Repurposing An Old Crate And Some Old Jim Beam

When the inevitable “tell us about one of your weaknesses” question gets popped during an interview, I breathe a sigh of relief. I have this question down, and it’s not because I excel at being self-deprecating. I can jabber on for a good five minutes about how organized I am because I have a natural tendency to be unorganized.  You see what I did there?

Its true though. If left to my own natural devices, my house and I would be a mess. Luckily the internet is overflowing with ideas for organizing your life. I’ve been cataloging this advice as I come across it. Enter stage left: the Cooked Pork Box. Or should I say, the cooked pork with added gelatin from Poland box. MMMMMMM….they don’t make things like they used to….

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The Philadelphia Flea Market is a dream come true, and I mean that in the literal sense because I dream about flea markets and thrift stores.  Or I have at least on five occasions that I can remember.  I love those dreams. Anyway, back to the Flea…I bought said crate and a small shelf to organize some spices for $25 dollars.  At the time that this crate was actually being sent from Poland to the US, I’m guessing the whole crate (cooked pork and all) was probably worth less.  But this is The United States in the year 2015. We pay premium prices for garbage priceless antiquities. And I really wanted to attach this particular crate to a wall to hold my collection of paper bags because of how narrow it was.  So I did it.


Processed with VSCOcam with p5 presetInstalling A Crate To Your Wall – It’s harder than it looks

What you will need:

  • Power drill and power drill accoutrement
  • Level (you can use a phone app for this)
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure or ruler
  • 2 anchor screws
  • 2 screws
  • Crate
  • Arm strength

Procedure:

  • Clean out your used crate of old cardboard, mysterious metal piece, and years of dirt and dust. Use a moist cloth or a gentle cleanser like orange oil.
  • Using a pencil, level and measuring device (measuring tape or ruler) mark your wall where you are going to insert the anchor screws. I spaced my marks about 4 inches apart. If you have a stud at your disposal, try to use that instead of drywall (you won’t need an anchor screw if you can use a stud) because it will be even sturdier. Then mark corresponding spots on your your crate. I did mine towards the top. Next time I might try to make them a little lower.
  • Using a hammer, tap anchor screws into the wall. If your anchor screws bend when you do this, use a drill bit to drill a hole in the wall for the anchor screw to slide into. Make sure you don’t make the hole too big!
  • Drill pilot holes in your crate (I learned this from Melissa’s bar cart hack!) This is where the arm strength comes in. I didn’t make my pilot holes big enough and this caused me some trouble later on. Make sure the pilot hole is big enough to accommodate the size of the screw you are using. And get your mind out of the gutter.

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  • Prop up your crate, hold up your crate, or have a friend hold up the crate – just get that crate up on the wall so that it lines up with the anchor screws. Drill screws through the crate into the anchor screws.

Sounds simple right? It will be if you learn from my mistakes (starting with the right size pilot holes). I ended up stripping the screws because the pilot screws weren’t big enough, and had to gingerly use the rest of my arm strength to finish screwing in the screws by hand.  Also, in order to make room for the drill, I wound up removing a piece of the crate which I later had to hammer back in.

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The piece I took off didn’t go back in perfectly, but after a few good whacks (during which I may have closed my eyes) those old screws were mostly back in place.

box6

Et voila! Step one of turning this boring blank wall into the ultimate organization mecca is complete!

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The Broken Hoof

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz bacon bourbon*
  • 6 oz apple cider (or to taste)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 lime wedge

Heat apple cider with cinnamon (I didn’t use a whole stick because that’s a waste of money) in a pot until simmering. Mix apple cider and bacon bourbon in a mug. Garnish with lime wedge.

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*Bacon Bourbon….just say it out loud a few times. I love alliterations and this one feels like whipped cream rolling around my tongue when I say it. If you weren’t already saving your bacon grease to cook with, here is a reason to start (as if eggs, collards, rice, etc weren’t reason enough already. You can buy bacon bourbon from Old Major’s Bacon Bourbon‘s website, but here at H&H we never buy something when we can make it for a fraction of the price. And this one is particularly easy.

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Bacon Bourbon

Ingredients:

  • Two cups of bourbon (I used Jim Beam because I still had doubts – the recipe I followed called for Woodford Reserve Bourbon – are these people made of money???)
  • 3 tablespoons of warm bacon grease

2015/01/img_4371-0.jpgMix ingredients in a jar using a fork or whisk. Let sit for four hours and shake from time totime. Store in the fridge for three days. Strain the mixture using a coffee filter. If you don’t have one of those (like me), line a strainer with a paper towel and pour the mixture through that. It is very effective in removing all of the fat from the bacon.

 

 

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There was some discussion among friends about using the strained bacon fat. I abstained this time, but I would love to know your opinions about that! Also, what is your favorite thing to cook with bacon fat? Check out Old Major Bacon’s website for more cocktail ideas. I personally can’t wait to make a Old Major’s Fashioned.

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About hoochandhome

home improvement, one cocktail at a time
This entry was posted in Cocktails, DIY, Infusions, Salvage, VIntage and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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