Category Archives: For the Home

Grandma’s Osterizer and How to Clean It

Osterizer and the Best Way to Clean a Blender

Regarding Second-Hand Appliances

I figure if an appliance has made it to the second-hand vintage store, that means it’s probably not gonna’ break down on you.  It’s proved itself too hardy to be broken, even when thrown carelessly in the back hatch along with other garage-sale toss-offs.  However, you can pretty much count on your brand spankin’ new appliance breaking on a Friday night about 2 days before the warranty expires.  Not happened to you yet?  Just keep buyin’.  It will.  It has me countless times.  I’m a magnet.

She’s a 1960s Beaut!

I have a lovely pea-green Osterizer blender in my kitchen.  It is a favorite in our home.  How did this 40+ (FORTY PLUS) year- old appliance end up in our home?  Well, when my husband and I were both medical residents back in 2004, we decided to branch into this parenthood thing and delightfully earned ourselves a baby nicknamed “The Screamer” by her sitter.  I would get up at 4:30 in the morning to deliver our screaming baby to the arranged childcare situation.  Sometimes, if my husband and I were both on call, she’d be gone for three days.  This child care arrangement wasn’t ideal for many reasons, including that I nursed her (until she was 18 months), and I was chained to the iron pump when she wasn’t around.  So it was decided that my retired mother-in-law would come to live with us to spoil “The Screamer.”  When it came time for introducing food to our screaming baby, my mother-in-law went back to her house and came back with her ugly Osterizer to make baby food.  Boy did I think that thing was hideous!  I mean, come on!  It does not match my kitchen!  However, it has moved along with us ever since, although Grandma ditched us to go back to her own house.  This once-percieved-as-ugly appliance has become a shining star in my eyes.  (Tears, please.)

I have a love affair with “my” Osterizer.  I’ve given away the two blenders given to us as wedding gifts.  When my father-in-law comes, he checks it out for me and orders any necessary gaskets or blades for virtually the cost of shipping and handling.  Then, she runs like new.  Never a problem with her motor.

My sister saw it summarized best somewhere on the internet:  “Vitamix?  Ninja?  No way.  Give me an old Osterizer.”  IF this puppy’s motor ever goes, I’ll be getting on e-Bay and getting another.  It does great for all the challenges I give it.  I’ve never had a Vitamix, so I guess it’s not fair to say it’s better.  But it’s pretty darn good at only a fraction of the cost.  And eats ice like its warm butter.

A Blender Cleaning Tip

And lastly, my sister also saw somewhere how to best clean a blender–you know, way down in the sharp blade part where you darest not go–and it was such a simple, fantastic tip that I wanted to pass it on!  Just fill ‘er up with some water and turn ‘er on!  (Translation just in case:  Fill it up with some water and turn it on.)  So I’ve taken to rinsing out the blender in the sink and then getting the blade clean with her warm water and blend technique.  If I do this, it gets the green smoothie grime out pretty well!

May you have a glowing week!  Let me know–do you have a favorite old appliance that just won’t go away?  I may be in the market for it!


Why Pay More?

wpid-IMAG0156.jpgWhy pay more for a new product you know will break, when you can buy an old one made to last? Our sixteen year old Hamilton Beach food processor (a wedding gift), finally started smoking under the stress of grinding nuts! So I tossed it out the back door into the winter snow to sizzle and pop, excitedly jumping up and down at the thought of a NEW, luxury food processor with all the bells and whistles. I ran to the computer and gleefully started tearing through reviews of all those shiny, new, deluxe food processors! Which will it be? Somehow I ended up with a 30 year-old food processor dinosaur from E-Bay. And it works like a charm.

All the reviews I kept seeing about these new food processors just didn’t please me. I have the worst luck when it comes to buying new stuff. My brand new VHS to DVD converter, busted one day outside of warranty. My Keurig Platinum coffee maker, busted one day inside the warranty. My Zojirushi bread maker doesn’t like to mix the dough, and four hours later, I’ve got a “splat” in the machine. My Coach purse, well, I never even bothered getting it. My husband says, “Just buy the cheapest, please, honey. You know everything is made to break nowadays.”

I kept seeing these reviews on Amazon and Chowhound referring to Grandma’s DLC-7 made in Japan still running like a charm. I need good luck in the appliance category so I zipped over and opened a new tab for my first visit ever to e-Bay, and I shopped. Finally found a Cuisinart DLC-7 about 30 years old, and I clicked and bought. Her pieces are solid, solid, solid. I could drop her on the floor and she’d not chip a piece anywhere. Her motor purrs like a child’s kitty cat. No dancing forward to the edge of the counter under duress. No unchopped carrots in the bottom of the bowl.

Half the price. Twice the quality.

The consumer has spoken. If it’s as old as I am, it’s got to be good.

Organization Soothes the Soul

Update:  Had these maybe a year now.  I still like them a heck of a lot.  A good purchase.  Highly recommended if you’ve got the space.  Keeps my cabinet space free and things I use frequently right there ready to be grabbed and used:  vanilla, cinnamon, oregano, garlic, straws for the kids, oil, paring knife, measuring spoons, vegetable peeler–you name it, it’s right there at my fingertips.  A minor (very minor) complaint is the cup to hold my measuring spoons and vegetable parer wiggles a little bit on the rack as I try to get things out.

I like to write about products I like because what comes around goes around.  Before I make a purchase, I like to read reviews.  Sometimes, there aren’t many reviews out there to go on.  Before I bought these, I couldn’t find too many reviews on them.  So now here is one for those of you searching about them.

