Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Painting Baby Gutzmer's Room 1 of 3

Painting Baby Gutzmer's Room 1 of 3

As Baby Gutzmer approaches I have been informed that it is time for the oldest of baby traditions, painting the baby room. This goes all the way back to a conversation overheard in an early cave.

♂How do you want to decorate the baby's room.
♀I don't know I was thinking of a nice gender neutral green
♂That seems kind of bland
♀maybe some two tone green stripes
♂I was thinking of a mural of me and my friends hinting and killing some buffalo
♀I think I would prefer the stripes
Club... thump

and so the first baby mural was created

I lacking a club ended up settling on the 2 tone green stripes.
So please to enjoy the first of my 3 part series "Painting baby Gutzmers room"

1) Move the furniture out of the way. Seems easy enough. Get it out of the room or away from the walls there should be 4ft of clearance around.

2) Take off all of those faceplates. You could mask them, but it is way easier and cleaner to remove them, and as I'll investigate later masking is not all it is cracked up to be.

3) Clean... Clean... Clean

If you want the paint to be nice and smooth and not to peel off in a year you want to start with a surface that is nice and smooth and CLEAN.

Start with a broom sweep the whole thing paying special attention to the cobwebs that you did not even notice were there.
Now get your favorite bucket and make a dilute cleaning solution with your favorite household cleaner. Make sure it is not too strong you do not want to leave any residue. Take a rag and get it slightly damp and wipe down the entire wall. If your walls were immaculate to start with congratulations, you are the cleanest person I know.

If you are a little anal like me you can do an additional quick rub down with a scouring pad. I like the giant ones they sell at sams. Especially if you are starting with a semi-gloss or high gloss, this will scarify the surface to allow for better adhesion.
Oh, and keep that rag and bucket around, it will come in handy

4) Masking (optional)
This is the point in the painting process where you break out multiple rolls of tape and go to town coating every inch of your trim... right? Maybe not. Lets consider the pros and cons
-All that time and effort to put the tape everywhere
-Once the tape is on you tend to get sloppy since that's what its there for
-Feathering (the little bit of paint that wick under the tape and get on the trim anyway)

With a good brush and a steady hand you can get just as strait (or better) trim lines with out all of the taping, but more on that later. I do like the tape for the trip that is close together or where it is really close to an inside corner, and there is not enough room to maneuver a brush. The easiest way is to get it even at one side and then to pull it strait and line it up at the other side, smooth it down tight and if IF the wall is straight the tape will be perfect.
5) Put down a drop cloth
It doesn't need to be fancy that old sheet set will do just fine, but it does need to be there. No matter how careful you are sooner or later a drop will fall, and if it is on carped it is not easy to clean. If you want to shell out $8 for a real drop cloth it is worth it.
6) Now use those free pint stirrers you got to stir it up nice.
When you are done wipe them on the rim as you pull it out, now you don't have AS much paint dripping on all of the news paper you laid out. You did lay news paper out right?
7) Pick your worst bowl, Tupperware, margarine container and dump some in (carefully)
or $0.89 for the pro container with the wipe off wire.
8) Cutting in
Ok, I promised you deliverance from all of that masking and here it is. Professional painters don't mask and neither should you. And your brush will set you free. First of all throw away that $1 brush with the plastic bristles that are always falling out.

If you want to do a good job start with a good brush. Look for good bristles that are split at the ends, a nice chiseled edge that will let the bristles fan out as you pull it across the wall, and a solid mounting and handle. You don't need to go crazy but if you spend $8 in 6 years, you will be glad you did.

Dip your brush into the paint about a half an inch as you go the paint will slowly creep up the brush, but keep it as close to the bottom as possible. Wipe off the excess, and get ready to paint. Start 1/2 in away from the edge and slowly pull the brush into and across the trim. As you do the bristles will fan out into a knife like edge (hence cutting in). keep going until the edge is just touching the trim, and move it straight down the edge.
Congratulations! a nice clean edge with no tape and half the time.
Oh and make sure you still have that bucket and damp rag around just in case.

