Washing by Hand

We have a problem.

Our dishwasher is broken, likely plugged with hard water mineral buildup and perhaps some seals are broken. Its been doing its job for 10 years but now running vinegar through it no longer keeps water moving inside.

The only “kid” still living in the house frequently sneaks to the laundry room in the basement to wash just one outfit — sometimes even one article of clothing — at a time in the washer and dryer.

The heater on our 15-year-old clothes dryer no longer works so it runs again and again.

I lied. My family has at least three problems, as evidenced above.

My solutions are as follows.

  1. Wash your dishes by hand. Seriously. It can be done.
  2. Wash your clothes by hand or go to the laundromat with heavily soiled items.
  3. Hang clothes to dry or go to the laundromat with items that need a dryer in wintertime

We may or may not repair and/or replace the dishwasher and dryer. Running a machine for just a few items is an unacceptable waste of water, electricity and money, but my kid won’t take my advice. My kid does, however, like Youtube. After telling my kid what each person’s responsibilities are, I sent these links – via Facebook message, of course. Hopefully one of them will have an impact.

How to Wash your Clothes by Hand : easy way and Save water

I like that this young man’s solution is simple and environmentally focused. He’s cool.

Hand Wash Laundry With A Salad Spinner

This is a fun idea but the presenter introduces herself as a grandma. Does fun trump “not cool”?

Should I buy a laundry salad spinner or should I wait til I see my kid trying to use the one in the kitchen before I splurge on another purchase?

I really need to collect some “cool” videos on homemaking to share with my young adult children, especially the one still at home. I’m not sure where I failed, but they are dang lazy and entitled. When people say, “kids these days…” I fear they’ve met mine. *Sigh*


Favourite Crust, Apple Pie and Butter Tart Recipes

My mother is an amazing home style cook. Her best recipes are either handed down from her Southern Alberta pioneer relatives or come from a Purity Flour cookbook circa 1965. Mom’s pie crust recipe comes from the Purity book. Since the late 80’s I’ve tried to master her technique, but my crust always turned out tough. Until last year, that is, when I searched online for a different recipe that was highly rated and labelled as “easy”.

Finally, at Christmastime 2013, I had butter tarts worthy of serving to guests because I used this pie crust recipe:


Today, my last day of winter vacation, I decided to make an apple pie with some fruit that was going soft in the fridge. I didn’t have enough shortening to make the crust, though, so I searched for recipes that might combine shortening with butter. I read a few different recipes and their reviews and came up with my own. Its my new favourite pie crust!


Butter makes the crust taste better than shortening, but by using half shortening it handles better than using butter all on its own.

(Makes at least one double crusted pie; I had leftover dough)

3 cups white flour

1 cup butter, diced

1 cup butter flavoured shortening, diced

1 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)

¼ c very cold water (I float ice in it)

Chill KitchenAid mixer bowl, whisk attachment, flour, and diced fats in the freezer or outside in winter. (It was -20C today.)

Add cold fats to flour and salt in mixer on low speed until crumbly. Drizzle water in until just wet enough to form a ball. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.

Keep hands cold while working dough by plunging them into ice water and drying. (Mom insists she is so good at making crusts because her hands are always cold.)

Make two crusts, one bottom and one top, by rolling on floured counter top with a floured rolling pin. Roll from the centre out, not back and forth.

Save extra dough by wrapping and putting back into fridge or freeze. I had enough for one single crust or several tarts.


  • 8 or more medium apples, peeled, cored, diced, and toss with
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon grated dried ginger
  • 2 tablespoons white flour
  • 1—2 oz dark rum (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoons of cream or milk

Combine dry ingredients and toss with apples

Put apple mix into unbaked bottom pie crust

Mix melted butter, cream, rum, vanilla and drizzle over apples

Top pie and slash

Brush top of pie with milk and sugar if desired

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes

Cover loosely with foil and bake for 60 minutes

Remove foil and finish baking for 30 minutes

(Total baking time is 120 minutes or two hours)


Oh, if you’d like MOM’S BUTTER TART RECIPE, its almost identical to this one: