Monday, November 8, 2010

Queen of shortcuts and canned soup

Laundry sucks. There, I said it. Folding clothes and unloading the dishwasher are my two most hated chores. Sadly, the other adult who lives in my house doesn't seem to be programmed with the need to wash clothes or dishes. If we want clean clothes then this woman is the one who gets it done. But it doesn't mean I like it. (Side note: don't marry a man whose mother did his laundry and then his first wife did his laundry and then his cleaning lady post-divorce did his laundry because he will never once take an interest in learning how to run the washing machine and dryer. But I have learned to pick my battles.)
I feel like I can never catch up and have all the laundry washed, folded, and put away. We only have 2.5 people living in this house and yet it's never done. It drives me insane to have full laundry baskets within days of doing five loads of laundry. It will sit sorted on my bedroom floor for days until I can get it all done. Inevitably I will leave a wet load in the washer overnight and have to run it again the next night after work (where another load will get left unfinished because, damnit, I'm tired and don't want to be folding clothes at 11 pm).
The lightbulb went on early last week when the laundry was threatening to take over my upstairs hallway. My fancy pants, front loading washing machine has a DELAY TIMER. A little, tiny button on the front of it that I never paid much attention to until Noah pressed it last week and I saw the timer clock climb from 1 hour to 12 hours. Do you have any idea what this means? I DO. This means I can put a load of laundry in the machine before I go to bed, add the detergent, and then set the delay timer to go off an hour before I wake up. Then, when I wake up? The load is clean and ready for the dryer. I toss it into the dryer while I am showering and getting ready for work. Since that routine takes about 45 minutes (I'm slow in the morning and my coffee maker doesn't have an auto switch...I'm looking at you KEURIG) and so does my dryer, my clothes are dry and ready to be folded after I'm dressed. So I fold it because it's only ONE load and I don't feel OVERWHELMED by FIVE (seems like FORTY) loads that need to be washed, dried and folded. I don't have time to put it all away in the morning so I still have to tackle that part but I am seriously impressed with myself. Or with Noah for pushing that button and showing me the light.
It sounds like a million more steps but this has made the laundry process in our house less frought with anger, despair, and mildewy cottons. I'm in love with that little delay timer button.
And about the canned soup: go buy two ready made pie crusts, 1 bag frozen mixed veggies, 1 rotisserie chicken, and 1 can cream of chicken soup (lower sodium so I don't feel so bad). Put it all together. 30 minutes at 375 and you have chicken pot pie. It's a few steps above pre-made frozen pot pies and about a frillion steps below (but way EASIER) than homemade crusts and sauces. I may be feeding my family this multiple times a month for the rest of winter. I hope they don't mind. And I bet you all totally already knew this recipe.
What are some of your short cuts?


Madame Queen said...

I usually set my washing machine timer to wash my clothes right before I get home from work so that when I get home I can pop them in the dryer and then fold them before I go to bed. That's the PLAN anyway, though I usually get lazy and let them sit in the dryer for a day.

Sometimes at night while I'm in the kitchen cleaning up from the night's dinner, I'll go ahead and prep the next night's dinner if I can -- chop the veggies and what not, just to save a little time.

bessie.viola said...

That's awesome - I love both the delay button and the recipe.

My favorite shortcut will always and forever be my crock pot. I love having soup ready when I get home in the winter. The other day I tossed in a roast, added some french onion soup and beef broth (yup, both canned) and we had French Dip sandwiches for dinner. SO yummy, and was super fast.

Other than that... I've got nothing. I like Clorox wipes because I can wipe down the counters in the morning and feel like I'm helping things along. :)

k said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
k said...

If both our husbands croak and we had to live together (it COULD HAPPEN), never would we have laundry that is folded or an empty dishwasher. I LOATHE both of those tasks.

To keep from doing 59 loads of laundry on the weekend, I will do one load each day. Wash it and dry it one night; fold it and put it away the next night.

And I second the crockpot.

(Am now totally printing out that pot pie shortcut. I love me some creamed soup...)

Erica said...

I am so jealous of your washer! We have a super old set that doesn't do anything automatically.
I can't think of many shortcuts but I do try to constantly pick up the house - whenever I go from room to room I try to bring something with me and put it in its place. We have a small apartment but still every little bit helps.
It was wonderful to meet you this past weekend. I enjoyed all of our conversations and look forward to keeping up with your latest adventures.

Cupcake Mama said...

I love the chicken pot pie recipe--if you use mixed veggies from the produce section in the bag instead of frozen, it tends to be less watery if you have that issue. I also use some of the chicken for chicken enchiladas. Chicken, ricotta chesse, salsa and shredded cheese mixed together and put in flour tortillas with enchilada sauce/shredded cheese on top and bake. Very good and tastes good the next day for lunches.

Michelle said...

I hate doing laundry. Hate. It. The folding and putting away is what usually drives me crazy mainly because there is no place to put it. We have a massive dresser but my husband has so many old T-shirts that he refuses to get rid of. So while my clothes get put away, I just leave his in the basket. When he complains, I always remind him of the solution: Clean out your drawers.
Somehow, it never gets done.

jodi said...

And I thought I was the only one that had this laundry problem! It seems like I'm constantly doing laundry and then throwing all of the clean clothes somewhere until there's an overload and they're all beyond wrinkled.

I made this wonderful homemade chicken and rice casserole a while back. I doubled the recipe and then realized I had way too much, so I froze some of it. One month later when my husband was coming home to watch the two year old and I had to take the baby to the doctor I thought "what am I going to make for dinner at the last minute for these two." By the way we were extremely low on groceries. I looked in the freezer and saw the casserole. I popped it in the oven and my husband just had to take it out. They both devoured the whole thing! So, my new shortcut is doubling recipes that can be frozen.

SB - remember me?! said...

OMG. I am checking my fancy front loading washing machine AS SOON as I get home because, while reading this, I felt as though I had literally written it myself! I HATE the 15 loads of laundry currently on my bedroom floor.