Bender's domestic goddess thread

This thread is for tips, tricks, questions or advice for navigating the mysterious and dangerous world of keeping a house running and in a decent state or managing to feed yourself and others without setting anything on fire. Anything from grocery shopping to bill paying or organising things.

I'll start with a cooking tip: if you hate eating chicken liver due to the taste and texture, try soaking it in milk for at least half an hour (I usually leave it overnight in the fridge) as this takes all the bitterness out of it. Never season it or add salt before cooking as it gives it a tough texture. Chop in smaller pieces and fry quickly and lightly, leaving it slightly pink in the middle as overcooking makes it rubbery. Enjoy :)

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Comments

  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen

    If stuck for a quick snack: crackers/crispbread with sliced cheese in microwave for 30 seconds, instant hot snack.

    Optional: add a sprinkle of seasoning (eg garlic, chilli, paprika, Asafoetida ) or thinly sliced tomatoes or spring onion to change it up a bit. Yum

    Ima domestic goddess too! Microwave cooking style :D

  • Anything that makes your life easier or more pleasant counts :)

  • Does the domestic goddess accept blood sacrifice, and how much would it be for the deluxe package?

  • Blood stains, dude :(

    Hmmm... maybe some blood sausage or black pudding... I shall consider it.

  • I don't think I'm allowed in this thread. What about pillowfort goddesses?

    I can pay bills on time because of anxiety, but organisation and executive function nearly deplete me. Thank goodness MD went to chef school and can feed me, but we don't like any of the same food so that unto itself is a challenge. She has the audacity to dislike spicy food, and she eats this disgusting thing called chocolate.

    Shivers.

  • You're more than welcome in here, you're a lover of beauty and that's a big part of having a nice home :)

    I love both spicy food and chocolate, you're both invited!

  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen

    Tell @Amity not to ever again put parmesan in the microwave 🦨

  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen

    Lol, public shaming eh.... it was only twice and only slightly smelled of butyric acid!!

  • My flatmate in Uni burned Jello. Don't ask.

  • I don't have a microwave but google tells me there are a lot of recipes that require microwaving parmesan. What's the problem, it smells?

  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen

    Smells just like vomit

  • Blind tests on random people have showed that...yep, people can't actually smell the difference between vomit and parmesan cheese without context. And I say that as someone who loves me some parmesan.

  • I'm pretty sure peaches and vomit were tested as well. ^

  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    edited October 2020

    Executive Dysfunction Tips

    Most of the professional advice is ill advised, and lacks insight of executive issues from the perspective of someone who has it, and tend to forget disorganisation is in the mind, and the mess is a consequence no the cause.

    Don't think about the enormity of the mess, instead:
    1. Keep bins available in each room, and several big ones. The first thing you should try and clear is any accessible waste. Force yourself to to do this as much as possible when you see item that can be binned lying around.
    2.Put like things together. This can be and broad or as specific as you like. Just start to sort items by their type. You can do a number of different rounds, filtering it down to help clear surfaces.
    3. Don't pressure yourself about how long it will take, you probably won't know where you are until you have done a round or two of "like things". Not knowing where you are is fine, don't let it overwhelm, just do what you can in the available time.
    4. Broadly categorise items by room or sector. If something is not from the you are room immediately move it to the correct one, just somewhere safe, it doesn't have to be "put away", until you you can focus on that room. Persist with the idea that if you see something out of place for the room, to move it to correct room.
    6. If items or the room needs clearing, better to do above first for the whole room.
    7. Be careful about "putting thing away" if you don't easily form mental maps. Same applies to stacking/filling, etc Choose locations for thing that are uncomplicated and logical an do it consistently so you form habits.

  • ^excellent and practical advice.

  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen

    @verity said:

    Executive Dysfunction Tips

    2.Put like things together. This can be and broad or as specific as you like. Just start to sort items by their type. You can do a number of different rounds, filtering it down to help clear surfaces.

    I actually disagree with my own advice somewhat lol

    Don't be overly specific in grouping like things.

    Reasons:
    1. It is not the most efficient sorting algorithm, in a physical space even if it was done by a machine
    2. The point of this exercise to create the physical an mental space to go on and make further decisions, if you sorting too narrowly you are going to find yourself spending a lot of time trying to categorise thing an introducing ever more types rather then reducing your load. Better to introduce another round.
    3. If you are that able to organise thing you wouldn't need my advice.
    4. Not being able to see the bigger picture doesn't mean you can't work on it or improve it

    A common advice I have heard, which I think is wrong, is starting in a corner an working you way out to the centre. I think this is really not understanding executive issues. In some case this may work, but it may also be totally impractical, it doesn't address how get to a stage where you can start cleaning an putting thing in their place.

  • I do this when I have to clean or organise:

    I pick a random number like .... five. When I get up for any reason, I have to do five things before I sit down again. Depending on my energy level the five things might be very small (recycle five pieces of paper -- lol -- that's five things), or larger (five actual tasks). Of course my number might even be smaller like ... two. Again they could be big tasks or small tasks. The tasks are usually on a list first because it's incredibly satisfying to cross things off a list.

    I'm the type of person who likes to count things, so the numbers help.

    Off to do three things now --

    toodles

  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen

    @Isabella said:
    I do this when I have to clean or organise:

    I pick a random number like .... five. When I get up for any reason, I have to do five things before I sit down again. Depending on my energy level the five things might be very small (recycle five pieces of paper -- lol -- that's five things), or larger (five actual tasks). Of course my number might even be smaller like ... two. Again they could be big tasks or small tasks. The tasks are usually on a list first because it's incredibly satisfying to cross things off a list.

    I'm the type of person who likes to count things, so the numbers help.

    Off to do three things now --

    toodles

    I do similar thing, having my own business workign from home, I had to work hard to find self motivation to get things done.It to year to get to where I am now.

    I had to force myself to develop habits, but it has paid off for the most part.

    Again i don't focus on the enormity, but I find reliable way so that I can't forget priorities and andhave to keep motoring on.

  • I've heard of an app or site called Habitica. It supposedly helps people to organise what they're doing.
    I looked at it and almost had a panic attack because it looked too complicated and overwhelming.

    It might help some people here, though.

    My issue isn't knowing what needs done, it's getting the motivation to do it. A lot of tasks cause me sensory problems (e.g., I can't stand touching water with my hands), so I have to really psych myself up for some jobs.
    Carrying laundry is also an issue because I get dizzy from my stroke.

    Hats off to you for working from home. That's a great achievement but I can see how it would add an extra layer of multitasking to your day.

  • I have tried things like Habitica. The problem with them is that they're inflexible; they can't take your current energy level into account. So when you're feeling low you give yourself permission to ignore the app telling you to do something. Which then develops into a bad habit of ignoring the app altogether. Maybe that's just me, though.

  • HylianHylian Citizen, Mentor

    What I have done to help motivate myself to do things is I physically write down (I like writing, so this makes this step not a chore) a certain, small number of tasks, and at the beginning of doing that I keep the tasks things that are easy to do and that I possibly even enjoy doing. If I'm running out of energy I'll review the list and strike out anything I think I can't do that day. I can still read them because I didn't erase them, and if needed I can tack them onto the next days list, but I no longer am "required" to do them so it makes me less stressed.

    This only works on me though because I can't relax if I don't do everything I was set on doing that day, so once I make a list I'm forced to follow it if I don't want to be upset later. lol

  • IsabellaIsabella Citizen
    edited October 2020

    Yes, I do pretty much the same thing. I like lists so much that if I do something which wasn't on the list, I'll add it and strike it out for that sense of accomplishment.

    Another thing I do: "Be where you are". That just means, wherever I go in my house I try to do at least one thing to make it look better before I leave. If I get a glass of water I might straighten the dish towels or spray my sink, or just toss something in the trash before leaving the room. Every little bit helps especially if it wasn't on your list and didn't feel like a looming task.

