Friday, May 30, 2008

A Corn Trick & a Bedwetting Solution - How's That For an Odd Pairing?

As you might have guessed, things didn't go smoothly packing the car last week. In fact, it resulted in a trip to the emergency room for our youngest who tumbled down a hill in the melee almost breaking his hand. After Jim spent hours in the emergency room with Kyle, I gave up. We left Friday morning instead, grateful that Kyle's hand wasn't broken. Things got a lot smoother after that.

I was particularly pleased with the food I made. It was all very simple but a few experimental things worked very well. I cooked corn on the cob in the slow cooker on low with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot. The results were fabulous, especially since I have no microwave, only a three burner stove and a very small oven to do all my cooking.

We had a lot of company on Saturday so I gave up on the standard burger/dog fare and instead made a baked ziti using Follow Your Heart vegan mozzarella. I served this with the fancy biscuit recipe from How it All Vegan and a vegetable that I can't remember (how sad is that??) For dessert I broke my own rule and tried a new recipe, Chocolate Upside Down Pudding Cake, also from How it All Vegan. (We needed a birthday cake ASAP, I had no choice but to break my own rule!)

This recipe was a big hit served with a scoop of ice cream on top. By itself it had a slightly chalky taste, although no one noticed except for me. I suspect if you incorporated some powdered soymilk into the pudding mixture the result might be creamier tasting. The leftovers of this cake, with a scoop of ice cream, reappeared at almost every meal much to everyone's delight.

I used the leftover biscuits as buns for the veggie burgers I made the next day. I used Isa's recipe from Vegan With a Vengeance. It's always a hit. In fact we eat a lot of the burger mix uncooked while we cook the burgers. Ah, the simple joys of vegan cooking! We served these with homemade oven fries, the aforementioned corn and baked beans.

So now that I've been back to reality for a few days, here's what's going on.

First of all, if you've got a bedwetter on your hands, listen up. This is my second go round with bedwetting and, as near as I can tell, the end result is always a ruined, foul smelling mattress. My frugal solution, in addition to the usual plastic sheet/absorbent pad/etc, has always been to give the bedwetter hand me down mattresses. So for example, this weekend we had to replace the girls mattresses. One was in just horrible shape with springs coming through, the other was ok for a lighter child to sleep on.

The ok one replaced a foul smelling one that was beyond repair (believe me I know, I've even used the carpet steamer on mattresses to give them a little more life). Here's where I accidentally made a frugal discovery. Bunk boards are the supports used in place of box springs in bunk beds. (If your bunk bed has enough support slats no bunk board is needed.) Bunk boards may be the most crappily constructed thing I've ever encountered. Aside from a wooden frame, they are made of cardboard and covered with low quality fabric. A piece of plywood would work just fine and probably be less expensive, but I digress.

When I removed the old mattress, I discovered the stink of it still lingered. The smell was coming from the bunk board. I dragged it outside, ripped off the fabric, removed the cardboard. This left me with just a wood frame, which thankfully didn't smell. Originally, I thought I'd have to recreated the cardboard and fabric cover but then I thought, "WHY??"

I put the naked frame back on the bed, topped it with the mattress and it worked perfectly.

I'm still working on my log cabin blanket. In an effort to use up scraps, or perhaps because I've gone nutty, I've taken to combining colors to finish out a particular patch. I'll post pictures and explain more about this tomorrow.

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