Spring Cleaning: Wall Washing

Besides my Arizona Lemon Pie post, it’s been awhile since I posted anything, what have I been doing?!  Actually we’re calving right now so it’s been busy here.  We’re about 75 calves in and around 60-65 more to go.  Aren’t they sweet?  Such cute little babies.  And these Momma’s are doing really well with them too.  There’s only been a handful we’ve had to bottle feed so far.  The Farmer says it’s because they’re all coming from good Mothers (which is undoubtably true) however, I think it’s because they’ve all been heifers so far. Yep, us women are smart and in the world of cows, that matters.

babiesblksimm

In honour of Mother’s Day this weekend, this post is an homage to all the women out there, particularly Grandmothers.  They older you get, the wiser you become (that’s true for cows too).  Thanks to my Grams, today I was able to clean up a bunch of gunk that’s been bothering me for months now and without her expertise, I would probably have still been searching the internet for a solution to my problem.

This is my Grandma.  She’s not my biological Grandma, she’s the Farmer’s, but in my heart she is my Grandmother.  I wasn’t fortunate enough to know one of my Grandma’s at all and the other one lived a fair distance away so when I married the Farmer, I inherited his Grams too and I love her dearly as my own.

Gram

Since I have small children and they (for some reason) love to get their hands into ANYTHING sticky, gooey, slimy or greasy one of my biggest problems is stains on my walls.  Now, if I were a lover of wallpaper this problem wouldn’t be too huge since wallpaper almost masks anything but if you’re familiar with the renovation I did at Nan and Pops’ house you already know I despise wallpaper; paint is waaaaaay more up my alley.

But if you like paint, you’re going to see greasy fingerprints when your kids put their paws in the playdough and then decide to “pretend” write their names on the wall after.  What’s that?  You don’t think that would leave a mark?  Go try it and then we’ll talk.

I should clarify also, it’s not only the Daughters that leave marks on the walls, the Farmer and I are guilty too.  I can be cooking or he can come in here with gas, grease, diesel or oil on his clothes and brush up against something and boom, another mess to take care of.

I’ve tried so many different things to get these stains off – baby wipes, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (which took off more of my paint than the stains), vinegar and baking soda, Comet…you name it, I’ve tried it to no avail.

Last week, the SIL and I stopped by Grams’ house to pick up her Avon order after our dinner date and we got to chatting for a bit.  I  told her I needed to order some more Avon bubble bath for the Daughters and she started telling me all about its uses.  On the list?  CLEANING WALLS.  Well kiss my grits, that’s something I hadn’t tried yet!

Wall Cleaning Secret Weapons

Instructions are easy, one capful per ice cream pail and the hottest water you can stand and I followed with a clean pail of water to get any residue left behind.  I washed away a lot of grease today.  MAGICAL FEELING.

For any scuffs or marks on your walls, crayons, chair marks or mud, just get yourself a cheap tube of toothpaste (anything except the gel kind will work, it needs to be the white/green chalky kind) and those marks will rub right off.

And don’t go thinking something like paper towel will work to get that stuff off either.  The best thing to wipe down your wall with is a knit cloth which are made by Grandma’s everywhere.  This one started out in the kitchen doing dishes and eventually it was seasoned enough to move up to cleaning duty.  Dishes just break them in.  If you don’t have cloths like these in your house, my apologies.  I do know someone that is EXCELLENT at making these and she sells them to the public (it’s your lucky day) – 3-pack for $10 plus shipping – available in my Etsy store here.

Anyone that’s in my general area can send me a message and I’m sure I can work something out to drop them off but otherwise, buy online and support a local senior and veteran!  She’s an amazing woman who I admire greatly and you won’t be disappointed with her cloths either.

Happy Spring Cleaning everyone!  Cheers, Kim.

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Single Serve Pie Crust

I’ve already got an amazing pie crust recipe on here courtesy of my Grandma BUT it’s calibrated to make a large batch of so you can freeze them and have on hand when you need.  What if you only need one?

