Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Get rid of kitchen clutter by Easter
I organized my mom’s spice cabinet on the very day I read Barbara Tako’s dismay at finding five 5-spice jars in her own rack. In “Clutter Clearing Choices,” she explains how she came to alphabetize her seasonings after thinking that was just nuts, and how it helped her a lot.
At Mom’s, I found a few bottles marked Shwegmann’s, her favorite grocery store to visit when my sister lived in Baton Rouge, more than a decade ago. She was surprised to find extra dill and celery powder, and happily shared with me. I took a bunch of jars with tiny bits of green stuff and morphed them into a new mix I labeled Italian. I’m willing to make a sauce with this, because it was free to me, but I know Mom and Tako are right … fresher spices make a better meal.
Tako takes on other rooms in this book, and I already subscribe to her thoughts that items should flow through our lives, instead of park there and rot. One of her anecdotes is about a woman with beautiful, dusty candles sitting out. The friend won’t burn them because she’s afraid of starting a fire, but dusty candles aren’t attractive. They need to get out of her life.

Give him a foot . . .
Mel Bartholomew is my fantasy neighbor. In “All New Square Foot Gardening Cookbook” he tells you how to get the most from a tiny space, offers both gourmet and “classic” recipes from your yield and even has games and lessons for the children. Fresh Pepper Lentil Salad, Zucchini Parmesan Pancakes and Asian Cucumber Salad are some temptations. Here’s another:

Sweet Peanut Carrot Spread
_ cup crunch peanut butter
1 to 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 large or 3 small carrots, shredded or grated
2 tablespoons raisins
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Use the mixture to fill sandwiches or spread it on crackers. Makes enough for four sandwiches.

Deliver a switch
Although this pizza box doesn’t have cheese and sausage inside, it is by no means empty. Makers of World Famous Chocolate Pizza from suggest watching Dad’s face when he opens a gift of a “pizza” of Belgian milk chocolate blended with puffed crispies to make an extra large 14-inch sweet and crunchy “crust.” White chocolate drizzles make the “cheese,” and toppings include yummies in shapes of mushrooms, pepperoni and pepperoni. The supreme comes with complete with chocolate mugs of beer and remote control. Now that spells “Dad.”
Can I get some of these for April Fool’s Day? Who doesn’t like fun you can eat?

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