Thursday, August 13, 2015

How becoming a 1950s housewife saved me…

So, if you haven't figured it out yet, I am not a housewife…I work full-time, have no children, and I’m not even married! 

My favorite cookbook is my grandmother’s red Betty Crocker – a wedding gift she received in 1952.  Some of my favorite recipes come from that book.

Once, as I was quite gingerly leafing through the yellowed pages, I ran across a section called “Shortcuts”.  Ol' Betty was onto something back then, and we can still apply many of the shortcuts to today's busy lifestyle.

These shortcuts aren't only for housewives or women, they are for anyone trying to balance chores around the house with a life and fun outside of the home.  

We might still have to do it all, but at least we can do it with a little more ease…..
  • Have a  plan for your time and work.  Map a general schedule for every day of the week.  Set a certain day each week to include at least one of the special tasks that must be done once a week.
  • Take time to plan meals for a week or several days at a time.
  • Market only once or twice for the week.
  • Have logical and orderly arrangement in your kitchen -- this, my friends, is a game changer!
  • Keep utensils and equipment in good working order.  and hear this..it's very important...DISCARD GADGETS THAT ADD WORK.
  • Prepare for tomorrow while cooking today.
  • Prepare some dishes for last-minute mixing or baking.
  • Organize the family to cooperate.  Train your children to help with different jobs.
A few of my other favorites tips to keep time spent cleaning at a minimum and time having fun at a maximum:
  • Right after using, fill cooking pans with hot water.  (cold water for egg, cereal and milk dishes).
  • Eliminate cleaning of broiler or oven bottom by placing aluminum foil over rack to catch droppings.  
  • Do messy tasks (like peeling potatoes) on paper for easy clean-up.
  • After grating cheese, immediately rub hard crust of bread over grater to clean it.
  • Keep all cleaning supplies in a basket to carry from room to room.
So change your attitude or your approach - not your lifestyle.  The truth is it doesn't have to be that complicated to be stress free or organized.  You don't need countless lists or expensive seminars.  

Pick up a few of these habits - like rearranging your cabinets perhaps - to streamline clean up time so you can focus on family time and enjoyment.  

And on another note:  did you know you aren't supposed to use "self-rising" flour in any yeast recipes?

All bulleted items above taken from:  Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book.  First Edition.  ©1950 by General Mills.

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