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December, 2011

  1. Cooking in the dishwasher??

    December 31, 2011 by Karl

    Electric Meterberry
    This article covers one of my saving flops.  I have read in some places that you can use the top shelf of your dishwasher to cook food.  Some money-saving articles I have read say that if you seal this or that food item in a zipper freezer bag, you can use your dishwasher to do more than just wash dishes.

    Aside from the obvious fear of contaminating your food with water, detergent, or rinse agent, it sounded plausible.  This is one of those zany ideas that I just couldn’t resist.   Why shouldn’t it work?   When I reach for a dish that has been in the dishwasher right after the load has finished, it is hot enough to burn my hand.  Why wouldn’t it work to cook food?

    Unable to resist the temptation, I decided I would test the multitasking capabilities of my Kitchen-Aid dishwasher by hard boiling two eggs.  I took two of our precious farm raised, free range organic chicken eggs, and placed them in a zipper freezer bag.  Then I placed them on the top shelf of our dishwasher amongst the dirty dishes, closed the door, and said a little prayer as I set the program and pressed the start button.

    My wife who was observing this process, simply shook her head and walked out of the room muttering something under her breath about wasting our perfectly good eggs.  She has gotten used to my crazy money-saving ideas by this point, often watching perfectly good money go flying out the door as a result.

    I don’t usually use the drying cycle on our dishwasher to save on money, but I decided to make an exception in this case to test out the full food baking capabilities of the device.

    Our dishwasher usually takes about 90 minutes to complete its routine.  This was one of those pot watching moments where I just couldn’t keep myself out of the kitchen even though the results would not be known until the end.  I stared at the door of the dishwasher from time to time as if somehow the answer to my experiment might be visibly available, or maybe the results could be heard in some new sound that I had never heard the machine make before.  No such luck.  No clues could be gleaned from my experiment until the process was complete.

    Finally the moment of truth was here.  I even waited a full 20 minutes after the cycle was completed to give my eggs some extra cook time in case they needed it.  My glasses fogged instantly as I opened the door of the dishwasher.  It must have worked with that kind of heat coming out!  I pulled the top drawer out, and gingerly picked up my zipped freezer bag.  My first observation seemed promising.  The bag had no water in it, and the eggs seemed relatively dry.

    I looked up to see my wife and daughter peaking around the corner to see what kind of mess I had made.  Gently, I cracked one of the eggs against the side of a bowl in case I needed an emergency goop receptacle.  As it turned out, the bowl did come in handy.  The inside content of the egg hadn’t even begun to cook.  The very outside of the egg white was just starting to turn white from heat, but the rest was unaffected.

    I ate scrambled eggs for desert that night, while my wife and daughter spared no joke at my expense.

    Needless to say, I have not attempted to cook in the dishwasher again.

  2. Don’t forget about the thrift stores

    December 31, 2011 by Karl

    Clothing Rackberry berry berry berry berry

    Thrift stores are often over-looked, but can be a fantastic source of inexpensive fantastic clothing for the frugal and thrifty minded individual.

    In today’s world of fashion, where “vintage clothing” has been coming back in force, does it really make sense to buy retail as a first resort? Have you checked out the local thrift shop lately? We are lucky to have several local thrift shops to choose from in the area that we live. Some are rag-tag places that haven’t swept the floors in years. Others are neat and clean and have just the same good deals.

    The way children grow, it just doesn’t make sense to buy new clothes for them. Our growing daughter replaces her wardrobe at least every four months. Though we usually buy her shoes at retail stores, the bulk of her clothes are from the thrift shop, and no one would ever know the difference.

    I was in need of a new suit, but not willing to pay the $200+ to get one retail. After hearing a pastor friend of mine say that he found a suit that fits him perfectly at the thrift shop, I thought I would give it a try. Sure enough, they had a suit that fit me perfectly for $15! To buy retail just didn’t make sense for the amount that I wear a suit.

    I will write more about thrift shops in a future post.