  • @Wolfram said:
    I have tried things like Habitica. The problem with them is that they're inflexible; they can't take your current energy level into account. So when you're feeling low you give yourself permission to ignore the app telling you to do something. Which then develops into a bad habit of ignoring the app altogether. Maybe that's just me, though.

    Never tried Habitica but I used another habit-forming app. It had an option of doing something only 3 or 5 or just one time a week. It worked pretty well for me, I'm motivated by seeing progress.

    I rely heavily on habits, routines and lists too or I'll never get anything done. But once I start a task (like cleaning a room or organising something), I need to finish it, I can't do it in small steps.

  • I have a hard time forming habits, easily fall out of habits and rely heavily on routine to get things done. It's not a stellar recipe. Making the decision to do somehting that's outside the routine take a lot of energy, and then actually preparing and executing the decision take anothe large chunk of energy.

    I can usually trick myself into getting things like cleaning done by "diluting" it, spreading it out across a full day where I do productive things interspersed with gaming. This is typically how I spend my Sundays. The downside is I don't feel like it's done until...well...it's finished.

  • IsabellaIsabella Citizen
    edited October 2020

    My issue is that my brain thinks in micro rather than macro.

    So if I have to clean my bedroom, it's not "one task". It's hundreds of tasks. Each individual step of cleaning the room is as big and important (and daunting) as the others so I think of it as "a hundred chores" rather than one chore: "clean my bedroom". Every piece of paper I have to file or recycle or read or move involves multistep thinking. Then I get distracted thinking and making decisions of where to put each paper. Then, gee, I need to make my bed? But maybe I need to launder the linens. Distraction.

    If I leave the room to launder then I'm even more off task. Then I need to vacuum but should I vacuum the whole house or just that room? If I do whole house I'm off task again and will likely see something in another room to work on. And now the laundry needs to go in the dryer. And meanwhile I haven't dusted yet, or I should rearrange my books. Maybe I should read one of the books? It just never ends because of my poor multitasking ability, and my general lack of focus.

    Heaven forbid if I need to touch water.

  • Does it help to have fixed laundry days? Once or twice a week? I never vacuum if I'm just doing a quick clean up like picking up things and putting them back in their place. If I start dusting or vacuuming I have to do the whole house, I get OCD about that kind of stuff.

    An air purifier helps a lot with dust and animal hair.

  • IsabellaIsabella Citizen
    edited October 2020

    I have four air purifiers

    Fixed laundry days sound ideal but nope. I've never been able to keep a daily schedule for anything. I just do tasks as I see them or need them. I know it's not the best method and I wish I could be like my mother's generation who had certain days for each thing. I've never been able to make schedules like that, I suppose because I can't gauge my energy level or amount of focus ahead of time. The weather is also a big consideration because I can't clean or do ANYTHING if it's sunny, because I feel sick in sunlight. I'm a write-off on sunny days. If I shut the blackout curtains then it's too dark to see what I'm doing. So it has to be grey outside but then if it's grey outside I want to curl up and read. I can't do much at night either because I don't do electric lighting and I can't see enough.

    Excuses excuses. I know but it's true.

  • Sundays is my "prepare for next week" day. I run the laundry machine, I run the dishwasher, and while that's going on I cook food for lunchboxes. Once the boxes are done I empty the dishwasher and reload it with whatever dishes I accrued during cooking.

    I imagineit helps, especially since you can do multiple things at the same time, plus have them work of each other.

    Good tip on the air purifier. Will have to see about getting one of those.

  • I hope I'm not giving the wrong impression -- I do get everything done and my house is quite clean most of the time, but it's exhausting and a never-ending challenge for me, mentally. Now that my flood-repairs are finally finished I can spend more time comfortably in that part of the house, and I'll get more done just by being there instead of sequestered in my bedroom since March.

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