At Easter when I made my Arizona Lemon Pie, I had already run out of crusts and I didn’t have time to make a monster batch so I revised the recipe to make just one crust.  Here it is in case you only have time for one crust too!

Single Pie Crust (revised from my Grandma’s Pie Crust recipe)

1 & 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBS sugar
1/3 cups Crisco (I like to use coconut oil)
6-8 TBS ice water

Mix the first three ingredients together and cut in the coconut oil with a pastry blender or fork.  Mixture should resemble small pebbles.  Gradually add ice water until you can form a ball of dough with your hands (if it becomes too sticky, add a bit more flour).

Roll out dough on cold flat surface and transfer to pie plate.  Use as unbaked as is or bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes (or until edges become brown) for a baked pie crust.

GrandmasPieCrust

You’re halfway to the best pie ever, now just fill it with berries or lemon and you’re all set!  Kim.

Arizona Lemon Pie

Dammit I’m sick of this weather!  It’s got me really crabby.  I woke up with a sore throat again and I thought I was over it a few days ago but apparently the snow and cold that came last night brought it back to me.  Wheeeeewwwww.

In protest of this nasty weather, I am posting the best pie recipe you will ever grace your presence with.  I wanted to eat 3 or 4 of these when we visited Nan and Pops in Arizona in Feburary but I only got through half of one because it’s soooooo lemony it makes the inside of your mouth raw.

My SIL owes me pies (I think she’s up to about 9 now) so I figured I’d do her a solid and post this recipe so all she has to do is make it up and bring it on over to eat eat eat.  Plus I made this for my sweetest little nephew yesterday so she should repay me with pie right?  Just saying.  Shameless plug – if you’re interested in one, they’re available in my Etsy store here.

Grow ruler

Pies, pies pies!  Seriously, once you’ve had this pie you will never eat another lemon pie the same way again.  They’re all so inferior compared to this one – BEST LEMON FLAVOUR EVER!  I was talking to Nana the other day too and was saying that it would also be amazing as any kind of citrus pie really.  Lime would substitute easily or oranges and grapefruits would be great too and the sugar required for those would be less as well.  And if you trade out the whipped cream topping (although, why would you do that?) for meringue, voila, the best lemon meringue pie you’ve ever eaten.

So to begin, start with my very first berry pie recipe from last summer to make a batch of crusts or hit up my single serve pie crust recipe and make yourself just one.  I subbed coconut oil for Crisco and it gives the crust a great flavour.  Don’t roll it out too much either or it won’t rise properly.  I have to work on perfecting that.

GrandmasPieCrust

Then you can start on the filling.  EASIEST PIE FILLING ON THE PLANET.  One kitchen appliance and 10 minutes and you’re done.  First off though, check out the size of an Arizona-fresh-picked-from-tree lemon and a lame Canadian-buy-at-the-store lemon.  Unreal right?!

ArizonaLemon

The flavour is so different also.  They’re sweeter and much more juicy than store bought lemons and perfect for this pie.  If you don’t have these lemons though, the other ones will work just fine, you might just need two small ones instead of one large one.

Start by cutting both ends off the lemon and slicing it into pieces.  Remove all the seeds.

ArizonaLemon

Put the lemon pieces in the blender along with all the other ingredients and blend on high until everything is pulverized.

ArizonaLemonPie

ArizonaLemonPie

 ArizonaLemonPie

Pour it into the unbaked pie crust and remove any large chunks you see come out.

ArizonaLemonPie

Put it in a 330F oven for 30 minutes and keep a close eye on it when it’s in there, it can burn quickly.  Pull it out when the top starts to turn brown.

Completely cover it in whipped cream and serve.  It’s amazing, you WILL NOT regret it.

ArizonaLemonPie

Arizona Lemon Pie

1 large lemon
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter

When the weather hands you lemons (such like today in my corner of the world) go make a lemon pie.  Merry Christmas!  Kim.