Container Store Polytherm Grid Wall Storage System:

Are your spices falling out of the cupboard?  Does everyone put them back in the wrong spot after they use them?  Are you tired of getting your cupboards and drawers sticky and dirty when you get into them to get out a knife, a measuring cup, a measuring spoon, or the vanilla–with your messy hands?  With these racks, nothing is falling out onto my head when I open a cupboard anymore.  Love it!  Thanks to my father-in-law for installing these, too.  But, he said it was easy.  I got the small wall grid size, some clips, some hooks, the storage cup, and a couple of different size and heights of shelves.  I have had NO problems with these yet.  If you can fit them under your cupboards, they are so worth it.  And they were delivered in a cute box in about 1-2 days from The Container Store!

Family Togetherness


Two of my favorite things in our home are our sectional sofas.  Often, furniture stores will have decorating staff who will come to your house to help you choose furniture based on what you’ve already got.  Well, don’t expect decorating ladies to be tickled to work with or to sell you a sectional couch.



“Well, it’s big…”

“Would you consider a different couch?”

“How about a sofa and a loveseat?”

“Okay.  I suppose we can work with it.”

Chin out and jaw set.  I want my sectional.

Why a sectional sofa?  With lots of room to sprawl, sectional sofas promote family togetherness.  There’s plenty of room for a mom with three girls gathered around The Indian in the Cupboard and a dad fast asleep for a nap.

It never fails if I sit down alone to peruse a homeschooling book, along comes a girl.  Then another.  Then another.  Then my husband.  And soon, we’re all there together, until I move somewhere else to try to read in peace.

So there you have it.  A sectional sofa is better than dinner around the kitchen table for promoting family togetherness.

Our Lazy Boy (brown) sectional is seven years old and frazzled.  The Flexsteel (red couch) is just over a year and has bones and build of steel.  wpid-IMAG0257.jpgIt’ll be that icky green couch that’s still around when I have grandkids.  If your’e considering either brand or a want particular thought on sectionals, drop me a line if you want.  All I do all day is sit on the couch and eat bon-bons.  Have a good life!


Save Your Back–A Pot Rack!

MY POT RACK:   When you are on the GAPS diet/SCD diet or any whole foods diet and you homeschool, you live in your kitchen!  My awesome father- in-law pot rackpicked this out for me and installed it during his last visit.  I think my in-laws got tired of bending over and putting things away in the bottom cupboards when they visited!  I know I sure was sick of bending over.  I love my pot rack.  Anything I can put up there, I do!  I purchased it from  It is a Range Kleen Oval Pot Rack in stainless steel.  He said it was easy to install.  Love it!  I did not center it over the stove because I did not want it to get splattered on from whatever was cooking below.

Addendum:  I have had this up now for about 6 months.  I am still very pleased with it.  I haven’t measured the amount of weight I hang up there, but I know it’s pushing the limit stated.  At least.  Positioned as it is, I haven’t had a problem with the appliance and pots/pans getting spattered with oil from the stove below.  Really, I still couldn’t be happier with this little kitchen addition.

“Do you like it, Mommy?”

Picture after picture after picture.  Princess after princess after princess.  What can I do with all these precious pictures that narrowly escape the fated doom of “THE TRASH CAN”?

Paint up a magnetic wall in the kitchen!

wpid-IMAG2162.jpgWhat I learned when I painted a magnetic wall:
1.  The Rust-Oleum paint stinks to high heaven!  We opened all windows and doors and used fans to exhaust to the outside for several days.  The smell was pretty much gone by the end of a week.
2.  The paint spatters like crazy!  Drop cloth and good taping required.  Gloves and old clothes.  Spills cleaned up right away.
3.  The metal shavings in the paint make the magnets stick to it–thus “magnetic.”  The shavings need to be distributed throughout the paint to work well.  I had the store mix the paint for me, and I mixed it well again before use.
4.  I did not sand the wall smooth because it was smooth drywall, and I was not making it into a chalkboard wall.  I sanded it with fine-grained sandpaper when finished.  However, in our schoolroom, I painted a magnetic-chalkboard wall, and I sanded between coats and when finished for a smooth finish.
5.  I used a roller and brush designed to give a smooth finish.  I disposed of them and the paint tray when finished.  Didn’t try to use them again.
6.  I applied at least 4 coats.  I waited for the paint to be dry to touch before painting another coat.  When my desired magnets stuck how I wanted, I quit.
7.  Regular refrigerator magnets WILL NOT hold on this wall except as a decoration, if you are lucky.  Our letter magnets and poison-center magnets do stick, but they won’t hold a thing.  I had to buy the neodymium rare earth magnets, which are dangerous.  The neodymium magnets that worked best for me are the ones about the size of a nickel with a hole cut out of the center like a donut.  I keep them out of reach of toddlers, and they are off-limits to the kids in general.  Like a sharp kitchen knife or mandolin slicer.  The magnets hold up our art well and will even hold up to 5 sheets of printer paper.

Would I do it again?wpid-IMAG2171.jpg
As long as I was prepared for the mess, the overwhelming smell (no different from any other oil-based paint smell, if you’re acquainted with that), purchased neodymium magnets, and felt confident the magnets would not be manipulated by little hands.  We like our magnetic wall, and it’s always full of art, call schedules, snack calendars, and meaningful quotes.