Saturday, August 30, 2008

My Summer So Far...Soup Plants, Very "Attractive" Towels, and Beating the Fruit Flies
So since it's been so long since I've posted that, of course, I've forgotten about all the great recipes that I've tried since February. But a few neat kitchen additions to share. The first as you might see in this picture, I found what I call my "asian soup planting" at my local farmer's looks like one plant but it's actually not, it's two. Purple thai basil and spicy hot peppers. I hope it lasts into the cold weather because I can't wait to make my own asian veggie noodle soup. These peppers actually dry well..just tie some string about the stems and hang them together in a dry, dark place and they'll be ready to use whenever you want.

A second great find this summer is the Casabella magnetic dish cloth that I have been using in my kitchen. I also bought the glass cloth and the bathroom cloth for the mirrors in our apartment and our bathroom. Wow. These guys suck up water from just about anywhere. If you cook with veggies a lot you know that your counters can get wet pretty easily especially when you are washing and cutting up a lot of produce. One wipe literally of my Casabella kitchen cloth and the counter is dry. No waiting for it to be *almost*'s literally dry to the touch. I don't know what I did before these guys! Since I first purchased my Casabella carpet sweeper years ago (I love non-electric devices that replace electric ones), I've loved Casabella's products but this is just way beyond my expectations of how helpful a kitchen towel can be!! I don't quite know how it works but supposedly it's magnetic.

Finally, the fruit flies are at it again. Okay, it's my fault. I was lazy and didn't take my compost crock outside everyday to the compost bin. In late July and August it's essential that I don't leave the crock unemptied for more than 48 hours or else we have a ton of little winged visitors taking up residence. And man are they hard to get rid of. We've tried the hanging fly strips with mixed success. When a fruit fly lands on them, yes, they work great but they appear to work better with larger flies as the fruit flies don't really seem to be attracted to it. So you catch 'em by chance which isn't very successful. We've tried those yellow sticky-backed tabs that you put in plants. Those are great for an infestation in a potted plant. But for a compost crock there is simply nowhere to put them. So by mistake I found what apparently many people have known for years: vinegar and sugar are ambrosia to fruit flies. It does mimic what rotting fruit turns into so yeah, it makes total sense. So a little dish of apple cider vinegar (I found it works better as a lure than regular vinegar, probably because it's fruity) diluted with water and add a little sugar..perfect fruit fly trap. They'll come from all over and drown themselves in it. Unfortunately a necessary gross-ness that my kitchen must endure this summer so we don't have the epidemic that we had last year (fruit flies until christmas! ugh!).


Anonymous said...

Hi Amanda! I enjoyed catching up on your blog, great fun and you don't mention it, but you have a nice talent for photography also. I had a busy summer with lots of travel (stateside only) and great family times. I'm back to school, and amazingly enough, I have another wonderful group of 7th graders. This promises to be another good year. I've managed to keep my weight off that I lost last year, plus a few more pounds this summer. I'm down about 30 pounds from where I was this time last year. I'm so glad its staying off this time.
Sounds like you enjoyed a special summer with family.


Amanda Trombley said...

Hey Deb! Great to hear from you!! So glad that things are going well. Being down 30 pounds is quite amazing..I'm so proud of you! Congratulations..that is really amazing =)