" cleaner?  If so, WHERE CAN I GET A BOTTLE OF THAT?!

I'm hopeless in the household cleaner aisle.  I didn't know what to get.  I knew it wasn't Windex...I knew it wasn't toilet cleaner...I knew it wasn't Pledge...  I decided to use a lifeline and phone a friend.  I called the person who any rational wife would call in this sort of mother-in-law!

(Please picture triumphant superhero music playing as she appears in a jumpsuit in the household cleaners aisle)

My mother-in-law said I needed to try a cleaner called "Barkeeper's Friend."  She swears by it.  I was skeptical to say the least.  The title of it was strange, and the container itself looked shifty (not sure how a container looked shifty, but it did).  Still, I decided to give it a try.  I didn't have any better ideas, and I wasn't about to spray my range with Windex.

My friends.  Let me tell you.  Barkeeper's Friend is MAGIC.  If you don't have any, you must get some.  I sprinkled some onto my range, and *poof!*  all of the stains were gone.  I was so happy that I almost jumped up and down.  It worked!  Thanks to my housekeeping books and my mother-in-law, I will never have a nasty looking range again!  I can get my wife card back!  Hooray!