9) Once you have the trim "cut in" turn the brush 90 deg and get a good couple of inches to make room for the rollers. If there is not room for the roller, then use the brush for as far as you need.

Now that you have about 1% of the wall covered you are home free. 90% of the work is done, and it is time to bust out that roller. Pour the paint in the roller pan and load up the roller. Make sure you roll out the excess on the pan, and head to the wall. Start with one big W (or M for the democrats) and then keep moving back and forth in the same pattern until the the area is completely covered. The key here is to press firmly into the wall. Use a little paint and apply it evenly.
One roller should look about like this. Get as close as you safely can to the edges since the paint from the roller really looks a lot nice.
10) Repeat steps 8 and 9
But good news. don't really worry about getting right up to the trim. As long as you're within an 1/8 - 1/4 in that's close enough. It should go twice as fast.
11) Cleaning Cleaning Cleaning
Now that you're done spend 20 min to clean all of your tools. Rinse the brush thoroughly and soak it in some warm water. If the paint is dried on you can use a wire brush to clean the... brush. The rest you should be able to rinse out with a garden hose. I do usually just throw away the roller, I have tried reusing them and they always seem worthless the second time no matter how much I clean them.
Now that We've got the base coat down we're ready for the stripes.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009



Several years ago when we got our mixer and some of the attachments I convinced Cara to let me spend the couple of extra bucks to get the sausage stuffer tubes. It has been a long time and I have taken a fair amount of flack for the unused sausage tubes. A couple of weekends ago I finally had the extra venison and time to finally make my first batch of sausage. warning may not be suitable for vegetarians.

1) Cleaning Cleaning Cleaning
You want good sausage you need to clean everything. Counters, mixer, bowls, utensils, clean it all. Got it all squeaky clean? Good, now you're ready for the next step.2) Sanitize Sanitize Sanitize
Really these are good starting steps for any cooking project. a 10% bleach soln should do nicely, and as an added bonus you can just spray on and let it dry, you do not even need to wipe it down.
3) Get your ingredients
Now if you are making sausage you are going to need some fat. My recipe called for pork back fat, but to my dismay no one seemed to stock it, though the Schnucks butcher said he could save me some. I figured bacon would work just as well.
4) Set up the equipment
from left to right: 600W mixer w/ meat grinder attachment, clean plates for transfer, large sanitized cutting board, large knife extra sharp, 2 large bowls for catching ground meat.
5) Cut the meat
For my meat grinder this meant rectangular prisms about 1" x 1" x 6"
6) Into the grinder
Nice and easy let the grinder do the work. This does add some heat to the meat so the colder is starts the better, I usually pop mine in the freeze for at least and hour or 2 before cutting.
Multiple batches, different meats, have to step out for a bit...
you know it:
clean clean clean
sanitize sanitize sanitize
I suggest running a couple of pieces of bread through the grinder to force out the majority of the meat.
I like to make mine w/ venison, hence the need for the extra fat. As delicious as it is venison really does not have a lot going on in the fat dept.

That's a lot of meat
7) Weigh and measure all of the ingredients.
I used a couple of recipes I found on line, one good eats, and one random.
8) Mix it up
I started this with the paddle and quickly realized that was going to make a ginormous mess. The dough hook did much better kneading the spices into the meat, and don't forget the secret ingredient, morton tender quick adds the real sausage taste... ummmmm sausage.
9a) ♫ Pack it up nice ♫
Now here you have a couple of options patties or links. I chose about 2/3 patties, mostly because it was a lot of meat and the patties were easier. spread a 24" piece of foodservice film (saran) out on the counter. Get a 1lb handful of sausage, form it into a cylinder, and TIGHTLY wrap it up into the film folding in the ends as you go. Pop it in the freezer and you've got sausage suitable for patties.
9b) Stuff it
The links get a bit more complicated. First the stuffer tubes need to be fitted onto the good ole grinder. Slide your collagen casings (no intestines for me) onto the tubes, and clip off the end.

hold it tight and twist off the links as you go