Thursday, November 24, 2011

Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make Do, Do Without...

Use it up, wear it out, make do, do without.  More than a colloquialism, it's a way of life 'round here.   Resources are used uhmmmm resourcefully - never wasted.  Everything wears out.  Do without, I've done without so many things for so long I don't think I've ever done with.  Make do??  I'm the queen of make do.  I'm one Southern gurl that can make some serious do with no problem.  I don't even have to ponder it anymore.

Let me tell you,

The dryer died one evening a couple of months ago.  Smelling hot cotton fibers and heating elements, it was snatched out from the wall and unplugged.  At 25 years old, I'd gotten my money's worth for it.  I'm holding out for the washing machine to completely go out, too, so both can be replaced by an over/under washer/dryer.  The freezer can occupy the space left by the dryer and the much needed second refrigerator can go where the freezer is.  I know.  Too many words to explain that sometimes the clothesline isn't available because of rain.  I make do with an indoor drying solution.

Yep.  That's the extendable handle from the dust mop propped on an 18 inch dowel rod laid across the towel pegs on the right (that was accidentally cropped in editing {such as it is}) stretching across the bath tub to the soap bucket, turned upside down.

Add a fan to hasten the drying and voila!

 I make do just fine without a dryer.

Sometimes I have more jars of canned vegetables than the big canner will hold.  Patience applying only to children in the household, the smaller canner is often used so there's no waiting around for a watched pot to boil.  There's no rack for it.  I'm not dissuaded in the least.  There are always old stretched clean socks waiting to be used as rags.

Cut in half, they slip quite nicely over the bottoms of the filled jars, keeping them off the bottom of the canner and from bumping each other.

Tadadaaaaaaa, rack problem solved.

The other day I was all distracted with Thanksgiving and spending it with Fambly at John's and Brenda's house (bittersweet).  Dark chocolate ganache had been made using twice the cream called for.  Yikes.  Soupy ganache.  Not good. 

I made do, breaking out the whisk and bowl for the stand mixer, Providentially  already in the fridge,

and whipping in butter.

It was one of the better make-do ideas in the kitchen.

Even Youngest Fellow knows how to make do with what's available, fixing the power supply cord so the lap top can work again!

This morning I wanted to replicate the Browning Buckmark logo for Chelsea's groom's cake.  The photo Mary Sue had shown me had the logo in fondant.  Welllll, y'all know my aversion to fondant.   An earlier cake with the Buckmark cut out of fondant was not that easy to do, the curves of the horns and fine inner workings of the doe's ears causing major consternation. I could get it on the top tier in icing.  NNNnno.  Nope.  Nuh-unh.  That'd be a nightmare of scratch and do over.  I free-hand the designs on the cakes when the design is easy.  Getting the proportions right for the Browning would take serious time.  Did I mention a lack of patience when it comes to anything other than children??

The solution, then, was to enlarge the logo pulled from the internet.  Ohh, I know - there are programs out there to do it and given fifteen more minutes I could've probably found an online coloring book with the logo in it but have I mentioned the patience thing yet??

There are those wonderful overhead-projector-in-reverse machines that take a design and shine it down on the top of the cake.  I don't have one of those.  It's time to make do again, using the grid system to enlarge an image.

Here's what I did!  I found the graph paper left over from The Fellows high school days, then found an image.

If I had a wireless printer, I could've printed it off, but there again, I made do, placing a piece of graph paper right on the screen and lightly tracing over it.

Using a ratio of two blocks for every one in the traced image, I outlined squares and transferred each curve, point by point, through the squares, enlarging the image!  Tadadaaaaa!  We learned how to do this in the third grade.  Youngest Fellow didn't have a CLUE!

"Well that's just excellent, Mayree.  I'm real excited for you,"  I hear you think.  How does that transfer to chocolate on a groom's cake?

Using the point of a mechanical pencil (no lead), I traced the Buckmark logo onto wax paper;  several of them in fact, some in reverse.


Melting semi-sweet chocolate with paraffin, chocolate Browning Buckmark logos were made on the wax paper.

I've just 'glued' them together with chocolate butter cream to make a dimensional logo to stand upright on the cake tomorrow, with help of carefully placed and concealed bamboo skewers.

Now that's how to make do with what you've got.   

Woooot!  November is almost over!  I love life, but this is one of those years that I'll be glad to see the backside of in a little over a month.  My favorite time of year is here -- when home-made gifts rule hearth and home.  It is good to see Christmas come...


  1. Since money has been rather scarce in spots I set about trying to save money on the electric bill this summer. I love to hang out clothes but not possible here right purchased one of the wooden drying racks and I love it. It looks sort of like a chinese laundry in here right now. In the florist business we make do with many things kind of like you making those deer! Great job by the way! Sometimes you just have to pull something out of your head.

  2. You can "make do" all right! This is another great one, Mary! Isn't that electrical tape? And totally ingenious with the solution to the Buckhead logo! The cake is gorgeous of course! Do you have a ceiling fan? It's perfect for hanging wet clothes (don't turn it on, please). The floor fan is good, too. The written word is used brilliantly by you. Thanks for sharing. maryb