Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Dinner

I remember as a little girl going to my grandmother's house after church for dinner.  It was fun and exciting because all of my cousins were there, the adults were busy visiting and doing dinner things so the kids were free to play.

The house smelled so good. Grandma made the most delicious roast and mashed potatoes. Her yeast rolls truly melted in your mouth. She  brought the most amazing foods forth from the most humble ingredients and surroundings. A woman to be admired for sure.

I remember watching her intently as she prepared her roast, seasoning it just so, browning it perfectly.   Over the years I  learned to make the "Sunday Roast" pretty good.  As my kids grew up and left the area I have received many telephone calls asking advice about their Sunday roast adventures.

I have learned that I like a roast the old fashioned way, slow cooked in the oven. To me the taste from the slow cooker or crock pot just wasn't the same. A mental memory needed to be met. Tradition had to be passed to the next generation.

Recently my daughter invited us for the weekend. On Sunday after church we sat down for dinner. She served the "Sunday Roast" cooked to perfection. Later she revealed that it came from the crock pot, achieved without any browning. Since then I am in love with the simple new version of grandma's recipe for family bonding around the dining room table.

Sunday Roast
2 1/2 pound beef roast
1 package powdered ranch dressing mix
1 package powdered brown gravy mix
1 package powdered Italian dressing mix

Wash off the roast and place in the slow cooker

Stir the powdered mixes together with a half cup of water and pour over the roast.  Let cook on low for 6-8 hours .

When ready to serve remove the roast, thicken the liquid left in the crock pot with some cornstarch or flour, turn to high for a few minutes. Stir and serve.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

TRASH--a card game

I have been spending quite a bit of time these last few months entertaining grandchildren.

I am always on the outlook for fun and easy games to play with multiple children of varying ages.

My daughter, Cara, introduced us to TRASH the other day, we spent the whole visit playing the game with her three children ages 3, 6 and 10.

We introduced the game to 5 of our other grand children this last weekend, and they enjoyed it as well. 

I will take the cards along when we go visiting with my parents in a few weeks, I think they will also enjoy the game.

Here are the rules.  See what you think.

2-4 players
1 deck of playing cards
SKILLS: Players should be old enough to recognize numbers and have a desire to learn to count--
This game is great practice to learn these skills and wonderful fun if you already have them.

FIRST HAND:  Deal each player 10 cards, lay them out face down in a straight line 1-10.
 Place remaining cards, face down, in center of table.

WILD CARDS:   If a KING is drawn or turned up, it is a WILD CARD and can be used for any face down card as desired.  If the numbered card for the space that the wild card is occupying comes available, it can be traded out and the KING put into a different spot, or, if at the end of this hand's play, passed on.

TO PLAY:  Youngest player starts the play by choosing a card from the center pile.
If it is a card from 1-10, put it in the proper place and turn over the card from that place. 
If it is another number card between 1-10, put it in the proper place. 
 Play for that person continues until a face card or number card that cannot be used is turned up.

TO CONTINUE PLAY:  If a QUEEN or JACK is drawn or turned up, that players turn is ended and the card is placed in the center of the table, face up, starting the TRASH PILE. 
 If a number card is turned up that cannot be used, the card is passed on to the next player that can use the card, starting with the person directly to the left.
 If there isn't a player that can use the number card it is placed in the TRASH PILE. 
 The player to the left then draws and play continues as before.

TO WIN A HAND:  The first player to have all of their card slots, 1-10 face up, wins the hand.
Play can continue WITHOUT ANY PLAYERS DRAWING, until no further plays can be made.

SECOND HAND:  Players retain face down cards on the table and turn in all cards that were face up. Those players that turned over ALL of their cards receive one less card than the previous hand
 (If the last hand was 10, this one is 9 and so on on until just 1 card is dealt)

CONTINUING PLAY:  Deal each player the number of cards needed, face down, in a row.
First player to go out the last hand is first player for current hand.

GOAL OF THE GAME: To be eligible to go onto the next step
 (from 10 to 9 cards. etc.) all cards must be face up.  
At the end of the hand, any remaining face down cards remain on the table and are counted toward the number of cards needed for the next hand.
Only those players with ALL of their cards face up can receive one less card.
Players with ANY cards left FACE DOWN will stay on the same step as the last hand.
(Example:  for the first hand 2 cards remained face down, turn in the 8 face up cards and receive 8 new cards to place face down with the original 2 making 10 cards face down for the second hand,
 while those who had all 10 cards face up receive only 9 cards )

 The first player to successfully reach 1 card, face up, is the winner.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Even More Whiteness

As I have been helping my son whiten his clothes, we have also been working on underarm stains.

Again...don't know why his clothes seem to have this problem and ours don't--same machines and products, yet different outcomes.

Along with the super whitening, I found this recipe for underarm stains that also works great.


1 part Dawn dish washing liquid
2 parts hydrogen peroxide
some baking soda

mix together

using a brush apply liquid to affected areas
let stand for about an hour
If needed, brush more peroxide to affected areas, wait awhile longer
rinse clothes out before washing as usual.

Some of the shirts we treated cleaned up with the first application, some needed more peroxide, scrubbing and time.

All of the shirts came out clean and white, you could almost see it working before your very eyes.

I love clean laundry.  

PS...I put my liquid fabric softener into a clear glass iced tea jar with a spout, it looks so nice sitting on the shelf in my laundry room.  I like the clean lines.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bright White

My son's white clothes have been looking a bit dingy lately.

He does his laundry in our machines, with our same products, yet the outcome is quite different.

I've been on a quest to help him return to bright white, and I am winning.

I have been making my own laundry detergent for a number of years now, and it works great.

I just found a recipe for super whitening, and it works great, too.  Say good-bye to dingy, off white undies, and hello to bright whites once again.

Bring 2 large pots of water to a boil

1/4 to 1/2 cups laundry detergent
1/2 cup powdered dishwasher detergent
 **1/2 cup bleach
1/4 cup borax
Place boiling water and cleaners into a large bucket.
Add clothes, one at a time.
Let soak a few hours, or overnight.
Dump bucket full into washer.
Wash on hottest setting--no extra detergent is necessary.
If possible--dry in the sun.
Works best on cottons.
**If synthetics need whitening--omit the bleach--
Substitute 1/2 cup peroxide and 2 tablespoons lemon juice-- proceed as before.

The results have been wonderful, hope it works as well for you.

White clothes should be white, not dingy grey--right?