Laundry – Out of Control

Laundry Pile

You know your househusband may be losing it when you find the couch buried in clean clothes waiting to be folded.

More Jokes

This last two weeks have been busy in the evenings which meant the laundry got washed as usual but not folded.  You see I had been folding the laundry until my 5 year old informs me that mommy should be doing the laundry.  I asked why while I contemplated trying to explain mommy works so daddy does the housework and all the role reversals in that.  Her reasoning was much more direct.  “When mommy does the laundry I can find my clothes.”   Apparently my sorting is some what random, some of her stuff was ending up in her brothers and mommies drawers and vice versa.  The solution was that we all do it.  I have a very direct approach to fixing problems. You tell me there is a problem you get to help fix it.

Now the procedure is that on a night that we need to fold laundry we pick a show off the PVR and everyone first pulls out blankets, towels and sheets and those get folded and put away.  The PVR allowing us to pause the show while we putt everything away.  Then every one starts pulling out their own stuff folding it and arranging it into their own pile however they see fit.  My son tends to get one large pile while my daughter sorts everything down to warm socks and not warm socks.  My toddler just giggles, knocks over piles and randomly grabs clothes to disappear who knows where.  The funniest part to me is everyone repeatedly holds up something for my wife and goes “Who’s is this?”  Usually she know but sometimes she has to examine it closely first.

This pile which was probably a dozen loads took us an hour to fold and put away.  It normally doesn’t get this bad and 2-3 loads from the day go very quickly.  Next challenge to teach the kids to do their own laundry…  That might be a little ambitious but worth a try.  They are getting good at the other chores and showing the responsibility need but probably another 6 month before I’ll try teaching them.

Photo Editing With GIMP

I have been a long time user of GIMP.  GIMP being a free open source graphics program. Generally I use it for cropping and scaling images down to a reasonable size for website.  Occasionally I do more complex with building images from multiple sources, moving things on layers, adding text and other things.  It is a very functional for just about anything graphics.  The other day I learned a new trick from Diana Norman Designs on adjusting light levels in GIMP.  Diana wrote a nice tutorial on playing with the light levels and demonstrates the technique on some of the cool jewelery she makes.
Pork Souvlaki Light Levels AdjustedPork Souvlaki Origional

On these image of the pork souvlaki from earlier I played with the eyedroppers on the levels. First I clicked on the black eye dropper and then on the black of the back of the BBQ.  Then I clicked on the white eye dropper and then on a white spot on the front piece of zucchini.  The image on the left is the original with out the light level adjustment.  The image on the right has been altered  and is much more vibrant.

GIMP Light Level Toolbox

I alway crop my images to focus on the best part and in the case of the Chicken Pot Pie,  remove the pile of papers to the right of the plate.  This is quite easy to do.  First use the rectangle selection tool to select the area you want to copy. Right Click the area, Edit->Copy.  The Right Click -> Edit -> Paste as -> New image.  This is usually my first step and I save the new image to  a good name and close the original without saving

For the scaling I like to create a scaled version of a image suitable for web.  On this blog I aim for 350 with and let the scale handle the height.  In the Image tab on the menu bar there is scale image.  Change the width to 350 checking that the little chain to the right is closed and that the height number changes accordingly.  I use the cubic on the quality pull-down and then press scale.  I sometimes save the image as the file name with a ‘-scaled’ on the end. That give me the ability to use the scaled on the website and have it as a link to the full sized image.  I don’t do that very often as the full sized images can be quite large.

I did the same thing with the Chicken Pot Pie image but I only used the white eye dropper as there wasn’t any true black in the image.  Using the black eye dropper made the picture worse in this case but that is what undo is for.  Below are the tow images on the right has the light levels adjusted.  The one on the left is unaltered.

Chicken Pot Pie Light Levels AdjustedChicken Pot Pie Unaltered

With all editing I like to make sure that I have a copy of the original to fall back on if thing go horribly wrong.  The undo button will get you out of just about anything but I have messed up an image bad enough to just start over from the original.

Chicken Pot Pie with Baking Powder Biscuits

Chicken Pot Pie with Baking Powder Biscuits

Leftover Chicken in my house quite often results in Chicken Pot Pie.  I always like having a plan for any leftovers.  Cleaning out the fridge and filling a garbage bag is really quite sad and very expensive.

Ingredients (Filling)

  • 1 Onion
  • 6 tbsp butter or hard margarine
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 3-4 cups of leftover cooked chicken
  • 3-4 cups mixed frozen veggies
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°
  2. Cut up your chicken
  3. Melt the butter in a pot medium low heat
  4. Dice the onion
  5. Sauté the onion in the butter until translucent.
  6. Add the flour
  7. Stir with a whisk until it is sizzling
  8. Add the milk
  9. Whisk to make a smooth white sauce
  10. Add the Poultry Seasoning, Salt and Pepper
  11. Bring to a simmer and it will start to thicken
  12. Add the chicken and frozen veggies to a large casserole dish
  13. Add the white sauce.
  14. Stir
  15. Place some of the biscuits on top
  16. Bake for 15 minutes
  17. Add the remaining biscuit on a tray
  18. Bake additional 12 minutes

Baking Powder Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 6 tbsp butter or hard margarine
  • 3/4 cup milk

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl mix together the flour, salt and baking powder
  2. Use a pastry blender or 2 dinner knives to cut the butter into the flour mixture until butter is the size of peas
  3. Add the milk
  4. Stir together until it forms a loose ball
  5. Turn out onto a floured surface
  6. Kneed about 10 times
  7. Flatten out with you palms or a rolling pin until about 1/2 inch think
  8. Cut into twelve pieces
  9. Bake 10-12 minutes at 450° (This step is included above)

This a favorite in our household, tasty, cheap, uses leftovers, easy to make and quick.  The reason that I put some of the biscuits on top and some on a tray is for two reasons.  First in my casserole dish they won’t all fit.  Second my daughter prefers them on the side buttered.  I have also made it without the poultry seasoning and extra salt and pepper.  I like it either way but my wife prefers it with the poultry seasoning.  In this case the leftover chicken was BBQ Chicken thighs and it made enough to have leftovers of the Chicken Pot Pie as well.

Tips, Tricks and Humor of Being a House Husband