Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Last weekend, as I pulled our lawn mower out of the garage and three boxes labeled "future cabin kitchen" fell on me, I started to take inventory of all the things we have stored in our garage.  While you may park your car in your garage, we park our CRAP, and it's high time we get rid of some of it!  To protect the innocent, I won't get into the motorcycles that are never ridden, the brand new ovens sill in their boxes, the unused wood stove, the gas stove, the front loading washer/dryer that have all taken up residence in our garage….nope, we won't touch that subject with a ten foot pole (and we have three of those, too).  Instead, like admiring Christmas ornaments in the middle of the summer, I decided to delay my mowing project for a minute and enjoy the "stuff" we have.  Years ago, Joe bought a cabin in the mountains of Southern California and an added bonus he discovered months after moving in, were hundreds of Ball Mason Jars.  As classically American as baseball and apple pie, mason jars are once again popping up everywhere, and they aren't just for canning anymore.  Like a New York crowd waiting for the subway, our jars come in all shapes and sizes, colors and conditions.  I love to pull them out and use them to store homemade salad dressing, use them as water glasses for summer parties, vases, etc.  To secure your morning granola and yogurt while you head to the office, throw it in a mason jar and screw on the top.  Keep that lettuce yummy until lunchtime by, you guessed it, tossing it in a jar with a lid (the tight lid will help keep the lettuce from wilting in the refrigerator).  So instead of tossing the jars (or selling them on ebay) I've decided to pull them out of the garage and let them live in our house.  At the same time I discovered cool decanters I started collecting years ago, so I pulled them out too and gave them a good scrubbing, which reminded me of yet another tip I've offered before.  Tall bottles I use to serve water at dinner parties and decanters tend to be next to impossible to dry, especially in the humid summer months.  Water tends to condense and eventually discolor the glass.  To avoid this (and dry out those decanters and bottles) simply roll up a paper towel, insert it and let it stand for a few hours…trust me, it works!