Sunday, May 17, 2009

MD 2009

Yeah, I know I'm a very blessed. This is what I got for Mother's Day.
The only other thang better than receiving a NIB wringer would have been a solar hot water heater. Bet you though I was gonna say a plow huh? Silly rabbit no place to park a plow or hitch one or really no need to use one on this urban homestead.
So here's the low down on my ever expanding nonelectric washing system.
DH was perusing Craig's list when he located this wringer out in Hamlin, New York for a steal.
The seller is raising funds to sponsor a soup kitchen. So a win win all the way around especially since the wringer only cost $10.
Originally this was bought from the Vermont Country Store price unknown as when I checked the website it wasn't listed. Lehman's carries a what appears to be the same make of wringer for $189.95.
One other item that I really want to try is a pants stretcher which both VCS & Lehman's carry (Lehman's is about $4 cheaper). According to the write in Lehman's catalog you insert the pants stretcher after washing into each leg then adjust it so it's snug & hang to dry. Suppose to give that just pressed creased down the legs look.
My Abulea always said that being poor & looking poor have nothing to do with each other - clean pressed clothes that have been well maintained will never give away the truth about your finances.

The wash tub is a holdover from my canning equipment. Before I bought my huge canning pot that holds 15 quarts I used this over an open fire resting on a couple of oven racks that I bought curb shopping. The fire pit was constructed with cinder blocks. A thin piece of plywood covered with aluminum foil cut to fit as a cover (tends to fall off). Add a found cabinet handle & you have a covered huge canning pot for really the cost of the wash tub. Better yet take your homemade lid to the hardware store & ask to have a piece of aluminum flashing cut to fit the underside of your lid with an extra 3 ". Fold over the edges crimping the fold with pliers. Wear work gloves flashing cuts! Screw on with tiny stainless steel screws (won't rust) on the top of the lid 3 screws on each side. The screws & flashing shouldn't run more than $10. You can go as fancy as you want with the lid but do consider painting the top part that won't have flashing on it with something durable. This will make the lid easier to clean.
For the canning rack that fits inside your wash tub pot it can be anything from old bath towels on the bottom & in between quart jars to forming a rack from canning rings using picture hanging wire/stripped wire bread ties. Picture those plastic loops that hold a six pack of soda together. That is what your aiming for.
Definitely prefer the wood stove but in a pinch when you need to get the job done an old wash tub over an open flame in the cool of an August evening is a nice alternative. Add in free firewood & you have lowered the cost of putting food on the table considerable.
A round wash tub fits 15 qt. & 1 pint jar which is needed for spacing. Square tub should be in the same neighborhood give or take a qt. jar. I used a round tub that was already in the cellar as my square tub has a load of wash soaking in the morning Sun.
Addendum 5/18/09 - To prevent soot from the fire adhering to the surface of a pot wipe down with dish soap. Then afterwards just wash off the soot.
~~ pelenaka ~~

P.S. Thank you my husband, I can't wait until Father's Day!