Friday, June 25, 2010

Practical Magic

In the small space of our summer home, extra storage doubles as decoration.
 A plain-and-simple mix of old and new plates and bowls line up on an easy-reach countertop plate rack
--the pure utility of it thrills me.
 The antique ironstone butter dish doesn't store butter anymore--it stashes loose cash.

A few more of my favorite sleight-of-hand kitchen tricks:

+ Pour salt on a red wine spill as soon as it happens and, abracadabra, the salt crystals will drink in the color. Wash the fabric after the party's over. If wine spills on a carpet, apply salt immediately and allow it to dry before vaccuming.

+ My nephew, Ford, says lemon pepper makes most anything taste better. I've tried it on scrambled eggs, sliced tomatoes, stir-fry, fish and chicken dishes, potato salad, soups and sandwiches. He's right. Everything does tastes better!

+ To clean a sticky skillet that's cooled, fill it with water. Heat the water on your stove until the stuck-on ingredients loosen and slip into the water. Wash the pan while it's still warm.

+   +   +


Stacey Dawn said...


We've used the salt for the red wine spill trick -works wonders!

Thanks for the bday wishes!!

RuneE said...

Very simple and very elegant - and thank you for the advises!

Jeanne Klaver said...

I'm at my summer home in Santa Fe and cooked eggs this morning in a NOT non-stick pan. Now how did you know I needed those words of wisdom? Also, I'd forgotten about how delish lemon pepper is. I'm going to buy some today! Have a beautiful day.

Mara said...

I love these tricks!!! And also love your new layout!!!

Have a nice week end Becky!!!

Trailboss said...

Wish I knew about the salt trick on Wednesday night at Joe's party.

ELK said...

you amaze me ...great tips and a simple still life...

Dimple said...

Very good tips. I hadn't heard about using salt for wine stains before.

I do this skillet cleaning trick all the time. I have a Pampered Chef square nylon scraper which I use to lift the sticky stuff off before washing.
I also do this with my cast iron, and the seasoning stays even though the gunk goes. I always had trouble with the cast iron being either rusty or not seasoned properly before!

Thanks for the visit!

Beach House Living said...

The sticky pan clean up is a favorite around here.

S. Etole said...

That butter dish is telling a story!!!

lakeviewer said...

Practical and magic! Add: vinegar is a good subtitute in a recipe that calls for wine.

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Becky
Well love that butter dish... so sweet.. and your tips are handy also... seeing I don't drink anymore.. i can avoid the red wines spills.. haha.. but the heating up the sticky pan tip is a winner.. I remember learning this one from a friends parents when I was a youngin!! great tip..

Have a wonderful weekend.. glad you enjoyed the trip to Santorini.. even if virtual!! xxx Julie

Pooch Morning Glory said...

totally diggin that butter dish.
im in process of simplifying my life
... its so fun

becky at abbeystyle said...

I'm loving the additional tricks some of you offered in your comments...someday I'll do a "Collection" of bloggers' tips and tricks...could be fun, not to mention beneficial!

Shellbelle said...

I love the look and have had to do many of those storage/decorating tips around here. I should have realized that when I downsized my living quarters, I need to do more downsizing on my "stuff" as well!

Thanks for sharing such helpful little tips. I have one for you. If you rub the inside top of your pot with cooking oil, it will not boil over. This is especially useful with boiling pasta or potatoes.

Have a great weekend!

Jeanne said...

Great shot and I am thinking the same think about the butter dish!


Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Lovin your new style...and that darling butter dish!

I find when I have REALLY burned on stuff...a little dishwasher detergent and an inch or two of water...soaked for a bit, is quite amazing!

I also add Oil of peppermint or essential lemon or orange oil (or whatever scent...) to a sinkful of water with some dishsoap...great general cleaner. Refreshing smell!

mise said...

Wouldn't that plate-stand make a great cake-stand too with just one plate per layer? And the little butter dish is perfectly charming.

Anonymous said...

I love the new look!
We're enjoying lovely sunshine here in the UK.
June is associated with freshly picked strawberies because of the short fruiting season. Strawberries and cream are a simple treat. Serve at room temperature to bring out the full flavour and aroma. In Italy the fruit is soaked in wine, sugar and lemon zest, but sparkling white grape juice is a good non-alcoholic alternative.

sharon said...

I Love this butter dish, wish I could find one like it. Thanks for the handy tips.

Tina Steele Lindsey said...

I use regularly both tips you encluded! I often store leftover portions of onions I don't need in a recipe in a large mason jar with a portion of a paper towel. Scre on the lid and somehow the onion stays fresh and the paper towel keeps down odors.