Monthly Archives: September 2013

Veggie Perfection

In her wonderful book, The Instant Cook (Harper Collins, 2004), author Donna Hay offers this secret to ensuring that roasted vegetables are crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle: Arrange them properly. That means placing those that should be really crisp, like potatoes, around the outside edges of the pan and working your way in. Smaller, quick-cooking veggies (such as pumpkin and onions) go in the middle.

Guest Room

If you’re like me, you find it hard to resist using the empty closets and drawers in your guestroom for general storage. But when guests arrive is there any room for their things?

I think it’s a good idea to leave at least one drawer and some hangers free, so visitors won’t have to live out of their suitcases. You’ll probably find that many of the items stuffing those spaces can be discarded anyway.

Iron No More

I’ve developed the good habit of washing and ironing table linens immediately after using them, so presumably they’re ready to go again at a moment’s notice. But the truth is that they develop creases at the folds and I usually feel compelled to press them again. Am I being obsessive?

A friend got me wondering when she confessed that such creases wouldn’t bother her in the least and expressed her astonishment that I would ever buy anything that wasn’t wash and wear. It occurs to me that my favorite cloth happens to be all-polyester. And while it also creases when left very long under the weight of other linens, the lines relax given a little time.

Regardless of what tablecloth you’re using, it’s a good idea to set the table the night before. And you could try this tip (although I haven’t yet): Lay out your cloth and mist it with water; by morning, any wrinkles should have disappeared. If they don’t, there still will be time for ironing.