Homemaking 101: Remedial housekeeping skills

A couple of months ago, I confessed to you all my complete lack of housekeeping skills. No cooking. No cleaning. Nothing at all, really, to connect me to the day-to-day running of our home except paying for professionals to take care of us.

Since then a few things have changed –

  • I signed up for a 5-week Basic Cooking from Scratch class. Not only did I sign up, I also attended the first session two weeks ago on Wednesday (no class on Independence Day) where I learned basic knife skills and made a basic vegetable soup with rice from scratch. (The only thing we took out of a can was the tomato paste.) I even purchased my very own Chef’s knife and sharpening steel!

In the week since our last class, I’ve made a couple of meals for dinner that require dicing, thin slicing, and chopping vegetables in order to practice what I learned. It was suggested that we make at least two new dishes per week and that seems like a good plan. Tonight’s dinner will be Porcupine Meatballs (meatballs made with ground turkey, uncooked brown rice – it cooks while the meatballs cook, and various diced vegetables) with a salad, and strawberries for dessert. Not sure what our second recipe for the week will be but at least we’re eating a homemade meal at home!

  • I started using one of those “toss it in the dryer for 30 minutes with a special pre-moistened sheet” products for many things I would ordinarily take to the dry cleaners. This is not only a huge time savings but it’s also a real time saver since I don’t have to deal with all of the hangers, plastic, and paper that has to be separated and recycled after a visit to the dry cleaners. I’ve got the stuff to take the stains out before you throw it all in the dryer, too, so it’s working out pretty well. Mick’s shirts and casual, non-denim pants are still going to the cleaners, though, because my ironing is still pretty rudimentary.
  • I signed up for a three part Learn to Sew class and, during my first class last night, I made a cute, lined grocery tote bag!
Can you believe I made this in two and a half hours?

I have two more classes on each of the next two Sundays, at which we will make an apron with pocket then a zippered tote. Ultimately my goal is to take the quilting class offered at the same lovely sewing lounge so that I can sew the patriotic quilt that I won all of the materials for in an online contest, then raffle it off as a fundraiser for the American Legion.

I still need to work on the cleaning portion of the program but I’m definitely more directly connected to the daily details of my life than I used to be!

Any relatively simple yet make-from-scratch recipes you’d like to share? If you’re a stitcher/sewer, have you made any fun pieces lately? Let’s discuss in the comments, on Twitter, or on Facebook. (I’m becoming SO Martha!)

  • http://www.weightywords.blogspot.com

    Yay for you! It may not seem directly related, but I think this is a HUGE step for your health. I love to cook (as you know) and I also love to sew. I love to have a project or 2 I’m working on – I find it very rewarding and relaxing. Funnily enough, I just took MY first sewing class this past weekend – beginning serging.

    • http://lottalatte.com

      I’m such a neophyte – what’s serging?

      • http://www.weightywords.blogspot.com

        It’s the weird wrap around the edge of the fabric stuff you see on inner seams in some clothes. It’s handy if you use fabric that frays, but it also is a decorative way to sew things together!

        • http://lottalatte.com

          It’s funny – just after I saw your comment, our teacher talked about “serging” in class. Seems like a really handy tool to have if I become a more proficient, or prolific, seamstress.

  • well done you! That is awesome 🙂

    • http://lottalatte.com

      Thanks, Lisa, I’m pretty proud of myself for trying something different. (I’m more of a same-thing-different-day kind of girl!)

  • http://agategoddess.blogspot.com

    Good for you with the sewing! One of my favorite wedding gifts was a new sewing machine which, I’m sad to say, has been more neglected than I would like it to be. I recently made some seatbelt pillows for my nieces that were a huge success. You can find them on Pinterest (that’s where I got the instructions). Have fun and sew on!

    • http://lottalatte.com

      What a cool wedding gift! My MIL made seatbelt cozies for my husband’s Jeep a few years ago and they were really handy. My new obsession is making myself the perfect – ha! – messenger/tote/carry all of my junk that won’t fit in my purse bag. If you see any fun patterns, let me know!