Monthly Archives: June 2014

Labeling Leftovers

Just out of pure laziness or forgetfulness, I use Scotch Tape to identify my leftovers. For the longest time, I’ve intended to pick up a roll of masking tape for the purpose. It’s what I’ve seen used in professional kitchens, undoubtedly because the writing is more legible against the beige background.

But in an item called “Lessons from The French Laundry” in the July 2014 issue of Food & Wine magazine, I learned about green FrogTape, which is apparently superior to ordinary masking tape because it won’t slip off if it gets wet and is easy to remove. Richard Blais, chef at The Spence in Atlanta, who once worked at Thomas Keller’s renowned restaurant, says the acclaimed chef was “obsessive” about the stuff.

I’m pretty OC myself, so I like the idea that this painter’s tape doesn’t curl at the edges, at least according to the company’s Web site. If you want to consider using it to label containers of leftovers…or you’re planning a paint job…here’s the link, so you can read more and find a store:

Eat and Learn

A lazy backyard barbecue is just the right relaxed entertaining approach for a hysterical hostess. And attending a cooking competition, where you can watch, taste and pick up tips from the masters, is a fun way to brush up on your skills.

Such events are going on all over the country, but one of the most entertaining is likely to be the I Love Barbecue and Music Festival, now in its ninth year. It is scheduled for this coming July 4th weekend in the beautiful Adirondack mountain town of Lake Placid.

There will be lots to do besides eating and rocking, including thrilling to the fireworks display on Friday at 9:30 p.m. You can swim, hike, kayak and even visit the venue where the Winter Olympic Games once took place and where Olympic athletes now train.

For more details, here’s a link to the Festival’s site:

Put Them in Their Places

When there are eight people or more at the table, I think it’s nice to use place cards. They make for a more interesting evening, since everyone doesn’t gravitate to the people they already know.  They can contribute to the visual effect of the table, too; a cousin uses cardholders in the shape of adorable tiny metal chairs.

Of course, these days it’s easy to simply print out cards from the computer, but with a bit of thought you can create a marker that’s more fun and may even do double duty as a favor or souvenir. On a “Today Show” segment about table décor, renowned wedding authority and event planner Colin Cowie recently suggested ribbon-tied, glass bud vases bearing each guest’s name in script made with a marker. He filled each with a few flowers and set them at the side of each plate.

At a dinner party celebrating my brother’s birthday one year, my sister-in-law used Magic Marker to write guests’ names on clean white stones. Presumably, they were collected from the property of her country home, but certainly they could be purchased. I still use mine as a paperweight.

In her “Front Burner” column for the New York Times on June 4, 2014, food writer Florence Fabricant passed along a clever place card innovation. Admitting that she usually turns her place card around, so the person sitting opposite can read her name, she said that she appreciated the double-sided place cards that were used at the Captain’s Table on an Adriatic cruise she took recently.