Saturday, November 3, 2012

So domestic

Rutherfordton, NC 28139
RV LIFE: Is it the cooler weather or just where we are presently staying at that has caused us to do more cooking & sewing?
I really think it is staying here at the Kingdom. They have Pot Luck dinners every 2-3 wks, so of course we participate.
We've made Chili, Hobo Beans (recipe further below), Chicken & dumplings, Spicy chicken stew. A couple of recipes in the crock pot and a couple of recipes made in our fryer. Skillet/Griddle review to follow.
One of my jobs here at the Kingdom is to sew curtains for the rental units. The curtains replace the blinds that get bent and are difficult to clean.
So I've been enjoying learning to use my machine. More on my machine later.
Kitchen curtains
HOBO BEANS RECIPE (Click title for printable version)

Recipe courtesy of an Escapees member we met in TX.
1/2#  grnd Beef
1 chopped onion
1/2#  Bacon
1 can Kidney Beans
1 can Pork and Beans
1 can Butter Beans
1 cup Ketchup
1 cup Brn Sugar
1 Tbs Mustard
1 Tbs Vinegar

Fry Bacon till crisp.
Remove from skillet and crumble.
Brown Grnd Beef with Onion in bacon grease, add bacon back to skillet when near done.
Combine other ingredients in casserole, add meat mixture and stir.
Bake at 350, about 1 Hr.
PRODUCT REVIEW/comparison:
Rival 20" Griddle:  Our rating 1 out of 5
Under $20. at Walmart

We originally bought this to use instead of a fry pan on the stove for eggs, pancakes, etc.
The size is a nice large 20". It is also lightweight. It has short legs to keep the heat away from the counter.
But, the heat is inconsistent. It gets high to reach temperature, then basically shuts off and then on again to heat to temp.  This makes it very difficult to cook eggs and pancakes. Very frustrating.
It is now in the garbage!
Presto 16" Electric Foldaway Skillet: Our rating 4 out of 5
$50. from Amazon.

Although this isn't as long as the griddle above, it is well big enough for our needs. This piece of kitchen equipment has become our "go to" appliance. This too has a slight temperature holding problem, but no where as varied as the above griddle. It is consistent enough to expertly grill our eggs over easy. We also use this for frying & stews.
It is COMPLETELY immersible so can be washed without having to be careful.
And the icing on the cake is that this "sandwiches" together for a compact shape for easy storage.
I highly recommend this appliance.
Lift skillet off base
Put base inside skillet

Cord inside & lid upside down for snug fit

Reynold's Slow Cooker Liners: Our rating 5 out of 5
We have a large oval crock pot. These liners also fit the larger pot. Cleaning the crock pot insert is a real PIA. Especially if you have the old style that doesn't come out for washing.
With the liners, you just put in the pot, ends over the rim. Cook as usual. Clean up is a cinch! A quick wipe and maybe a few splatter clean ups and that's it.
We've never had a liner break or have a hole in it. We really appreciated it last night. I made a Spicy Chicken Stew for the pot luck get together. It was way too spicy for our tastes. I knew I wouldn't want to eat the leftovers. So as we were carrying the 1/2 empty crock pot of stew back to our RV, we passed the dumpster. We grabbed the pot liner, knotted the top and tossed the stew in the garbage. That was easy!
Evolution of my sewing.
Childhood: My Mom used to sew many of my school clothes to save money. That was back when material was cheaper to buy than to buy clothes. Mom wasn't a fancy sewer, but she did well enough to make decent skirts and jumpers. I was happy with her end results.
Teen years: I learned to sew in Home Economics class in High School. I am forever grateful for that class. I know so many people, that don't even know how to sew on a button (or that's their excuse not to do it). For my High School graduation, I sewed my graduation dress with my Mom's very old sewing machine. For my HS graduation gift, I received a used Husqvarna/Viking sewing machine that cost them $50. I had an "Aunt" that was a great sewer and I used to go to her house for sewing lessons. This was her machine I received.
I remember being able to make a t-shirt type top in a couple of hours with very little fabric. I made it to wear to go out that night. I even made a shirt out of old sheets!
Me in the middle 1975. Shirt sewed from old sheet.
College: With this newer machine I could sew straight stitch, zig zag stich and buttonholes. I made the majority of 1st year college clothes. I was very proud of myself. I also remember sewing a dress for my Mom. It was fashionable at the time in an orange print! She did wear it for years.
Wedding: Although I did not make my wedding dress, I did make the Bridesmaids' outfits, as well as the Flower Girl's. They were wide leg, flowy jumpsuits. Jumpsuits were popular way back then.
Also made the ring bearer's pillow.

Recent years: I purchased an electronic embroidery machine. I stayed with the Husqvarna brand, since it had served me well for the past many years. This "Iris" embroidery machine cost $999. about 10 yrs ago.It served it's initial purpose, being my introduction into machine embroidery. The limitation was two fold. 1. Only allowed 4"x4" design. 2. Need a special device to link a non built in machine design onto the machine.
After 2 yrs with the "Iris", I upgraded to a Brother Innovis 4000-D embroidery & sewing machine combo. New, it would have been about $7500. to $8000. I bought used for $3500. I never even tried it for another 2 yrs. Then I only used it for embroidery and used my old faithful graduation gift sewing machine for regular sewing.
Now that I have to sew here at the Kingdom, I was using Birgit's machine, but thought this would be a great time to test my fancy machine for simple sewing. I had to give away my faithful friend Husq/Viking when I purged to move into the RV. We've been in the RV for over a year and I hadn't used the machine. What a wonderful machine! It embroiders and can be switched to regular sewing mode. It's quiet. it can do designs up to about 15" long! I can use a jump drive to put designs on the machine. It self threads the needle too! Thank you Four Paws Kingdom for getting me back into sewing!


  1. Very cool. Can't wait to see the fruits of your new labor (o:

  2. Inspiring...I can't seem to get my machine out to do my curtains. Maybe this will give me some motivation! OH I remember the jumpsuits...what fun! And crockpot lines...I'll so be using those on the road!!


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